Reported by Yahoo Finance: a deal has been brokered by the United States Department of Justice which would see Full Tilt Poker (FTP) forfeit its assets to the U.S. government.* The news broke on Thursday, November 17th, 2011. Once the deal is finalized, the assets would then be sold to the French investment firm Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT) allowing GBT to buy FTP for $80 million.
The deal needs to be approved by FTP shareholders by a two-thirds vote. The deal states that paying back players outside the U.S. will be the responsibility of GBT and the U.S. players that are owed approximately $150 million will be paid back by the Department of Justice. Although all of the details are not known, in order to receive compensation U. S. players will have to apply through the DOJ.
The deal also states the civil forfeiture proceedings against FTP will be dismissed by the DOJ and that also removes the company's shareholders' liability. It will not, however, impact the individual proceedings against the individuals named in the indictments that include Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer, and Ray Bitar.
Wendeen Eolis, CEO of EOLIS Intl Group, reported in Poker Player Newspaper that she had spoken with Benham Dayanim, counsel for GBT, and the deal was confirmed. “The next step is to obtain an agreement from the Full Tilt Companies. I anticipate it will happen. It allows for players to be repaid, and resolves the FTP forfeiture action by the Government.”
Current FTP directors cannot hold shares in the company according to the deal.
PokerNews contacted the DOJ and was told: “We have no comment and are not confirming or denying an agreement.”
*According to Yahoo Finance, the story was under embargo.