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Are US prosecutors closing in on Full Tilt?

TAGs: daniel tzvetkoff, Jason Newitt

US-Prosecutors-Full-TiltAccording to a report on the Wicked Chops Poker site, former Full Tilt employee Jason Newitt has been served with a subpoena by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The precise reason for the subpoena has not been made public, but given that Newitt had launched a lawsuit against Full Tilt for being ‘unfairly fired’ and for the company ‘unfairly’ halting his distribution payments, the NY prosecutors may be hoping that Newitt feels no great sense of loyalty toward protecting Full Tilt’s secrets.

In possibly related news, it’s been revealed that disgraced former payment processor Daniel Tzvetkoff was quietly released from his prison cell on Aug. 23 following closed-door (nudge-nudge, wink-wink) court proceedings. Australia’s Gold Coast News spoke to a former FBI agent who claims that the dramatic turnaround in the prosecutors’ attitude (they’d fought Tzvetkoff’s previous bail applications tooth and nail) suggests that Tzvetkoff has “seen the light”, or, as the atheists among us prefer to say, turned informant. After all, being held in a ‘safe house’ sure beats strolling on down to those group showers every morning.

Given that Full Tilt was one of the more prominent companies suing Tzvetkoff and his former company Intabill for allegedly absconding with millions of their dollars, you can see how easily prosecutors might have turned this situation to their advantage. Not only does Tzvetkoff have loads of Full Tilt’s financial dealings on file, he may also have something of an axe to grind. Plus, there’s that whole matter of not being anally violated by your cellmate every couple hours…

So, is this a full court press by the Southern District of New York against Full Tilt? After all, the SDNY were the folks who previously brought you the Douglas Rennick/Account Services prosecution (in which Full Tilt accounts featured prominently) for which Rennick was just sentenced to a suspiciously lenient six-months probation. Rumors also swirled in the spring about a possible Manhattan grand jury indictment coming down on FT principals Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer.

Beyond Full Tilt, what might this portend for the Cake Network and their very bold move in facilitating the Tribal Gaming Network? After all, while the tribes might view the country’s first interstate poker network as taking place on their ‘independent’ turf, and that might be enough to keep the Feds off their back, there’s little guarantee the Feds will view Cake as similarly invulnerable. Watch this space…

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