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Online poker players accuse website of raiding their accounts

The heads of a former Internet poker company have been sued again, this time by four former customers who say the two men used the plaintiffs’ money to pay themselves bonuses and loans. The accused company, Full Tilt Poker, is out of operation more than a year after the federal government charged its management with fraud and accused them of running a Ponzi scheme against online poker players.

Like other poker websites, Full Tilt provided online accounts for its customers to hold onto their winnings and access when they want. According to the lawsuit the defendants wrongfully received millions of dollars from those accounts, both from the four plaintiffs and the rest of Full Tilt’s customers.

The litigation is complicated by the fact that the plaintiffs live in three different states. Before filing the suit in federal court in Las Vegas on April 12, they had sued the defendants in New York, but that suit was dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction. That means that the plaintiffs could not show that the defendants either lived there or had enough contacts with that area.

In the current lawsuit, the plaintiffs argue that the Las Vegas jurisdiction is appropriate because one of the defendants lives in Nevada and the other has “conducted substantial business” there. They also say that the principle of diversity jurisdiction supports allowing the suit to continue. “Diversity jurisdiction” is a legal principle that states a federal court can hear a case that involves parties living in different states.

Besides this case, Full Tilt is being sued by the federal government on behalf of customers, and four other sets of plaintiffs.

Source: VEGAS INC, “New class-action suit filed against Full Tilt Poker directors,” Steve Green, April 12, 2012

John P. Aldrich
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