Erick Lindgren Refiles for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection
Citing a cumulative debt load of more than $10 million and available assets of less than $50,000, former prominent Team Full Tilt poker player Erick Lindgren has refiled for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a District of Nevada United States Bankruptcy Court.
Lindgren’s filing was originally made yesterday, then refiled today to correct deficiencies existing in the original paperwork. Lindgren is being represented by Nevada attorney Samuel A. Schwartz, who maintains a business office on the south Vegas Strip.
The refiling of the bankruptcy petition appears to be an attempt to wipe away millions in gambling debts, although the largest amount listed in the filing isn’t from gambling itself. Instead, it’s a tax lien filed by the IRS for more than $3.8 million against Lindgren, from income generated in the years 2003-2010, roughly the time he was a member of the prominent Team Full Tilt, as well being a minority owner of that site. With interest and penalties, the IRS debt alone may well be reckoned at more than $5 million.
Lindgren’s initial 2012 bankruptcy filing was challenged by his creditors, including Rational Holdings, then the owner of PokerStars and Full Tilt. Rational (and later Canada’s Amaya Gaming, which acquired both PokerStars and Full Tilt), learned that Lindgren had unpaid debts of more than $2.5 million to the original Full Tilt.
PokerStars was successful in having Lindgren’s 2012 bankruptcy filing dismissed, with today’s refiling bringing that old debt into the news once again. Not only did Lindgren fail to repay a $531,000 loan he received from Full Tilt, he also refused or was unable to repay an additional $2 million which had been “erroneously” deposited into his Full Tilt account, a duplicated $2 million payment made only one day after an authorized $2 million was made to Lindgren, that itself just days before 2011’s “Black Friday.”
Amaya has since refiled its civil claim against Lindgren in a separate Nevada case. In March, Amaya asked for a summary judgment against Lindgren. No final ruling has been made in that case.
However, the $2.531 million debt owed to Amaya is not the second-largest listing among the uncollateralized debt. Instead, a disputed debt of $2.817 million to business entity “CS RMR, LLC” is in that spot. That disputed debt is likely in connection with a well-publicized, multi-million-dollar sports betting debt which was revealed last year.
The list of major creditors reveals several other elements of Lindgren’s years-long financial collapse. All told, the list of the 20 largest creditors includes several high-profile poker-world connections, with most listed under the description “Professional Gambling Debt.” Fellow Team Full Tilt member Andy Bloch is poised to take the single largest hit, being owed over $1.1 million according to Lindgren’s own sworn filing. Fellow Team Full Tilt player John Juanda is also listed, but for a much smaller amount. Several other well-recognized names, including at least two other WSOP bracelet winners, are listed.
A foreclosure targeting a Florida home owned by Lindgren is also listed among the unsecured creditors’ listings. Orlando-based Ocwen Loan Servicing is listed for a foreclosed home-related debt of $331,000.
All told, including the $3.8 million and change owed to the IRS, Lindgren’s 20 largest creditors are cumulatively owed more than $11.3 million. Perhaps the oddest entries on the creditors’ list are matching $50,500 entries for debt owed to Erick’s wife Erica Lindgren, also a prominent poker player. The debts listed are for child and spousal support. The couple is not known to have separated or divorced, and Erica Lindgren’s address is the same as Erick’s, according to the bankruptcy filings..
The continued hard times for Lindgren come even as he enjoyed, just 12 days ago, his largest poker payday in several years. On June 15th, Lindgren finished seventh in the 2015 WSOP’s “Millionaire Maker” event, cashing for $193,675. It is not known (though likely) as to whether Lindgren had a backer for the event, or how much in actual proceeds he received for his final-table showing. One of Lindgren’s most prominent supporters in the wake of his gambling-debt problems has been his good friend Daniel Negreanu, who also just happens to be PokerStars’ mist prominent endorsed poker pro.
Lindgren has two WSOP bracelets and two WPT titles on his resume, along with over $9 million in career tournament earnings. However, Lindgren’s enormous sports betting habit continues to define his post-Full Tilt life; minus the $250,000 in monthly distributions he received from the site, he was unable to maintain his lavish gambler’s lifestyle. Unfortunately, as can be seen from his bankruptcy filings, he’s left it to others to pick up the tab for his own excesses.