U.S. calls online poker site a "global Ponzi scheme"
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors made new allegations on Tuesday in a probe of the Full Tilt Poker website, accusing self-styled "Poker Professor" Howard Lederer and professional poker champion Christopher Ferguson and others of paying themselves more than $440 million while defrauding other players.
Prosecutors unsealed the earlier charges on April 15, accusing three Internet poker companies -- Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and PokerStars -- and 11 people, including Full Tilt director Raymond Bitar, of bank fraud, illegal gambling and money laundering offenses.
"In reality, Full Tilt Poker did not maintain funds sufficient to repay all players, and in addition, the company used player funds to pay board members and other owners more than $440 million since April 2007," the office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
In other words, they are accused of doing what every single bank has done since banking was invented.
I am speaking of the life of a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children; who has undertaken to cherish it and do it no damage, not because he is duty-bound, but because he loves the world and loves his children… - Wendell Berry, 1971