Group Partouche in France is being investigated by French regulator ARJEL for allegedly allowing family members and employees to play at the Partouche.fr poker site and receive rewards in the form of cash and free tournament entries.
A total of 40 accounts at the site are being scrutinized by regulators, Mediapart reported. One such account is said to belong to Yohan Zenou, who is a close relative of Katy Zenou, a Partouche board member. ARJEL regulations prohibit employees and members of their family to play at online poker sites to which they are affiliated.
Mediapart apparently has documentation that shows Zenou made a €175 deposit in 2011 at Partouche.fr using the screen name “yozenou” and was able to receive more than €36,000 in tournament credits. He later cashed out €27,500.
Group Partouche took a lot of heat from the media and players last year when chairman Patrick Partouche reneged on a guaranteed €5 million prize pool when funding fell considerably short of the guarantee for the Main Event on the Partouche Poker Tour. Partouche eventually acquiesced and made good on the guarantee, but stated that 2012 would be his last year of hosting the tour.
More recently, allegations of cheating by two French players at the 2009 Partouche Poker Tour Main Event has further sullied the Partouche name. Jean-Paul Pasqualini and Cedric Rossi were allegedly signaling their hole cards to each other at the final table. The pair finished first and second in the tourney and collected $2.3 million combined.