A class action lawsuit has been filed by four poker players against Full Tilt Poker executives Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson. The lawsuit alleges that both men 'exercised unlawful dominion and control" over players' funds that were held in Full Tilt Poker accounts before and after Black Friday.
The lawsuit was filed on Thursday, April 12th, in Nevada and is requesting the defendants refund player funds; the lawsuit also asks for punitive damages in an amount close to $150 million. The plaintiffs are claiming that Full Tilt Poker misled U.S. players by making them believe their funds were safe and they have been wrongfully denied access to their funds that were deposited on Full Tilt Poker.
Vegasinc.com reports the lawsuit also claims that Howard Lederer received "profit sharing" payments and distributions that are estimated at $42 million; some of it was possibly loaned from Full Tilt Poker. The lawsuit additionally claims that Chris Ferguson received $85 million and some of that amount could have been in the form of loans.
The lawsuit reads, “Additionally, defendants approved distributions and loans to the other owners of Full Tilt Poker from funds directly traceable to the player accounts.” And, "The distributions and loans to Lederer, Ferguson and the other Full Tilt Poker owners were from intermingled funds containing monies from the player accounts.”
Steve Segal, Todd Terry, Robin Hougdahl, and Nick Hammer are the lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Last June these same four players filed a class-action complaint against the persons and companies associated with Full Tilt Poker. The following were listed in the suit also: Lederer, Ferguson, Ray Bitar, Nelson Burtnick, Phil Ivey, John Juanda, Jennifer Harman-Traniello, Phil Gordon, Andy Bloch, Erick Lindgren, Erik Seidel, Gus Hansen, Allen Cunningham, Mike Matusow, and Patrik Antonius.
U.S. District Judge Leonard B. Sand* dismissed the lawsuit in January and said he did not believe the charges alleged in the class action complaint had any direct cause in the confiscation of player funds.
*Note of interest on U.S. District Judge Leonard B. Sand, he is also the judge that signed the amended complaint against Full Tilt founders and granted extensions for Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker.