Extensions Provided to US Poker Rooms for Responding to Complaints

PokerStars, Absolute Poker and Full Tilt Poker got extensions to respond to the complaints filed against them by the US court. The Southern District of New York granted extensions to the poker sites on November 30th.

According to the complaints filed, Full Tilt directors and officers, including the CEO Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson and Rafe Furst, have been involved in a Ponzi scheme. Full Tilt players were cheated out of large sums of cash by these members. Through a complaint filed in April 2011, all three poker rooms were indicted on the allegation that they had conducted illegal gambling, money laundering and bank fraud.

According to the US attorney, Bharara, operations of Full Tilt Poker in the US was not legal. Bharara said that executive officers and directors of Full Tilt Poker used players’ funds for their personal expenses. Players were not told the truth regarding the security of their deposits.

Three Copies of Order Filed on November 29th

Three copies of complaints were filed separately against the three poker sites on November 29th. The companies were supposed to respond to the complaints by November 30th. However, each site has been given an extension till January 2nd, 2012.  The extensions were mainly granted as Howard Lederer and Rafe Furst took steps to draw the attention of the US court.

US Rules Invoked by Howard Lederer and Rafe Furst

The Southern District of New York announced on November 28th, that Howard Lederer and Rafe Furst cited the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty and Maritime Claims G(5). Furst and Lederer laid claims to funds seized by the US Justice Department. Ray Bitar and Chris Ferguson also did the same, earlier.

Ferguson had laid claims to the funds in certain bank accounts. He mentioned in his claim that Vantage Ltd and Kolyma Corporation AVV have full rights to the money which the US Department of Justice seized. Quite a few bank accounts were listed out by Ferguson and about $98,276,540 was mentioned as the claim amount.

The Stipulation and Order can be accessed at Full Tilt’s website. It states that the poker site is in discussion with the US government and needs extra time to respond to the complaint filed against it. The order also mentions that extra time has been granted to Full Tilt Poker by the US. The Stipulation and Order is also available at the other indicted poker sites – Absolute Poker and PokerStars.

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