In an email, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) has encouraged players to “contact the Victim/Witness Coordinator at the U.S. Attorney’s office and ask that you be afforded the rights of a crime victim.” The letter from the PPA follows Tuesday’s statement from executive director John Pappas, calling on Full Tilt “to take all available steps to ensure the prompt payment of players as their first priority.”
“This week’s news from the U.S. Department of Justice alleging that Full Tilt Poker perpetrated a “global Ponzi scheme” that defrauded players has sent shockwaves through the poker community. If true, these allegations detail a massive betrayal of player trust and will cause further hardship for the individual poker player, none of whom have been accused of doing anything wrong. Based on the DOJ allegations, it is clear that the players who deposited money and played on Full Tilt Poker are truly the victims in all of this mess.
The PPA believes that fundamental justice requires that players be repaid their money on deposit, and so we wanted to mention an avenue by which players can ask the DOJ to return funds to them through restitution in the pending case. A federal statute establishes a number of rights for victims of crimes and requires that the government take steps to assist these victims. The DOJ put in place a set of guidelines and created a program, Victims and Witness Services, so that the government could live up to its statutory obligations to victims of crimes. Again, based on the allegations set forth by the DOJ, poker players who deposited money with Full Tilt Poker should be treated as crime victims and afforded the full rights and protections of our government.
If you have been unable to withdraw your money from Full Tilt Poker, you may wish to contact the Victim/Witness Coordinator at the U.S. Attorney’s office and ask that you be afforded the rights of a crime victim as outlined on their website. Let them know that you would like to be kept informed of any major developments in the case (United States v. Full Tilt, et al., 11 C 2564 and United States v. Scheinberg, et al., 10 CR 336) and that you are seeking restitution of lost funds.”