French Takeover of Full Tilt a Possibility

October 4, 2011

French businessman Bernard Tapie seeks to take over Full Tilt Poker, online poker site that was closed down last April by the US Department of Justice. Attorney Behnam Dayanim said in an email yesterday, “The precise extent of ownership that Groupe Bernard Tapie may acquire remains to be finally determined, but the Groupe does intend to acquire a controlling interest.

Apparently Laurent Tapie, Bernard Tapie’s son, will be directly involved in running the company, according to Dayanim’s email.

As a condition of the agreement between the French investors and Full Tilt, Full Tilt Poker must settle its legal problems with the US DOJ. Last month, the online poker corporation was accused of stealing $440 million of players’ money and using it to pay board members; they were accused of operating a Ponzi scheme by the Southern Manhattan’s US attorney’s office.

They said that Full Tilt had “defrauded players by misrepresenting that their funds on deposit in online gambling accounts were safe, secure, and available for withdrawal at any time.”

The original lawsuit against Full Tilt that was filed back in April as part of a national crackdown on online poker was refilled on September 20 and now includes the accusations of a Ponzi scheme operation.

Full Tilt owes more than $300 million to players throughout the world—not just in the US.

The Tapie Group said last week that if talks continue, they may take a minority stake of 5 to 10% in the company. Dayanim says that they may offer players who are owed money stake in the company, which would be better than what they have now.


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