BUSINESS

US government disagree with Cardroom International claim to Full Tilt Poker software

TAGs: Cardroom International, Chris Ferguson, howard lederer, Ray Bitar

HangingJudgeThe US Government is disputing Cardroom International’s latest vendetta against Full Tilt Poker under which it’s claiming damages in relation to FTP’s software. LegalPokerSites.com reports that Cardroom abandoned their original case against PokerStars and FTP, which was in relation to conspiracy to violate Civil RICO statutes, “in favor of a new one” under which they claim ownership of the software that FTP runs on.

The story goes that FTP was established on or about October 15 2001 through BH Development (you’ll see how that’s relevant later on). BH Development recruited Jesus AKA Chris Ferguson as an investor who later introduced the likes of Howard Lederer and Ray Bitar to the company. A separate entity called Westerland was also involved in BH Development early on and was ready to invest before Jesus allied his investors, mentioned above, with an employee of Westerland – named as Perry Friedman. The group created by Ferguson is known in the filing as “The Jesus Coalition”.

A short lawsuit followed where, basically, Ferguson and pals took control of the FTP brand and BH Development launched Jet Set Poker with the same software. Jet Set Poker was ultimately unprofitable and eventually the software used by BH Development was relaunched as Cardroom.com in 2008. JSP Interactive, the company that owned Jet Set Poker, went bankrupt owing customers around $100k and the site states that it has “no relation to Cardroom operating the same or similar software”.

In the USAO reply, it states that $30million, which was set aside based on what Cardroom agreed was an “Inevitable judgment” on the original case. They add that the latest claims should be “rejected” as the claim has been amended and isn’t based on the original filing. Cardroom’s claims should have been filed with the original case with the USAO going on to state: “the software and related copyrights were joint but non-exclusive” and  “cannot assert a direct interest in Full Tilt’s joint but separate interests that were forfeited and transferred”.

With FTP set to relaunch soon this is seemingly the last throw of the dice for Cardroom and with the US government not on their side it looks unlikely they’ll have the success they’re seeking.

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