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Poker News | Gambling and the Law

Federal Court Meeting Requested by Howard Lederer Regarding U.S. v. DiCristina Ruling

Black Friday
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Former Full Tilt Poker executive Howard Lederer's attorneys have requested to meet with the federal court regarding the federal ruling of last week that states poker does not fall under the Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA).

Judge Jack B. Weinstein ruled in the case of United States v. DiCristina that poker does not constitute "illegal gambling" from the testimony given by Dr. Randal Heeb. Heeb showed that poker is a game of skill through numerous examples. The charges against Lawrence DiCristina for running an illegal poker game were dropped.

For his involvement with Full Tilt Poker, Lederer is facing civil charges of money laundering and fraud; his argument is that if the court agrees with Weinstein, there is no legal basis for many of the charges. "How the government approaches a potential amended complaint, and how the defendants approach moving for its dismissal, are both matters which can be more efficiently handled if the parties have an opportunity to make the Court aware of their plans and views in light of DiCristina," attorney Elliot Peters wrote in a letter to Judge Leonard B. Sand.

Chris Ferguson and Rafe Furst, Full Tilt Poker board members who each have their own legal representation, requested to be included in the status conference.

The response by the government was received on Thursday, August 30th, 2012. "The Government respectfully disagrees with many of the conclusions reached in the DiCristina Order," the letter to Judge Sand said. In essence, the government doesn't believe a status conference between Lederer and the court is necessary at this time.

"The proper forum for addressing the merit and impact, if any, of that Order in this action would be for Messrs. Lederer, Furst, and Ferguson to argue in any motions to dismiss the second amended complaint what persuasive weight the DiCristina Order should be given, and for the Government to respond. Addressing these issues now in a status conference would be premature and unworkable."

Previous motions were filed by Ferguson, Lederer, and Furst to dismiss the amended civil charges arguing that Full Tilt Poker did not fall under the IGBA. It is the contention by Lederer's attorneys that the significance of the DiCristina verdict "cannot sensibly be overlooked."

September 10th, 2012, is the time line the government has to amend the civil complaints against Lederer, Ferguson, and Furst.

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