Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.



September 2011

Government Has Nerve to Complain About Poker Ponzi Scheme

Written by , Posted in Big Government, The Courts, Criminal Justice & Tort, The Nanny State & A Regulated Society

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, a vile cretin, has decided – now that the government has hounded their business, inhibited their use of reliable financial transaction services, and stolen $100+ million from U.S. poker players – that Full Tilt is a “ponzi scheme” because it can’t pay out what it owes. Gee, I wonder why that might be!

On Tuesday, the U.S. Justice Department in a civil suit accused Messrs. Lederer, Ferguson and Furst, and another director of the company behind the Full Tilt Poker website, of defrauding thousands of online poker players out of more than $300 million that is still owed to them…

“Full Tilt was not a legitimate poker company, but a global Ponzi scheme,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement Tuesday. The U.S. government views online poker operations, at least those that cross state lines, as illegal.

…In a statement in August, Full Tilt acknowledged that it was having problems processing player money and said it lost $115 million to government seizure and $42 million it says was stolen by a third-party payment processor.

This thug has the gall to claim from his federal government perch that someone else is running a Ponzi scheme. What, is the government worried about the competition?

I’m not going to defend Full Tilt’s business practices, because I don’t know exactly what they did or did not do. It sounds like they made some questionable, shady and possibly criminal choices when they had reason to believe the noose was tightening. The government drove the market underground, and while individuals bear responsibility for their choices, so too must government accept responsibility for the consequences of not respecting fundamental individual rights. No matter the strength of their claims, it’s rather appalling for the government to seize $100 million in player funds from a company, then slap them with a crime for not having enough funds to met their obligations.

As a customer, I never expected that money deposited on poker sites sat in a bank account untouched anymore than I expect bank deposits to sit in a vault. But if Full Tilt was really scamming customers and not adequately prepared to meet their obligations, as significant evidence does suggest, then DoJ should have built a case on that basis, not stormed in and seized everything in reach from them and other sites. But all we really know now is that Full Tilt met all its obligations until the government thugs moved in for their cut, and then they didn’t. Even if the Feds can make their case, this still reeks of justification after the fact.

And just what is Preet Bharara doing with his ill-gotten goods, anyway? I don’t see him returning the money stolen by the government which is owed to me and millions more. And everything which the government has accused Full Tilt of doing, so too have they done with Social Security. Politicians promised that your involuntary deposits were safe, secure from the rest of the general funds, just as they say Tilt dishonestly claimed. It was a lie. Your money is gone, long ago spent on political pork and criminal vote-buying schemes. But don’t expect those indictments coming down anytime soon. So I ask: who are the bigger criminals here?