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Chris Ferguson’s Accounts and Attacking the FTP Deal
According to Subject: Poker, Chris Ferguson has distributed close to $60 million from Full Tilt Poker’s accounts to ones held by Pocket Kings for him.
In September, 2011 the United States Department of Justice amended its civil complaint, charging the Full Tilt Poker director board – Howard Lederer, Ray Bitar, Chris Ferguson and Rafe Furst, above all – with stealing around $443 million from the company’s players. They are accused of the theft of $41,856,010, $40,954,781, $25 million and $11,706,323, respectively.
A late investigation from Subject: Poker reveals that Ferguson is likely to have distributed a lot more than $25 million from the FTP accounts; since April, 2007 he seems to have transferred around $60 million to accounts Pocket Kings, Ltd. held for him. From this amount, about $45 million he spent or saved, leaving approximately 14.3 million that was used to cover FTP’s post-Black Friday expenses.
Most of the distributions from FTP went to Ferguson’s accounts created by Pocket Kings but controlled by the player himself. For example, in April, 2007 $400,000 was transferred to his own account while $900,000 went to Pocket Kings. In March, 2011 $1.9 million was transferred, split to $600,000 (own) and $1.3 million (PK). Summing up these transactions, Ferguson distributed around $25.2 million to his own account (which approximate amount can be found in the DoJ complaint) and an additional $60 million to his Pocket Kings accounts, in total.
Over the past 4 years, Ferguson has been doing a great job spending the money from his Pocket Kings accounts. Around $3.5 million was transferred to his other personal accounts; $3.5 million went to his attorney Ian Imrich ($2 million of which being designated to be forwarded to Ferguson himself); another $3.5 million was lent to other FTP owners with the condition of its return being transferred to other accounts of Ferguson’s choice; $352,500 went to charity; he bought shares from other holders for $10 million; $17.75 million went to owners whose role in running the company is unclear ($7 million of which being transferred just before Black Friday); $2 million was spent on his personal investments; $160,000 went to acquaintances; $2.38 million was transferred to a Hawaii-based real estate agency; finally, an additional $2 million could not be identified by S:P.
Based on the online poker site’s information, these distributions were all initiated by Chris Ferguson or Ian Imrich. The remaining $14.3 million was spent on, as mentioned before, Full Tilt Poker’s expenses after Black Friday – apparently, with Ferguson’s permission.
Attack on the deal with Groupe Bernard Tapie
Ferguson and Imrich does not seem to be willing to give up that $14.3 million, however. In fact, they are even threatening with jeopardising the FTP forfeiture. The original deal with GBT included paying Ferguson $14 million in passive shares but the DoJ refused, making it a condition that members of the former executive board could in no form participate in the new Full Tilt Poker, so this offer was withdrawn. Ferguson and Imrich still believe, though, that they are eligible for this money and say that they are willing to take legal action in order to slow down or even halt the FTP forfeiture. As Subject: Poker reports, however, no such move has been made so far, therefore Ferguson is not behind the progress being so slow.
The site contacted Imrich and Ferguson who were not available for comment on this news. In case there is an update, we will inform you.
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