New DOJ Complaint Goes After $137m from Lederer, FTP Board

Howard Lederer faces $42.5 million in personal forfeitures.

The US Department of Justice has filed a new amendment to the complaint against online poker’s three biggest operators, including forfeiture charges against Howard Lederer, Ray Bitar, Chris Ferguson and Rafe Furst.

The Second Amended Complaint explains in detail the financial history of roughly $137 million in distributions paid to the four Full Tilt Poker owners.

Citing a slew of statutes including the Wire Act, The Illegal Gambling Business Act and now the Travel Act, the DOJ is calling the distributions proceeds of an illegal enterprise and therefore subject to forfeiture.

"There is probable cause to believe that the Defendant Properties constitute, or are traceable to property used in illegal gambling businesses," states the new complaint.

According to the amended complaint the DOJ will be seeking forfeitures in the amounts of:

  • $42.5 million from Howard Lederer
  • $42 million from Chris Ferguson
  • $40.8 million from Ray Bitar
  • $11.7 million from Rafe Furst

The complaint goes on to provide details on how Howard Lederer and Ray Bitar spent that money in the roughly four and half years leading up to Black Friday.

Lederer Allegedly Funded Personal Accounts with FTP Funds

According to the DOJ, Howard Lederer used the distributions from Full Tilt Poker to fund his personal accounts, retirement funds, mortgage payments and the purchase of a number of properties and automobiles.

The list of vehicles included a Maserati, four Audis and a 1965 Shelby Cobra.

While the amendment attributed two homes in Glendora, California to Ray Bitar’s FTP distributions, it failed to go into detail in regards to Chris Ferguson and Rafe Furst.

The Department of Justice complaint goes on to list 11 additional "Claims for Relief" to justify the forfeitures. The claims allege that FTP committed a long list of violations including illegal gambling, bank adn wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and travel offenses.

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john 2015-03-02 15:18:49

I don't feel bad for full tilt one bit

acesacesaces 2012-09-11 18:10:37

Why do you use different user names when it's clearly the same person commenting?

howard k 2012-09-11 16:06:21

Notice how Doyle Brunson secretly got his money "off" full tilt right before it went down. Doyle was also at Howard's 4th of July party this year along with David Grey (another full tilt owner who raked in 30 mil) and Allen Cunningham, Freedie Deeb, Andy Bloch and a few other owners of Full Tilt. No Daniel Negranu was not there...big surprise.

eric 568 2012-09-11 15:46:02

This was in summer of 2012. Heard Doyle Brunson and Billy Baxter has very heavy gambling debts and really needs the money to get off of them. Was'nt that Doug Dalton involved? The director in the poker room at Belagio. Was he not involved in a cheating scam with Doyle Brunson and Billy years ago in a California card room with Chip Reese? Russ Geioev wrote big article about it.

aham 2012-09-11 15:27:41

I don't feel safe at the hotel anymore. If they would try to cover up the rigging then they could of rigged other games and covered it up. We are going to the Wynn. We feel safer with Steve Wynn then MGM.

hope he goes down for it 2012-09-11 15:03:01

Yeah, hope Doyle Brunson goes down for it. He thinks he is so big that he can cheat players out of millions just cause he's Doyle. I hear players are boycotting his tournament The DOyle Brunson classic on December 3 2012 because of this scandal. He has tainted the Bobby's room. Also, heard the executives "relocated" employee's in Bobby's room...mysteriously...
You know what they say, it aint the crime that's bad it's the cover up that's worse.

rafe 2012-09-11 14:53:07

His Buddy Doyle Brunson was just involved in cheating scandal in Bobbys room at Bellagio hotel with Billy Baxter after he took up for Howard time and time again. All players and high rollers are staying away from Bellagio because they say hotel employees in poker room were also involved. Cancelled reservations and high rollers moving to other casino's. Gaming was called in Bellagio worked fast to try to cover it but, it got to be to big and they could'nt. Birds of a feather flock together I guess.