Rafe Furst case closed as he settles up; WPT Mazagan underway
There has been some significant progress in the legal case against former Full Tilt directors as Rafe Furst has now reached a settlement deal with the authorities. Plus, there is yet another WPT event up and running as the tour ventures to Africa for the second time this year.
Rafe Furst settles up
Whilst Full Tilt Poker is back up and running and most non US players have had their money returned, the legal case against several board and founder members of FTP is still in its early days. Numerous charges had been filed against Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, Ray Bitar and Rafe Furst including money laundering, wire fraud and conspiracy relating to Full Tilt fraud against players. One of those board members has now reached a resolution with the Southern District Of New York though as Rafe Furst has now settled up on the charges levelled at him.
Whilst specifically stating that he admits no wrongdoing relating to any of the charges, Furst has agreed that he must forfeit all funds in a trust account which were seized pending court judgement. In addition he has agreed to pay a further $150,000 which will be added to the pool of funds available to repay US customers. Seeing as Pokerstars is supposed to have already paid an amount that covers those player balances though, it would be interesting to know why this extra $150,000 has been asked for and what it will actually be used for.
Of the other three previously mentioned board members, Ray Bitar has already surrendered to the authorities and has been flown over to America to face trial. Lederer and Ferguson, on the other hand, seem intent on fighting the charges. Both are facing possible forfeiture of assets to the value of $42 million, and both have filed motions to dismiss the charges against them. Whilst each case should be judged on its own merits, the fact that Rafe Furst has taken the decision not to fight the charges might not bode especially well for Lederer and Ferguson.
After the monster turnout at WPT Montreal, the next stop on the tour in Morocco was always going to look insignificant in comparison but even so, organisers will still surely be a little disappointed at the attendance at WPT Mazagan. The luxurious surrounding of the Mazagan Beach And Golf Resort might have seemed like an ideal opportunity to get away from the wintery climes elsewhere in the world but only 146 players have turned up to play the main event. Of those 146, 81 players have now made it through to day 2 where play is currently underway. At the time of writing it’s very tight at the top with Clement Beauvois, Sebatien Compte, Leonard Truche and Guillaume Darcourt all within 10,000 chips of one another.
Further updates from Morocco will follow as we receive them.