Department of Justice Won't Confirm Agreement with Groupe Bernard Tapie
Also Wouldn't Say How a Possible Reimbursement Process Would Work
The Justice Department still has nothing to say four days after the Wall Street Journal and CNN Money reported that a lawyer for a French investor said the group inked an agreement with authorities to purchase Full Tilt Poker.
“We have no comment and are not confirming or denying an agreement with Groupe Bernard Tapie,” a spokeswoman with the DOJ told Card Player on Monday.
Groupe Bernard Tapie would reportedly pay $80 million for the beleaguered online poker site as long as it settles its civil case.
If the deal were to finalize, U.S. players owed an estimated $150 million would have to seek compensation from the DOJ. Groupe Bernard Tapie reportedly would restart the company’s non-U.S. operations and allow the payout of its foreign player base.
The DOJ would not say how a possible compensation process would work under a deal with Groupe Bernard Tapie. In late September, the office, without mentioning a takeover of the company, said that “the return of forfeited funds to victims of the alleged fraud may be possible.”
Jeff Ifrah, attorney for Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar, told ESPN that the deal with the DOJ would allow the poker operator to re-enter the U.S. market should Internet gaming be legalized.
It is unclear if the company, which previously had ties with the Poker Players Alliance and Nevada-based Fertitta Interactive, could be found suitable to offer games to Americans in the future.
Bernard Tapie, former chairman of the investment group, spent time in prison in 1997 after being convicted of bribing soccer players to throw a match and was also convicted for tax fraud in a non-related case.
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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