Howard Lederer Parties it Up in Las Vegas as DOJ Now ‘Flush With Full Tilt Poker Money’

Written by:
Ace King
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Howard Lederer Parties it Up in Las Vegas as DOJ Now ‘Flush With Full Tilt Poker

Wendeen H. Eolis of Poker Player Newspaper was the first to reveal that great news was on tap for those owed monies by Full Tilt Poker.  She’s proven to be an excellent resource for the poker community. 

On Thursday, Ms. Eolis reveals that the “face behind Full Tilt Poker” over the past several years, Howard Lederer, was seen partying it up in Las Vegas after the deal was made official. 

Lederer is rumored to have helped facilitate the deal whereby PokerStars was granted permission by the US Justice Department to acquire Full Tilt Poker under the condition all customers be made whole (though there is still some question as to whether this includes winnings plus rewards money or simply deposits).  US customers will need to request their funds from the US Justice Department.  They have already begun searching for a facilitator to oversee this process via a “Help Wanted” ad featured on the DOJ website.  Eolis writes that the Justice Department has enough cash on hand to pay back all players owed, and we are talking millions of dollars. 

Lederer himself was accused by the US Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York of orchestrating an elaborate ponzi scheme.  Even the most harsh critics of Full Tilt Poker and Lederer have questioned whether he actually engaged in a true ponzi scheme.  Likewise, the complaint against Lederer is civil in nature and not an indictment.  In other words, he’s not exactly facing any prison time for this alleged scheme.  Former FTP CEO Raymond Bitar, on the other hand, is facing criminal charges including money laundering and bank fraud, not to mention a possible life sentence. 

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Eolis claims that friends of Lederer believe he has received a bad rap from poker media and community as a whole, most likely fueled by said media outlets.

She writes:

Lederer’s friends complain that he has been effectively and unfairly ostracized from the poker world, and they seek to help him rehabilitate his image. They demand anonymity in this article, but they are becoming increasingly vocal in this effort.Lederer friends note he was the one player with an outstanding loan to FTP who made a substantial repayment without any prodding and prior to the embarrassing revelations of uncollectible player debt by Group Bernard Tapie during that company’s discussions of a possible deal to acquire FTP’s assets. Nobody, however, suggests that Lederer offered up any of his distributions to go back to FTP.

Ironically, one of the most vocal critics of Lederer, Daniel Negreanu, just happens to be the primary face of PokerStars, and he hasn’t exactly come to the man’s defense since the Full Tilt Poker deal was announced three weeks ago.

Negreanu regularly condemns Lederer on his own popular vlog though the vitriol is more often aimed at the former Full Tilt Poker head honcho’s sister, fellow poker pro Annie Duke. 

- Ace King,