Full Tilt says it has reimbursed more than 80 percent of all petitions filed stemming from the network’s sudden closure on April 15, 2011, also known as poker’s Black Friday, and by the end of August another 2,000 former players will be made full.
According to John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the Garden City Group (GCG), the settlement and bankruptcy administrator handling the remissions process for Full Tilt, will pay out another outstanding $4 million in the coming months.
“The AFMLS (The US Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section) audit is complete for this wave, however, there still needs to be sign offs from SDNY (Southern District of NY), Dept. Treasury and DoJ,” Pappas posted on the TwoPlusTwo forums this week.
“I am told that funds should be available for players by the end of August, this however is a VERY conservative estimate (their words not mine) and that it is likely that remission could come much sooner,” Pappas explains.
It’s been a long and tumultuous road for the more than 40,000 Full Tilt victims who were out more than $100 million when the US Department of Justice forced the online network offline four years ago. Player account balances, winnings, credits and more effectively disappeared.
Although the vast majority were paid on February 28th, 2014, aka Green Friday, some 10,000 customers remained with either disputes or special circumstances that prevented them from receiving money in the first wave.
Since then, through the GCG, Full Tilt has completed an additional four waves of returns for a total of over $100 million in restitutions. The upcoming sixth remission will be for approximately 2,000 petitioners totaling $4 million who met the following criteria:
1. Petitioners who disputed their petition based on an incomplete withdrawal that has been subsequently matched to Full Tilt Poker (FTP) data
2. Petitioners who filed without login credentials that have been matched to FTP accounts and either claim the balance on record or fall within the de minimus thresholds previously identified by the DoJ
3. A very small number of pro players who provided appropriate documentation
4. Possibly some additional petitioners who confirmed their balances and have subsequently provided updated information to GCG as requested
Even after the sixth round of payments are completed this summer, roughly 7,000 customer petitions will remain, or about 15 percent of all claims filed. It remains unclear when, or if, those final outstanding balances will be refunded.
In July of 2012, PokerStars purchased Full Tilt, agreeing to pay $547 million over three years to the DoJ, a half a billion dollar forfeiture used to payback FTP US customers, plus another $184 million for non-US accounts.
Eight months later, Preet Bharara, the US attorney for the Southern District of NY, hired Garden City Group to administer the funds. And here we are in May of 2015, still trying to resolve this tangled online web consisting of millions of dollars in a seemingly perpetual state of limbo.