Former Full Tilt Poker board member Rafael ‘Rafe’ Furst has settled the civil charges brought against him by the US Department of Justice over his role in the activities that brought criminal indictments down on FTP, PokerStars and Absolute Poker on Black Friday, April 15, 2011. Furst’s name was added – along with Howard Lederer and Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson – to the amended civil complaint filed against the FTP principals in September 2011. Lederer and Ferguson continue to file DoJ-taunting motions in a bid to have the civil charges against them dismissed, but Furst has opted instead for a clean break (if not an entirely clean getaway).
According to the settlement order (read it here) first uncovered by poker blogger Diamond Flush, Furst admits no “culpability, liability or guilt,” maintaining his stance that he was “unaware of any wrongful activity” at FTP and equally unaware that the online poker company “had become unable to satisfy its player account liabilities.” (Shortly after Furst’s name was added to the amended civil complaint, he posted an open letter on Emergentfool.com, stating that “from a moral, personal and interpersonal perspective, I feel I’ve got nothing to hide.”) The settlement prohibits Furst from working for or deriving any benefit from a US-facing online gambling company, at least until the day when US lawmakers no longer consider such activity the legal equivalent of impaling headless babies on roasting spits. (Thanks for nothing, Cormac McCarthy.)
In exchange for settling the civil charges, Furst has agreed to waive any claim on funds in bank accounts seized by the DoJ on Black Friday. The civil complaint had sought forfeiture of $11,706,323.96 in “alleged criminal proceeds” Furst was said to have personally derived from his FTP activities, but it’s unclear exactly how much of this the DoJ actually possesses. Furst is also required to pay a further $150k out of pocket. All these benjamins will be dumped into the communal pot from which the DoJ will be remitting the account balances of FTP’s former US players at some point in the new year (hopefully).