DOJ Names Full Tilt Claims Administrator
The reimbursement to U.S. players of the balances of their Full Tilt Poker accounts inched down the road ever so slightly today with an announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice that a claims administrator had been selected to oversee the process. The Garden City Group has been tasked with “compensating eligible victims of the fraud committed by Full Tilt Poker against United States players”.
The DOJ press release contained no other new information. It did not provide any information as to the form of the reimbursement process or how much time the process might take. A website set up by GCG, www.FullTiltPokerClaims.com, states only that “the process will begin shortly”. It offers no other information beyond noting that players will be able to submit their claims via the website. A link on the site offering to register players to receive email notification of the commencement of the claims process was not working as of Wednesday evening.
Based out of Dublin, Ohio, GCG is a corporate services provider that claims 25 years of experience in the field of legal administration services for class action settlements, bankruptcy cases, and legal noticing programs. GCG handled claims administration for the bankruptcies of Trump Entertainment Resorts, General Motors Corp., and Borders Group, among many others.
The appointment of GCG as claims administrator has been a long-awaited second step in the repayment process of Full Tilt’s U.S. players. The first step occurred in late July 2012, when PokerStars agreed to acquire the assets of Full Tilt from the U.S. government in exchange for $547 million and a promise to repay $184 million in account balances to Full Tilt’s non-U.S. players.
While those non-U.S. account balances were returned in November 2012, the process for U.S. players has languished. The DOJ promised in late January that a claims administrator was close to being selected, but all of February passed without any further update.
The next step in the process is for GCG to notify all “known victims” (U.S. account holders) of FTP’s fraud. Those known victims are then eligible to file a petition for remission with GCG. That petition, with all supporting documentation, will eventually be forwarded to the Asset Forefeiture and Money Laundering Section of the DOJ to make a final determination as to whether the petition for remission should be granted.
A hotline set up by GCG to answer player questions, +1-866-250-2640, is operational from Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm U.S. Eastern time. The announcement of GCG’s appointment came too late in the day to call the hotline and make further inquiries of GCG.