Ian Imrich, the legal representative for Chris Ferguson, has informed Card Player that his client is now holding “positive dialogues” with the US Department of Justice (DoJ), as a result of which his case might be settled soon.
Last September, the Southern District of New York Court had indicted Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, Rafe Furst, and Ray Bitar, the CEO of Full Tilt Poker, of cheating loyal Full Tilt Poker players of a huge sum of $440 million.
Speaking about French investment company Group Bernard Tapie’s (GBT) intention of purchasing Full Tilt Poker from the DoJ for $80 million, Imrich said that the deal is in progress and that it “should be done within the first half, if not the first quarter, of this year.”
The deal will result in the resurrection of the fallen online poker giant, and its ex players can finally hope to get back their poker funds. Full Tilt Poker owes its US players around $150 million, an amount that will be returned to them by the DoJ.
The lawyer has also said that Ferguson has requested an account from Bitar, who is believed to have received $41 million from Full Tilt Poker.
According to an amendment made to DoJ’s civil complaint against Full Tilt Poker, Ferguson was to receive $85 million for his association with the company, but only $25 million was transferred to his personal checking account while “the remaining balance characterized as “owed” to Ferguson.”
Stating that a detailed account of Bitar’s assets is essential as he is one of those accused of embezzling company funds, he said that source of Bitar’s wealth is mostly Full Tilt Poker. Imrich also said that it is not yet clear whether Bitar owes any money to Ferguson.
Imrich said, “While we are not sure –- that’s precisely why an accounting will likely answer things -– it would more likely be money owed to the [Full Tilt] family of companies, or even to poker players themselves, if there have been any irregularities or improprieties in handling funds.”
The lawyer also confirmed that Ferguson’s request for an account from Bitar will not delay GBT’s acquisition of Full Tilt Poker assets. Stating that most of the poker news reports about Ferguson’s role in the case are erroneous and that Ferguson actually supports GBT’s acquisition of Full Tilt Poker, Imrich said, “Chris’ request has nothing to do with Tapie or the agreement reached with DoJ.”