US based Full Tilt Poker players to be paid

The wait is nearly over for former US based Full Tilt Poker players to receive their funds after the infamous Black Friday online poker crackdown nearly two years ago. US Attorney Preet Bharara representing the Southern District of New York announced that a claims administrator has been appointed to manage repayment of the players.

The Garden City Group, a class action settlement and bankruptcy firm is to administer the compensation process. The website FullTiltPokerClaims.com has been setup to help provide information on the process involved in this effort.

During their settlement with the US Department of Justice on their charges, PokerStars agreed to give up to $547 million to the federal government, as well as take on the $184 million in all non-US Full Tilt Player balances. This completed PokerStars' acquisition of Full Tilt Poker. US players were left out in the cold waiting for today to come.

“Utilising funds forfeited from PokerStars in this action, the Department of Justice will establish a process by which eligible United States fraud victims will be able to seek compensation for their losses,” according to a statement released by the US District Court from New York’s Southern District.

The claims website instructs players to register here to receive email notifications and other updates regarding how and when the process will take place.

Sportsbook Review.com covers this story in today's SBR iGaming News video:

Statement from FullTiltPokerclaims.com website:

Full Tilt Poker Claims Administration

Important Notice to United States Victims of Full Tilt Poker Fraud

This is the official website for the Full Tilt Poker Claims Administration, as authorized by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. This administration is the result of the settlement agreement and resulting forfeitures resolving the allegations in the amended civil forfeiture complaint in United States v. PokerStars, et al., 11 Civ. 2564 (LBS), pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

On March 13, 2013, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York issued a press release announcing that The Garden City Group, Inc. has been retained to serve as the Claims Administrator of the funds forfeited in U.S. v. PokerStars, et al. Click here to view the March 13, 2013 press release.

Summary of the Settlement Agreement and Forfeitures

In July 2012, the United States entered into settlement agreements with Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars - two of the three online poker companies named as defendants in a civil forfeiture action brought by the United States alleging bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling offenses. Under the terms of the settlement with Full Tilt Poker, the company agreed to forfeit virtually all of its assets to the United States (the "Forfeited Full Tilt Assets") in order to fully resolve the action. The amended complaint filed in that action alleged that Full Tilt Poker defrauded its players by misrepresenting to the public that player funds held by Full Tilt Poker were safe, secure and available for withdrawal at any time. In reality, the company did not maintain funds sufficient to repay all of its players and instead, utilized player funds to finance more than $400 million in dividend payments to Full Tilt's owners.

Under the terms of the settlement with PokerStars (the "PokerStars Settlement"), the company agreed, among other things, to forfeit $547 million to the United States and to assume Full Tilt Poker's liability for the approximately $184 million owed by Full Tilt to foreign players. The PokerStars Settlement also provides that PokerStars will acquire the Forfeited Full Tilt Assets from the Government and also precludes PokerStars from offering online poker for real money in the United States unless and until it becomes permissible to do so under relevant law.

Utilizing funds forfeited from PokerStars in this action, the Department of Justice will establish a process by which eligible U.S. fraud victims will be able to seek compensation for their losses ("Petitions for Remission"). The Garden City Group, Inc. has been selected as Claims Administrator by the United States to process Petition for Remission claims submitted by the U.S. Full Tilt fraud victims.

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