Another round of payments have been distributed by the Garden City Group as a part of the settlement case with the US Department of Justice.
Another 1180 players have been paid an average of over $2,200 each in another round of payments sent out to US players who had FTP accounts during Black Friday.
In a move that some players have been waiting for almost five years, a March 12 announcement has stated that a round of payments to around 1,180 players were sent out by the Garden City Group (GCG) in what amounts to the last group of “regular” payments sent out as a result of the deal made between the Rational Group and the US Department of Justice after the Black Friday event in 2011. After having paid out to over 40,000 accounts total, there seem to be around 3,000 that remain, almost all of which involve accounts that did not pass through the DOJ’s initial inspection.
Eight Previous Rounds
This is the ninth round of payments total, and it’s the second-smallest of them all. The only smaller set of payments were made in September 2014 when around 600 accounts were paid out a total of $3,000 apiece for a total of around $1.8 million. With so relatively few accounts left to go, it’s suspected that things could wrap up for this payment process during 2016, especially since the GCG stopped taking new claims on the last day of October 2015.
According to an Update From the GCG’s website about the payments, fulltiltpokerclaims.com:
GCG has completed its initial review of all filed Petitions and, with this round of payments, we will have paid approximately 94% of those filed. GCG continues to work with the Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) to evaluate the remaining petitions.
At this stage in the game, it’s hard to say what the upcoming payment schedule will look like. The initial review of every single claim has already been completed, and the only accounts left to be paid are the ones that did not successfully complete that initial review. This seem to be about 2,800 total outstanding accounts, and since they did not pass an initial review by the Department of Justice, it’ll be particularly interesting to see what happens with them.
Speculation on Remaining Accounts
So what’s the deal with the remaining accounts? It’s clear that these are accounts that the DOJ needs to investigate further for whatever reasons, and it’s likely that they include accounts for professional players that were sponsored by Full Tilt. When the events of Black Friday on April 15, 2011 played out, we got to hear a lot about pro players being given millions of dollars to play with on the site in various ways, and investigations over taxes and all kinds of other possible charges could be coming up.
Along the lines of the tax angle, affiliate accounts could be on the receiving end of investigations in the same way. While nothing is for certain yet, what is for sure is that they’re taking their sweet time with these remaining 2,800 or so accounts, and it’s clear that they’re going to be looking deeper into these, which represent only about 6 percent of the total accounts that had claims. What this means for the holders of those accounts is that nothing is probably going to be off-limits if they want to get their money back, and for everyone else, it means some really juicy, entertaining drama is probably about to unfold inside of the next few months.