PokerStars Acquires Full Tilt Poker Assets, DOJ Agreement Complete

UPDATED  After more than a year of wondering if their account balances at Full Tilt Poker would ever be worth more than monopoly money, the site’s online player base may breathe easier today, as an agreement has been finalized that will allow them to be reunited with their online bankrolls.

The agreement, approved by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, allows Full Tilt to voluntarily forfeit all assets to the US government. Such forfeiture is contingent that the USAO then transfer certain of those assets to PokerStars. In return for the forfeiture, the government agrees that all civil forfeiture claims and money laundering charges against the Full Tilt companies, as documented in the amended civil complaint, be dismissed with prejudice. There are absolutely no conditions that require any civil or criminal charges lodged against any Full Tilt related individuals to be dismissed or otherwise resolved, in whole or in part, as part of this agreement.       

Provided for in the deal, PokerStars agrees to forfeit the amount of $ 547,000,000. to the US government over three years. By doing so, all civil forfeiture and money laundering claims, as specified in the amended civil complaint against all named PokerStars companies shall be dismissed with prejudice. No criminal charges currently facing PokerStars related individuals are in any way resolved as part of the agreement, and these charges were never a part of the negotiation for this settlement.  Once the asset transfer has been completed, and within a period not to exceed 90 days, PokerStars committed to make available for immediate withdrawal, without limitation or restriction, other than required by applicable law, the online poker account balances of non USA Full Tilt Poker players. Such an amount is expected to equal approximately $ 184 million in total. While compensating Full Tilt’s  non US players for any other assets, like FTP points, etc., over their balances is not a part of the agreement, I was told by PokerStars sources that the company plans to have fair resolution for these assets. The settlement was negotiated by Anand Raman, John Caroll and David Zornow of Skadden,Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom for the PokerStars companies.

U.S. players with account balances outstanding, will be compensated separately. U.S. victims of the offenses allegedly committed by the FTP companies or other members of the FTP group as put forth in the amended civil complaint, shall have the opportunity to file a petition for remission with the U.S. Department of Justice, Asset Forfeiture Money Laundering Service (AFMLS), taking into regard the PokerStars forfeited funds, to seek compensation for their losses. The value of the remission applications is expected to be approximately $ 150 million. For clarity of compensation purposes, US players and “rest of world” players shall be categorized based on their verified and approved locations on the Full Tilt site as of June 29, 2011. 1

In order to effectuate the purchase of assets alongside the corporate civil settlement, Isai Scheinberg will, within 45 days of closing, withdraw from and not serve in any managerial or director role at any PokerStars company, including any entity that may own or operate any of the forfeited Full Tilt assets or their present or future affiliates. This part of the agreement may be revisited by the parties, without order of the court, upon resolution of the Black Friday criminal case.

Further part of the agreement, neither the Full Tilt Poker companies or PokerStars companies admit to any wrongdoing, nor do either of the companies affirm, or the government deny, the merits of any charges. Once the forfeiture is completed, the domain name use agreement of both companies will be terminated and the in rem arrest warrants will no longer apply. The government agrees to petition that the restraining orders be lifted. Both Full Tilt Poker companies and PokerStars companies, or any present or future entities controlled by those companies or their principals, cannot offer online poker for real money play in the USA until and unless it is permissible under relevant law. Neither company can ever make any claim vs the USA, the FBI or the USAO SDNY resulting from the forfeiture or any properties seized relative to the civil charges. Full Tilt agrees to withdraw all claims against any seized or otherwise restrained assets. PokerStars agrees to release any claims to accounts of non-PokerStars entities. The value of PokerStars accounts restrained as a result of the civil action will be released by the DOJ.

The Full Tilt Companies forfeiting their assets include:  B.T. Management, Dromane Limited, Filco (Holdings) Limited, Filco Limited, Fitzroche Limited, Graybel Limited, Irolo (Italy) Limited, Kolyma Corporation AVV, Ludus Limited, Cyprus, Media Management GmbH, My West Nook Limited ,Oxalic Limited, Orinic Limited, Pocket Kings Consulting Limited, Pocket Kings Limited, Ranston Limited, Real Media Limited, Rekop Limited, Rosbull Limited, Rullan Joyce Limited, Tiltproof Limited, Tiltware LLC., Tiltware Merchandise Services LLC. and  Vantage Limited.  The settlement was negotiated by Jeff Ifrah of Ifrah Law, Barry Boss and Anne Madonia of Cozen O’Connor for the Full Tilt Companies.

