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Today’s Full Tilt Poker BS or Not: We Weren’t Running a Ponzi Scheme

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Sep/27/2011
Full Tilt Poker

Even though the US Attorney’s Office out of the Southern District of New York has declared Full Tilt Poker a “ponzi scheme”, the powers-that-be at the now shuttered online poker company say otherwise, going as far as to issue a press release condemning the US Attorney’s accusations. 

In today’s installment of Full Tilt Poker BS or Not, Gambling911.com reviews their latest statement.  As Anderson Cooper of CNN would say, “We’re keeping them honest”.

On September 19, 2011, the Department of Justice issued a release stating that Full Tilt Poker was “A Global Ponzi Scheme.”  While the government has taken issue with the underlying activities of FTP, under any reasonable interpretation, there is no way to characterize the operation of Full Tilt Poker’s virtual online card room as a global Ponzi scheme.

A “Ponzi” scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors. Ponzi schemes do not involve any legitimate investment, but rather use the new investor funds to pay “dividends” to the initial investors.

Despite recent events, FTP remains committed to identifying a suitable investor and paying back its players in full.”

Well, this is a rare time where FTP is actually releasing a statement that does have some degree of legitimacy.  Gambling911.com already discussed the terminology and how it might not necessarily apply to Full Tilt Poker.

Next, they might want to define the words “Delinquency” and “NonPayment” and “Theft of Funds”. 

As PokerNewsReport noted:  “Industry observers have been quick to laugh off this latest “news” as a complete waste of time – commenting that it took the directors of Full Tilt Poker a week to look up what a “Ponzi Scheme” actually was!”

Joeliee Scott, a contributor to Forbes.com offered this assessment of the situation:

“Every industry has its own implicit “code” no matter whether you operate in technology, machinery, gambling or stocks (what’s the difference between these two, again?).  Hell, even organized crime families have a code.  And, by breaking the code, the executives of Full Tilt Poker (FTP), Raymond Bitar, Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson, broke the trust of their community, not unlike Madoff.  That is not to say Jesus and the Professor (as Ferguson and Lederer are known) did orchestrate a “global Ponzi scheme” (as alleged by the Department of Justice), but they did defraud their customers and used customer monies for their own personal gain.”

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com Editor-In-Chief

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