US Accuses Full Tilt Poker Of Being Global Ponzi Scheme

Looks like Full Tilt Poker just went bust. The Department of Justice has accused the site’s proprietors of operating a “global Ponzi scheme” in which the owners got paid with money they told players was being safely held.

In a statement, the DOJ said the site “cheated and abused its own players to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars… insiders lined their own pockets with funds picked from the pockets of their most loyal customers while blithely lying to both players and the public alike about the safety and security of the money deposited with the company.”

The government says that after freezing Full Tilt Poker’s operations, US customers are still owed $160 million.

It seems it’s pretty easy to get called a Ponzi scheme these days. “Full Tilt Poker (apparently) had less cash than deposits. But banks do the same thing,” NYT’s @fivethirtyeight tweeted.”That’s not, intrinsically, a problem… Problems: (i) FTP may have misled players about this (ii) risk of “run on the bank” was high. But calling it a Ponzi scheme is spin…”

U.S. Alleges Full Tilt Poker Was Ponzi Scheme [WSJ]