Chris Ferguson to Settle with DOJ
Chris Ferguson and the US Department of Justice have come to terms on a settlement that would end the civil case that was filed on September 10, 2011. The Department of Justice initially filed a $42 million money laundering civil forfeiture order against Ferguson. The settlement states that Ferguson will forfeit $2.35 million and an undisclosed amount of money that was in bank accounts already seized when the civil complaint was unsealed. Ferguson has 30 days to submit the funds to the US Government once the settlement is accepted.
In addition to the forfeited funds, Ferguson agreed to forfeit any possible interest or claims in Full Tilt Poker or its related companies. He will be excluded from the Full Tilt Poker remissions process. He also agreed not to become involved in any US facing online poker rooms that are not properly licensed and regulated by US or state laws. This term appears to also exclude him from even playing online poker with unlicensed online poker rooms as it addresses profiting from these rooms in any way.
Ferguson admits no guilt and asserts that poker is not gambling and not covered by gambling laws. It is also stated that he had no knowledge of the wrongdoing at Full Tilt Poker. A notation that Ferguson forgave $14 million in money owed to him by Full Tilt Poker on April 13, 2011 is also included in the settlement.
The Department of Justice also mentioned in the court filing that the process of finding a claims administrator is still ongoing. No date or time frame was given for when Full Tilt Poker players in the US will receive their funds.
The settlement must be reviewed by the judge in the case before it can go into effect.
View the full settlement text here.