When it became obvious that Full Tilt Poker was not going to be paying back their customers in a hurry, a pair of well-to-do former customers banded together to bring a lawsuit against the company. Many big name players commonly associated with the Full Tilt brand were also fingered.
The plaintiffs are hoping to recover the deposit money owed to thousands of full tilt poker customers by invoking the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization Act 1961 – a law conceived as a way of prosecuting mob bosses for orchestrating crimes they did not themselves commit.
Many of the suit’s defendants are represented by the same two lawyers. Jeff Ifrah and David Deitch have been the Attorney’s on Record for a number of FT clients for some time, but have now announced their intention to resign from the case. The duo had begun proceedings by submitting a motion to have the case dismissed, but it is unlikely to be considered by the court before October.
There are 24 companies and individuals named in the suit, most of which are currently represented by Ifrah and Deitch. The full list includes Tiltware, Vantage, Filco, Pocket Kings, Pocket Kings Consulting, Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, Jennifer Harman, Erick Lindgren, Andrew Bloch, Mike Matusow, Erik Seidel, and Allen Cunningham. Note that Full Tilt Poker themselves are not among those represented by the duo, along with Nelson Burtnick, Patrik Antonius, and Gus Hansen.
The legal system in New York requires that alternative representation be found before lawyers can vacate their positions. The court must also sign off on any resignation decision, meaning that the actual date of their departure could be some time away.
This case is distinct from the legal proceedings brought by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission regarding the suspension of Full Tilt’s license. They are also not connected to any trials that may result from the original indictment by the Department of Justice.
According to Ifrah and Deitch, “continued representation of Defendants would create unreasonable difficulty for us to carry our employment effectively and would result in an unreasonable financial burden to our law firm.”
Some cynical onlookers are suggested that this could just be yet another delaying tactic. If the courts have to wait until new legal representation can be found before hearing the case, it will give Full Tilt more time to tie up an investment deal that will allow them to pay back the players anyway.
UPDATE 2014: Obviously, PokerStars now owns and operates Full Tilt, and payments back to US players are underway!
Read our review of Full Tilt Poker and the Full Tilt Poker bonus here.
Lock Poker to take Legal Action Against Macedo
Jose “Girah” Macedo’s fall from grace was fast, epic and took place in front of the online poker community. His reputation, along with those of his backers (Haseeb “DogIsHead” Qureshi and Daniel “Jungleman” Cates), has been ruined for good.
Macedo promised to return the $30,000 he recently scammed during some heads-up poker matches. On the other hand, Lock Poker decided it was going to sue Macedo.
Before the scandal unfolded, Macedo had become a Lock Poker pro. This position was taken away after the accusations and admission of guilt that followed, however. Most observers assumed this would be the relative end of the story as Macedo would probably disappear after returning the money he scammed.
Unfortunately for Macedo, Eric “Rizen” Lynch announced on a poker forum that Lock Poker would be filing a lawsuit against the former pro. Lynch went on to further state that something would be filed in the near future, at which time details would be released.
There has been much speculation as to what the site could be suing for. One theory is that it involves Macedo cheating during the Lock Challenge. This Challenge had prizes for the people that won the most money in a given time period on Lock Poker.
Macedo appeared to be in the lead for the challenge, but then the poker community found out that he had been chip dumped to by Qureshi. Furthermore, Cates had also used the girah account during the challenge. This caused Macedo to become disqualified.