Sunday September 23,2012 : REACTION BUILDS TO ‘THE LEDERER FILES' (Update)
Negreanu and others speak out
Expect more fallout from the series of Poker News video interviews with former Full Tilt Poker president and part owner Howard Lederer .
Within hours of the last episode airing, vociferous poker ace Daniel Negreanu was tweeting and giving his views to online poker information sites, John Juanda was tweeting his disagreement with Lederer’s accusations and Barry Greenstein was posting a defence of Phil Ivey on the twoplustwo message board.
Negreanu told Poker Listings that he had spoken to various high profile pros denigrated by Lederer, and that these allegations will be challenged.
Expressing his opinion, Negreanu said that the actions of the FTP management and board post-Black Friday were "criminal and premeditated",
"I heard several comments that I knew to be absolutely blatant lies in the attempt to make him look like the lone saviour while throwing everyone else under the bus," said Negreanu, adding that he had spoken to Phil Ivey and he was not happy.
"When you hear Ivey's side of the story, I'm extremely confident people will fully understand that Ivey wasn't in the wrong at all. He wanted no part of any criminal activity that Ray [Bitar], Howard [Lederer], and Chris [Ferguson] were planning. His story will be backed up by other members as well.
"I can't wait until more people speak out so the whole truth comes out. Juanda took great offense to Howard's comments about him, and Juanda is 100 percent in the right." Negreanu said regarding allegations that Juanda had refused to pay back FTP loans as long as the management was still drawing $200,000 monthly checks.
Negreanu said that Lederer had used the interviews to deflect blame, but that Lederer had been the president of FTP, [and] Ray Bitar's boss.
"It was he and Chris that put Ray in charge. It wasn't player loans that destroyed this company, it was managerial decisions made by him, Ray, and Chris. Simple as that," Negreanu alleges.
Lederer's several claims of operational ignorance during the interview were also challenged by Negreanu, who said:
"He sure said ‘I don't know' a lot, which is peculiar for the president to not know all the things he claimed to be oblivious to. If he was oblivious to it all, then he is still to blame because those are things he should have known."
Negreanu takes strong issue with the actions of FTP post-Black Friday when, as admitted by Lederer in the interview, FTP put out a statement assuring players that their funds were safe when it knew that it did not have sufficient financial coverage.
In Negreanu's opinion, this was when the real crime was committed post-Black Friday.
"The company had no money, yet press releases were sent out claiming player funds were safe and secure. Worse yet, they continued to accept rest of world deposits despite being insolvent," Negreanu observed.
"He [Lederer] admits to this in the interview. Instead of doing the RIGHT thing, filing bankruptcy, or at the very least shutting down the site for a period of time, they continued to defraud depositing players by accepting deposits. He felt this approach was fine because the AGC [Alderney Gaming Control Commission] didn't seem to have a problem with it. It's fraud. It's a crime, and this was their plan."
Barry Greenstein leapt to Ivey's defence, referring to Lederer's criticism of Ivey's lawsuit against FTP.
"Phil never thought about the lawsuit in terms of money, only in terms of leverage to get out," Greenstein posted. "He had given them an ultimatum to get the company sold by a certain time, and they failed. They had rejected a potential offer that Phil was involved with as being a bad deal."