Roughly 2,000 U.S. Full Tilt players stand to collect $5.7 million this month in the ongoing remission process that continues to chug along slowly, but surely.
The latest announcement comes courtesy of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), who relayed the information via Facebook ahead of the official posting typically made by Garden City Group, the claims administrator tasked with getting player funds into the hands of the rightful recipients. PPA executive director John Pappas spoke with a Department of Justice (DoJ) representative assigned to the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section and learned that another reimbursement batch has been approved and will land in the bank accounts of claimants within weeks.
The players to receive funds in this newest batch include “petitioners with disputed funds, those with missing info and those who they consider ‘new petitioners’ (e.g. did not file with valid log-in credentials).” For those keeping score at home, over 40,000 claimants will have received close to $110 million when this latest wave of reimbursement arrives via ACH.
Not Many Claims Left
Still waiting for funds are about 3,800 former U.S. Full Tilt players, the last but not the least of those owed cash. Pappas indicated that some pro players are in that bunch, as well as others identified as new petitioners.
When those remaining players will be made whole remains unknown, but there is a likelihood that the rest will be reimbursed in a final payment wave that will complete the entire remission process. That process began on “Green Friday” in February 2014 that saw $76 million find its way back to 27,500 FTP U.S. online poker players.
Five more reimbursement batches followed over the next 19 months, none anywhere near as large as the first batch on Green Friday. But all just as important to claimants who had been estranged from their funds for over four years. When all is said and done, it appears that eight payment waves will be needed to facilitate the step-by-step remission process undertaken by GCG in conjunction with the DoJ.
Money Left Over
When the remission process began, about $184 million was earmarked for U.S. Full Tilt players in the agreement made between PokerStars (Rational Group) and the DoJ that allowed Rational to purchase FTP. With about $110 million paid after the October batch lands in player bank accounts, that leaves roughly $74 million to cover 3,800 remaining claims.
That means that lots of loot will apparently be left over. Since Absolute Poker and UltimateBet players have not been paid and those sites were also defendants in the U.S. v. Scheinberg case, doesn’t it make sense that the leftover funds should go toward paying those players?
Of course it makes sense, but that’s not how it works. AP and UB were not part of the settlement that allowed PokerStars to acquire Full Tilt. I posed the question of where excess funds in the FTP remission process would go to a well-informed Snell & Wilmer attorney way back in 2012. Click here to find out why the remaining funds likely won’t be headed to AP and UB players.