Friday , September 30, 2011 : Complains that sale of the company has been damaged by Commission's decision
Full Tilt Poker, one of the most well known pre Black Friday Poker Websites, was quick to react – albeit in a somewhat patchy distribution – to yesterday's announcement by the Alderney Gaming Control Commission that its licensing had been revoked.
In a statement that information site Poker Strategy claimed as an exclusive, the troubled online poker operator complained that the Commission's decision has made it more difficult to arrange the sale of the company, and was thus not beneficial to players still awaiting payment by FTP.
The statement gave some insight into the confidential hearing conducted by the AGCC, commenting:
“Full Tilt Poker offered the testimony of an investor interested in acquiring the company. The interested investor testified before the Commission as to its advanced status of negotiations with the company and the terms and conditions of a potential purchase. Full Tilt Poker requested a 30-day adjournment of the hearing to allow for transition of the company to the new investment team.
“Today, the Commission announced its decision to revoke three of the four Full Tilt Poker operating licenses, despite the weight of evidence presented at the hearing by Full Tilt Poker of investor interest in acquiring the company. The Commission’s decision to revoke Full Tilt Poker’s operating licenses makes it more difficult to execute the sale of the company and hence repay its players.”
The statement ends on a somewhat bitter note, advising that: “Notwithstanding the potential damage done by the Commission and its disregard for our players, Full Tilt Poker remains committed to repaying its players in full and continues in active negotiations.”
It appears that negotiations with a potential and still unidentified investor are still being conducted, despite earlier reports that such investigations were heavily dependent on FTP retaining its licensing.
In related news, the US Justice Department issued a notification in terms of its information for victims of fraud policy.
The notification, which can be viewed at http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/pokerstars.html, briefs Full Tilt Poker victims that it is trying to secure access to FTP records in order to return forfeited funds to players prejudiced by the debacle, but that many of these records are outside the United States, there are procedures to go through, and resolutions could take some time.
The full wording of the notification is:
"After the amended complaint in United States v. Pokerstars et al., 11 Civ. 2564 (LBS), was filed on September 22, 2011, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York received a number of new inquiries from individuals regarding the recovery of their funds from Full Tilt Poker.
"By way of background, in April of 2011, this Office entered into a domain-name use agreement with Full Tilt Poker. That agreement, among other things, expressly authorized Full Tilt Poker to return player funds to players.
"However, as the September 22 amended complaint alleges, Full Tilt Poker did not in fact have player funds on hand to return to players. Instead, the amended complaint alleges that Full Tilt Poker had, among other things, (a) transferred significant amounts of players’ real money deposits to principals of the company, while (b) allowing many players to continue to gamble, and “win” and “lose,” with phantom credits in their player accounts.
"At this time, this Office, together with the FBI and other agencies, is attempting to trace, secure and forfeit as much as possible of the funds derived from operation of the fraud committed by Full Tilt Poker and its board members that is alleged in the amended complaint.
"The Office is also attempting to obtain and examine the books and records of Full Tilt Poker. Many of those books and records are kept overseas. The return of forfeited funds to victims of the alleged fraud may be possible, but will depend on several factors, including the successful conclusion of the litigation, the amount of funds seized and ordered forfeited by the court, and compliance with other procedures the Department of Justice may eventually establish regarding return of forfeited funds to victims who lost money as a result of the alleged fraudulent conduct.
"We cannot predict the duration of proceedings in this case, other than to state that they will last for many months at the least. We will apprise victims of the alleged fraud of future developments as appropriate. General information regarding what is known as “remission” (i.e., return to victims) of funds that have been seized and forfeited is set forth in Department of Justice regulations found at 28 C.F.R. Part 9."