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Full Tilt Poker Claims Admin GCG Issues Bad-Info Warning

full-tilt-logoDepartment of Justice-appointed claims administrator Garden City Group has issued a warning to former US players of Full Tilt Poker to correct or submit proper banking or Social-Security information, or possibly — in the case of the the latter, regarding incorrect or missing Social Security numbers — to see their remission claims be denied.

The latest message at FullTiltPokerClaims.com, the remissions-process site administered by Ohio-based GCG, was published yesterday:

INFORMATION REGARDING DEFICIENCY NOTIFICATIONS TO PETITIONERS

GCG has identified certain Petitioners who previously confirmed their FTP Account Balance but who submitted incomplete or incorrect banking information or an incomplete or incorrect Social Security Number. On October 25, 2014, GCG sent emails to more than 2,200 of these Petitioners with instructions on how to update and correct their Petitions through the online filing site.

Please note that if we do not receive updated, complete and accurate information by November 24, 2014:

Petitioners with incomplete or incorrect banking information will be sent a check to the mailing address provided with their Petition, should their Petition be approved.

Petitioners with an incomplete or incorrect Social Security Number will have their Petition recommended for denial. As explained in FAQ Number 17 on this website, prior to the payment of funds to a Petitioner, GCG is required to provide the Petitioner’s Social Security or other Taxpayer Identification Number to the Government, in order to offset and collect any qualifying debts currently listed in the Treasury Offset Program.

If any Petitioners have questions about a notification they received or about this process, please contact us.

The 2,200 petitioners, as noted in the above, are split between those who have submitted incorrect banking information and those who have, for whatever reasons, declined to provide GCG with their proper, government-issued SS numbers.  Garden City Group declined to specify how many of the 2,200 petitioners fell into each category, though errors by banking employees assisting with some players’ accounts have been reported on discussion forums, suggesting that the bad-banking-info group may be the larger of the two.

In any event, those players will receive a paper check issued if no updated info is received by GCG within the next month.  It’s the latter category of players, believed to number at least several hundred, who are in danger of losing the entirety of their suspended Full Tilt bankrolls if they do not provide the proper SS info (a single 9-digit number used for tax purposes).

GCG and the DOJ have long mandated that supplying the proper Social Security information was prerequisite to receiving any sort of refund, and stated several months back that any players due remission payments who had balances due to the US government’s Treasury Offset Program would have their balances applied against their owed amounts up to the total of their outstanding debt.  The Treasury Offset Program (TOP) is primarily used to collect delinquent tax debts, but is also used to collect past-due child support from deadbeat dads.

Ironically, the failure to provide proper SS numbers to GCG by affected players will only make those players’ outstanding debt problems worse.  The GCG, with the US government’s blessing, plans to take steps to deny those claims, but denying the claims will not resolve outstanding TOP debts; the balances themselves will not transfer.  Therefore, affected players who do not provide proper SS identification will likely lose at least the chance to apply their Full Tilt balances against their outstanding TOP debt.  Those players were notified of the TOP requirements this past April.

GCG has distributed more than $92 million, to date, to former US players of the old FTP whose petitions for refunds have already been approved.  Two other special categories of US players remain to be resolved and distributed — those players who disputed the balances as shown in FTP’s ledgers as of Black Friday, and those players who had business relationships with the site, as sponsored players or traffic-providing affiliates.

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