Rafe Furst is bidding farewell to controversial Full Tilt Poker funds locked up in his Swiss bank account. Furst was one of those booked on counts of bank fraud and money laundering following the federal crackdown of May 2011 on three major online poker rooms. Recently, he settled with the US federal government for an unknown amount.
Besides paying a fine of $150k, Furst will hand over the funds in a trust account associated with his Full Tilt Poker profits. The US prosecutors have dropped all charges of money laundering on him, including a money laundering fine of $11,706,323.96, which Furst is believed to have received when he was working for Full Tilt Poker.
According to the US government, Furst had stashed some of the $11.7 million into his Pictet & Cie account in Switzerland.
When Full Tilt Poker pulled down its shutters, Furst was on its board of directors. He got into a settlement deal with the US government without pleading guilty to being part of a “global Ponzi scheme,” which is what the US government accused Full Tilt Poker of being.
A court document records Furst as having said that he did not know of any illegal activities at Full Tilt Poker.
According to the US government, Furst was 2.6% owner of Tiltware LLC, a firm based in California and owner of Full Tilt Poker’s assets.
Furst, who graduated from Stanford University and won a WSOP bracelet, calls himself “an entrepreneur, investor, scientist, and advisor.” He claims on his website that “he connects ideas and people and resources in ways that most people don’t see as possible.”
Furst signed his settlement deal with the US 14 months after Preet Bharara, US attorney, said the following about Furst, Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, and Ray Bitar: “Full Tilt insiders lined their own pockets with funds picked from the pockets of their most loyal customers while blithely lying to both players and the public alike about the safety and security of the money deposited with the company.”
Meanwhile, the other defendants are still in trouble. If Ferguson and Lederer are found to be guilty, they will have to pay billions of dollars in fines. Besides, Bitar could get sentenced for life if he is convicted.
The penalty received from Furst will be used to refund Full Tilt Pokers old poker players in the US. Unfortunately, the US government has still not begun refunding FTP’s US poker players.