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Negreanu: 'Justice' If Howard Lederer Goes To Jail

Former Full Tilt Owner Has Until Nov. 16 To File Motion To Dismiss Civil Case


Lederer playing poker at Bellagio last week. Photo from @RealCrazyMike Twitter account

Daniel Negreanu’s vitriol directed at former Full Tilt Poker owner Howard Lederer was back in action Sunday morning. Negreanu expressed sentiment that has been at times visible in cyberspace since the Department of Justice called Full Tilt a “global Ponzi scheme” last year.

Right after citing a Pokerfuse article that highlighted an apparent inconsistency in Lederer’s recent interview statements, Negreanu remarked publicly to his 202,000 followers:

While Lederer, Chris Ferguson and Rafe Furst face civil litigation from the government, Ray Bitar, the former CEO of the firm, faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted of the charges against him. The first three men are accused of being involved with the fraud and could forfeit millions to the DoJ, but they aren’t looking at any possible jail time for their alleged roles.

In September 2011, Card Player asked Dr. Henry Pontell, a white-collar crime expert at the University of California, Irvine, about accused Ponzi schemers not facing criminal charges.

“I’ve never heard of a ‘non-criminal Ponzi scheme’ before, but that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t possibly exist,” Pontell said. “Civil charges may be filed where there’s not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Ponzi is a descriptive and pejorative term, but it’s really about a specific charge for fraud — criminal or civil.”

The complaint implicating Lederer was amended last month, as the government detailed where it says player money went. Prosecutors also tacked on more accusations of unlawful activity perpetrated by Lederer. He could lose his multimillion-dollar Las Vegas mansion, one of a handful of his properties purchased with alleged-fraud money.

Altogether, Lederer is potentially on the hook for about $42.5 million worth of assets that the feds say are “traceable” to illegal activities in running Full Tilt.

According to a court document, attorneys for Lederer, Ferguson and Furst plan to seek dismissal of the government’s most recent amended complaint against them. The defendants have until Nov. 16, 2012 to file the motion. Prosecutors have until Dec. 21 to reply, and then the defendants have a deadline of Jan. 11, 2013 to respond.

Negreanu’s Tweet sparked more than 40 Retweets and garnered a handful of responses, one of which was from poker pro Todd Terry, who is part of a class-action lawsuit filed this spring.

Card Player followed up with Terry, a former criminal defense attorney in New York City.

“It’s apparent that the [United States Attorneys’ Office] has made a decision, for whatever reason, not to indict Howard,” Terry said. “He could have been indicted on Black Friday and when they filed the amended civil complaint. It’s possible that his hubris filled [public relations] campaign will cause them to change their minds.”

“It’s also possible that one day Ray will start cooperating and give the feds evidence against him that they can’t ignore,” Terry added.

Despite the civil case and continued outcry from the poker community, Lederer returned to the poker tables this past week. He has been playing high-stakes poker with some of the players that the company once used to market and promote its brand.

Lederer has not been found responsible in a court of law for Full Tilt’s insolvency or failure to repay players after it was shutdown in American cyberspace on Black Friday.

While players outside the U.S. will be reunited with their money thanks to a bailout from PokerStars, American victims are still waiting to hear from the DoJ on how they can ask for compensation. The DoJ did not return Card Player’s request for an update this week.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus



almost 2 years ago

the fact that doyle and other high stakes poker players will play with howard speaks volomes on their own intergity . they have none


almost 2 years ago

Where has Howard the coward been hiding out? So is he playing now in Vegas? Does he still live there? I used to think he was a good guy but I guess you never know.


almost 2 years ago

anyone else tired of canadien, pokerstars pro daniel chiming in on the american justice system? i dont know, im just tired of him speaking like he knows all, hes a poker player not a lawyer..shut up already and lets let the united states department of justice to the talking


almost 2 years ago

I can't tell if Daniel's got an insane amount of spite out for Lederer, or if he's getting paid to indirectly threaten anyone that's going against Lederer in court...


almost 2 years ago

I can't tell if Negreanu has an insane amount of spite out for Lederer for whatever reason, or if someones paying Negreanu a generous amount of cash to indirectly threaten anyone going against Lederer...


