Howard Lederer's Counsel: 'Cartographer' Needed To Understand Full Tilt Poker Allegations Against Him
Attorneys Want The Entire Case Against Him Thrown Out
Accused fraudster Howard Lederer and his counsel want the case against him thrown out.
On Thursday, a motion was filled to dismiss the entirety of the government’s allegations and put a stop to their efforts to seize $42.5 million worth of his assets.
In a court document dated Nov. 15, 2012, Lederer’s attorneys say that the most recent federal civil complaint against their client and others “is so structurally complex that it takes a cartographer to understand what is being alleged and against whom.”
Also included in the updated dismissal request is a reference to a recent ruling by a New York judge in a unrelated case, which referred to poker as a game of skill. Lederer’s attorneys think that the ruling makes one of the allegations against him “dead on arrival.”
The government first unsealed an indictment against 11 individuals associated with offshore poker sites in April 2011. Lederer’s name wasn’t formally brought into the mix until Sept. 2011, when the DOJ called the company a Ponzi scheme.. About a year later, the feds released a second amended civil complaint against Lederer in order to strengthen their case. The more than 100-page document also includes details on where the alleged dirty money went.
The defense gripes that the government “devote[d] an astounding 71 paragraphs to detailing [Lederer’s] assets.” The government wants money from Lederer’s bank accounts, seven pieces of real estate, his 401K retirement account and a number of high-end cars.
The assets are allegedly “traceable” to illegal activity in offering Full Tilt Poker games to customers within the United States. Prosecutors also say that Lederer played a key role in the alleged heist of hundreds of millions of dollars of player money.
Lawyers for the defendant say that the feds have weak and “shifting legal theories.”
There is no date set for when Leonard Sand, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, will hear the motion. According to a court document, prosecutors have until Dec. 21 to reply, and then defense attorneys have a deadline of Jan. 11, 2013 to respond again.
In the meantime, Lederer has been back at the poker tables in Las Vegas. His return and comments made in a video interview with PokerNews created an uproar within the game’s community. Some are also questioning why the feds aren’t pursuing criminal charges.
Former Full Tilt CEO Ray Bitar, Lederer’s alleged accomplice, faces civil penalties as well as the possibility of life in prison if convicted of the charges against him.
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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