The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Luciaetta Ivey, ex-wife of eight-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Ivey, recently filed a petition with the Nevada Supreme Court upon discovering Ivey had donated money to the judge that handled their 2009 divorce case. Luciaetta Ivey claims a $5,000 contribution had been made to Family Court Judge Bill Gonzalez by Ivey three months after the divorce was granted to the couple. Luciaetta believes favoritism may have been involved in the original judgment.
The petition states that Luciaetta Ivey discovered her ex-husband had contributed $5,000 on April 17th, 2010, to Gonzalez's re-election campaign. What led Luciaetta to the conclusion of bias involved in the divorce settlement was that Ivey did not contribute to any other Family Court Judge.
"I was blindsided," Luciaetta Ivey told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "I was very upset. I was very disgusted."
Included in the petition is Luciaetta’s allegation that Ivey stopped paying spousal support in April 2011 - about the same time the U.S. Department of Justice seized the Full Tilt Poker domain name. When the divorce settlement was finalized, Ivey was a sponsored player at Full Tilt Poker and allegedly had a stake in Full Tilt's operator, Tiltware LLC. The petition also states (citing tax returns) that Ivey was purportedly receiving millions of dollars every year in payments and bonuses from the company; according to tax returns, the couple's "total community income" during 2008 was close to $8 million.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported David Chesnoff (Ivey's lawyer) claimed the marital settlement agreement "permitted Phil to cease (spousal support payments) as he was no longer receiving income from one of the businesses." According to the petition Chesnoff refused to comply when asked to provide documentation verifying that Phil No longer received payments from Full Tilt Poker.
Phil released a statement on May 31st, 2011, on his Facebook page saying that he was "deeply disappointed and embarrassed that Full Tilt players have not been paid money they are owed. He also said he would not play the World Series of Poker until customers had been repaid in full - and he made good on it.
A formal complaint against Tiltware for injunctive relief, declaratory relief, and damages exceeding $150 million was filed by Phil who said his reputation was severely damaged due to allegations that surrounded Full Tilt Poker, and the company did not notify him about warnings from the U.S. government regarding their uncertain legal standing within the U.S.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal has more on the story.