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Chris Ferguson and DoJ Settle Black Friday Allegations

Former Full Tilt board member Chris “Jesus” Ferguson has reached terms of a settlement agreement with government prosecutors in the Black Friday case that requires only the signature of Judge Kimba M. Wood to be official.

Ferguson has agreed to forfeit $2.35 million in cash, as well as a bank account that holds an undisclosed sum. The 49-year-old also agreed to not seek payment of $14 million that he claims is owed to him by Full Tilt. The 2000 WSOP Main Event winner also cannot work for a U.S. Internet gambling site that has not been fully regulated.

The Stipulation and Order of Settlement states that Ferguson admits to no wrongdoing and was “unaware of any wrongful activity at Full Tilt” while serving as a board member.

The DoJ had sought the seizure of $42 million in assets from Ferguson. Like his cohorts Rafe Furst and Howard Lederer, who signed settlement agreements with the DoJ late last year, Ferguson will end up paying only a small fraction of the total amount that prosecutors believed to be ill-gotten gains.

Former Full Tilt CEO Ray Bitar is the only former board member who has not settled the civil allegations against him. Those charges have been put on hold while prosecutors move forward with criminal charges that include money laundering and wire fraud. Bitar is facing a considerable amount of time behind bars and is currently under electronic home-monitoring at his California home while out on $2.5 million bail.

Once Judge Wood approves the settlement deal, Ferguson has 30 days to make good on payment. Meanwhile, payment to American players who frequented Full Tilt prior to Black Friday has failed to progress. The settlement agreement makes note of the fact that the DOJ has not yet hired a claims administrator to oversee the remission process. That hiring was scheduled to be done last month.



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.