almost 2 years ago

Negreanu is a funny guy. He just keeps hammering people that he personally hates. He runs a hustle with Poker Stars every day of his life but thats ok. I dont like any of these people .They are all punks and hustlers. He leads people to believe that they can win at poker but he 100% knows they can not. I could give a #$%# if Leaderer or any of these other hustlers go to jail. Danny boy likes pouring salt on the wound when others are having a tough time. I hope Howard or Annie knocks him the fxxx out. I miss watching him lose on high stakes poker. He couldnt sniff Durrrrs jock.Poker is what it always has been . Mostly scum bags and misfits. Not everyone but a very high percentage are just dirt.


almost 2 years ago

Howard Lederer is laughing all the way to the bank. He stole the money and is going to get away with it. Surprise, surpise another dishonest gambler. Stop ranting about it Daniel (and others), he and many others (inculding the absoulte poker peoble) won


almost 2 years ago

Daniels right and is just calling it like it is.....i used to think that Hellmuth was the king of those without shame but now i think that Lederer has overtaken that throne. Frankly,he belongs in jail.


almost 2 years ago

Since when did Negreanu become judge and jury? The United States Attorney's office has chosen not to indict Howard Lederer. Get over it.

Does anyone think Negreanu knows more about this case than them? Negreanu should stop his irresponsible, irrational vitriol towards Howard before someone gets hurt.

You'd think Howard was banging Negreanu's girlfriend or something. The fact that Doyle Brunson is playing poker with Howard means a lot more than the nonsense coming out of Negreanu's diarrhea mouth.


almost 2 years ago

This is typical of some poker players who talk crap at the poker table because they know they have some security to protect them. I used to think Negreanu was a decent guy but he is no different than Lederer. He is probably jealous he didn't get a piece of the Full Tilt Poker. Let the courts sort it out and stop acting like you have a law degree.


almost 2 years ago

Apparently the only one that needs to be silenced is "Jim2." It usually takes a "scumbag" to know one. You need to chill with the self-righteous shtick and be conscious of the fact that poker is a game for the public. The fact that Brunson or any other pro plays at a nose-bleed limit game with Lederer is not guilty by association. Do you expect Howard to play 3/6 limit holdem at the Mirage...of course he's going to be playing in games with the big boys. SMH. WTH?

Kudos for Negreanu...Someone has to stick up for those who were shafted. But to attack the other players for simply being at a table with Ferguson or Lederer is preposterous. Playing poker is these guys' life-blood...what are they supposed to do? Get up, walk away and not make money just because a reprehensible person sits down to play with them? Come on guys...think!


almost 2 years ago

I think Daniel is trying to get super famous from Lederers escapades.. that's all it is.. hes using it as a media ploy to gain attention and notoriety. He already had notoriety. I am a huge DN fan, and the more he speaks out and barbeques him further, the more I get away from him being my favorite. Howard is no saint in the whole procedure.. hes either grossly inept as a leader, or a thief that was in on it, that's really the only thing that makes sense.

Do I think Daniels opinions are correct? At highly likelyhood yes. There is always something else going on behind the scenes however, but he is really pushing his own political agenda through the Howard debate. Daniel, u already got your fame man, you dont need to become the poker messiah and ruin it while your at it.


over 1 year ago

I think it's good that Negreanu is speaking up about this. One of the most frustrating things about the MLB steroid scandal is that none of the players (except Canseco!!!) will say anything about it for fear of being made a pariah. It's refreshing that someone has enough integrity to separate themselves from the cheaters and have their voice heard. If he doesn't speak up then all you hear is Lederer defending himself, and if he really was involved you wouldn't know it. As for a Canadian talking about American law, the 2nd Amendment says that he can say whatever he wants, you decide for yourself if it's worth listening to.


1 year ago

FYI. You switched your amendments around (somebody was not paying very close attention in government class). The amendment to which you refer that Its the 1st Amendment that guarantees the right to free speech and freedom of expression. The 2nd Amendment protects the right to own a firearm.


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