RICO Suit against Full Tilt Poker Dismissed

By Maria McCoyGoogle

Leonard Burke Sand, the federal judge from the U.S. District Court of New York’s Southern District, dismissed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) civil suit against Full Tilt Poker.  The RICO act expands the penalties for criminal offences committed as an organization.  According to the alleged claim, Full Tilt Poker and ten other individuals colluded to obtain $150 million in user account funds; the civil claim says that the online poker site knowingly froze their accounts prior to the U.S. Department of Justice shut-down on April 15, 2011.  Sand ruled that the claim of the plaintiff representing the account holders, Steve Segal, was too attenuated.

Judge Sand further elaborated that whether the freezing of the accounts was a result of malfeasance on part of the operators or a result of the U.S. Attorney’s Office decision remained unclear.  There are five units against which players are taking action; the dismissal applies to two of the units and the players can continue to move forward against three.  If the plaintiff amends the claims they will be entitled to resubmit their suit against the first two units.

top usa online casino Full Tilt Poker was originally shut down by the U.S. Department of Justice along with usa online casinos PokerStars and Absolute Poker.  The three were shut down for violating the 1961 Federal Wire Act which at the time was understood to prohibit any and all electronic transmission of funds in the context of online gambling or sports betting.  Ironically, just eight months later the Legal Council of the USDOJ reexamined the Wire Act and decided that the Criminal Division’s inclusion of online casino games was erroneous. 

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