One of the Full Tilt Poker owners and a poker icon Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, who along with the other Full Tilt founders and shareholders was charged with fraud and money laundering by the U.S Department of Justice (DoJ) has filed a number of motions in his defense. Ferguson filed a number of legal papers on Tuesday, November 14, with the United States District Court Southern District of New York through his attorney Jonathan Harris, including one to bring Ian J. Imrich on board pro hac vice to Ferguson's defense counsel.
Pro hac vic is a Latin term used in the legal language meaning “for this one particular occasion.” This means that Ian J. Imrich will join Ferguson's defense counsel even though his Law Office is outside the jurisdiction of the state that the trial is taking place in. According to the law dictionary: “The phrase 'pro hac vice' usually refers to an out-of-state lawyer who has been granted special permission to participate in a particular case, even though the lawyer is not licensed to practice in the state where the case is being tried.”
Ferguson's attorney Jonathan Harris commented on bringing Imrich into the case: “I have found Mr. Imrich to be a skilled attorney and a person of integrity. He is experienced in federal practice and familiar with the Federal Rules of Procedure . . . Accordingly, I am pleased to move the admission of Ian J. Imrich, pro hac vice.”
Ferguson also claimed his rights to the bank accounts that the Department of Justice seized following the indictments of April 15th in order to return funds to Full Tilt Poker players. Ferguson argues that the money in these bank accounts associated with various companies partially owned by him should be returned.
In his motions Ferguson refers to the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Assets Forfeiture Actions – the same laws employed by his partner Ray Bitar who challenged the DoJ's forfeiture allegations in September. The laws claim that the defendant, in this case Filco Ltd., “has right, title, or interest to all funds in the following accounts.” Two bank accounts are mentioned in the document which funds are requested to be returned: “As an authorized agent of claimant Filco Ltd., I, CHRIS FERGUSON, hereby verify that the foregoing facts are true and correct and made under penalty of perjury.”
A number of other companies associated with Ferguson and Full Tilt were mentioned in the papers filed by Jonathan Harris as well as their bank accounts. Vantage LTD. and Kolyma Corporation A.V.V's bank accounts seized by the DoJ with a total of $98,276,540 were among those claimed by Ferguson. Another two companies involved are Tiltware LLC. and Pocket Kings Ltd. with Ferguson claiming a number of Tiltware accounts totaling $196,553,080 and 11 Pocket Kings' accounts.
Ferguson's statements claim that the money in the mentioned accounts legally belongs to these companies and that the accounts in question “contain funds deposited by Full Tilt Poker players to be transferred to Vantage and/or Kolyma or funds deposited by Vantage and/or Kolyma that were in the process of being returned to Full Tilt Poker players.”
These documents were filed immediately after the court's November 11, 2011 decision to dismiss the four Full Tilt Poker shareholders Ferguson, Bitar, Howard Lederer, and Rafe Furst from the obligation to answer the civil complaint in person.