The forfeited assets include:

  • Accounts receivable or monies owed on date of forfeiture or later
  • All gaming data and history relating to the business, computer records, database, operating reports, and any reconciliation files
  • All tangible property
  • Documents  that are used in, or intended to be used in, the Full Tilt business
  • Any rights under NDA’s
  • All rights of supplier agreements, etc
  • All cash and equivalents in bank accounts etc
  • All intellectual property
  • All other intangible property
  • Customer and supplier databases since inception of the company
  • All present and potential claims against any third party
  • Any other assets of the Full Tilt Group used in the operation of business not expressly excluded

At this time, a specific date for relaunch of the former Full Tilt Poker site is unclear, but PokerStars sources confirm that it’s a priority to see this happen as soon as possible, certainly within the prescribed 90 day time frame as set forth in the agreement.

For the past many many months, all parties have been restricted from releasing any public information regarding the negotiations until every part of the settlement had been executed and accepted by the court. Diamond Flush Poker has been mindful not to overstep those boundaries to protect the continuation of the negotiations which could have been put in jeopardy, or any other sanctions that may have occurred by a premature release of information.

 Edit 8/1/12 : adjust wording for clarity

Footnotes

  1. Update edit reflects change in qualification dates from April 14 to June 29, 2011 to determine ROW or U.S. players. Apologies for any confusion.
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20 Responses to PokerStars Acquires Full Tilt Poker Assets, DOJ Agreement Complete

  1. who ever says:

    yipiiiiiii
    thx alot DF.

  2. Kevin says:

    Partytime. Thank you Pokerstars (as always) and Diamond Flush Poker for such fantastic reporting.

  3. kerpowski says:

    Great news. Thanks for all the information you’ve been putting out over the past year. Just one quick question for you:

    ” While compensating Full Tilt’s non US players for any other assets, like FTP points, etc., over their balances is not a part of the agreement, I was told by PokerStars sources that the company plans to have fair resolution for these assets.”

    Your statement is ambiguous regarding compensation for US players FTP points. Is there any information whether the fair resolution described covers both US and RoW players?

    Thanks.

  4. Albert Khoury says:

    It’s about time ….congratulation .

  5. Albert Khoury says:

    Good news and it’s about time open minded.

  6. Henry says:

    This is great news for everyone who has money stuck on FTP. I’m also happy to see the people that has caused this are not just “free” to go and the dismissal of criminal charges were never part of the negotiations.

  7. Brian C says:

    Thank you DF for all of your work.

  8. Jordan says:

    What does it mean that US players can apply to be paid? Are we guaranteed to receive our full balances?

  9. R1chard R0rty says:

    Seems like good news.

    > U.S. victims of the offenses allegedly committed by the FTP companies or other members of the FTP group as put forth in the amended civil complaint, shall have the opportunity to file a petition for remission with the U.S. Department of Justice, Asset Forfeiture Money Laundering Service (AFMLS), taking into regard the PokerStars forfeited funds, to seek compensation for their losses.

    Any details at this early stage about the procedure U.S. players should follow to avail themselves of this remedy?

    >While compensating Full Tilt’s non US players for any other assets, like FTP points, etc., over their balances is not a part of the agreement, I was told by PokerStars sources that the company plans to have fair resolution for these assets.

    Any indication of whether U.S. players will be compensated in any way for FTP points or Iron Man medals and standing?

  10. Paudie says:

    Great news and it was important that players got their money back first and foremost. I can’t help but ask if there is any word on affiliates or non players getting paid although I have no financial interest in it?

  11. Ryan says:

    Great news, thanks for all your hard work.

  12. Chris says:

    $547,000,000 is owed to U.S. Players who have to apply for a petition to remission form to receive their money. The value of the remission applications is approximately $150,000,000. Does this mean that we will have to pay roughly 27% (547/150) of our balance as an application fee in order to receive it?

  13. Rick says:

    A Great day for Online Poker! The only way is up now.

  14. jacques ludman says:

    Is the whole $547 million considered “forfeit” (DoJ keeps it in asset forfeiture) or is some of it a “fine” (goes back to US treasury)?

  15. Randy says:

    Thank you for your hard work in covering this story in the past year. It’s much appreciated

  16. nick says:

    I want to know if theyll launch a us version of the site with just play money avaiable for us until they let us use real. I also want to know if they will keep the same deep play money tables that they use to. Dont give us some 100/200 pokerstars version of the site.

  17. etypy says:

    I do not know if this a good solution for Pokerstars, but the good that money will come back to players

  18. PokerChic78 ny says:

    THIS IS AWESOME! NO OTHER POKER SITE HAS EVER BEEN THE SAME!

  19. jim glavopoulos says:

    great news will Australian players recover their money ?

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