Full Tilt Poker has been taking blow after blow ever since the US federal crackdown of April 15, on which day its domain name was seized and 11 people associated with it were accused of illegal gambling, bank fraud, and money laundering. Last Tuesday, the US federal government added a fresh allegation that Full Tilt Poker had cheated its players of around $440 million through a global Ponzi scheme.
Ever since the federal crackdown of April 15, Full Tilt Poker has issued a number of press statements, most of which contained excuses for its inability to pay back its aggrieved US poker players. On April 16, the very next day after the federal crack down, Full Tilt Poker issued an official press statement assuring its US players that their funds are safe and secure and that deposits and withdrawals are being processed as usual.
On May 16, Full Tilt Poker sent an email to its US customers, stating that it is unable to refund them because of certain “challenges and hurdles” and that it has “worked tirelessly” to ensure the smooth return of player funds and also that the poker site’s top priority was the safe return of US player funds.
On May 30, FTP posted a message on two plus two apologizing for its lack of communication and once again assuring its US poker players that its top priority is to pay them back at the earliest possible. While assuring players that its international business was doing well, FTP admitted that they were raising funds to pay back their US poker players.
On Aug 30, FTP issued another press statement blaming the US government’s move of freezing players’ accounts and the theft of millions of dollars by a payment processor for its inability to pay back its players. However, it carefully refrained from stating that it had mixed up players’ funds with payments due to investors and owners.
On September 14, FTP issued another press release regarding its need to raise funds and cut costs without revealing the exact nature of its financial problems.
According to the rules of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC), which had issued licenses to FTP, FTP could mingle funds as long it kept its players informed about the mingling of funds. But FTP never disclosed its methods of handling funds; instead, it led its players to believe that their funds were safe, separate, and secure.