The news comes just two weeks after GCG announced that former Full Tilters would be refunded based on the balances existing for players back on Black Friday, April 15th, 2011, the day the Department of Justice seized the domains of FTP and three other online poker sites servicing US players, alleging bank fraud, money laundering and gambling-business violations.
Since then, those former US players have endured a two-and-a-third-year wait to see if and when their funds would be returned, while international FTP players were refunded via PokerStars when that site purchased the remaining Full Tilt assets.
As for the refunds, Garden City Group has been accepting names of former US Full Tilters at the web site set up to oversee the process, FullTiltPokerClaims.com. GCG has now shut off that signup process, and will be mailing application instructions to those FTP players who have already signed up. Others, who chose not to register with the site, will now have to wait until the actual application instructions are published, which should be in conjunction with the opening of the applications process next month.
GCG also included a caveat that in the event the amount of refunds applied for exceeds the amount paid for by PokerStars to be used for the refunds, then the refunds will be prorated, though that just seems to be a CYA statement.
As for when the refunds will actually be issued, it cannot occur until some time after the 60-day window created for these applications has elapsed, on November 15th. Following some sort of verification process, refunds could then be issued, perhaps before Christmas, but possibly also some time in early 2014. It is unknown if multiple rounds of refunds are planned, or if this is a one-time-only process.
Here's today's statement from GCG, in full:
GCG, working with the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the United States Department of Justice, has completed the review of data provided by FTP. It has been determined that the calculation formula to be used for the Petition for Remission process will be based on players' final balances with FTP as of April 15, 2011 (the "FTP Account Balances"). Account balances from online poker sites other than FTP are not included in this remission process. Petitioners must also meet all other requirements outlined in 28 C.F.R. § 9.8 to be considered eligible for remission.
If you do not receive an email notice and you believe you are eligible to participate in the remission process, you may file a claim online using the directions that will be provided on this website.
If the forfeited funds available for distribution equal or exceed the aggregate FTP Account Balances for all eligible Petitioners, each eligible Petitioner with an approved claim will receive the entirety of his or her FTP Account Balance. If the aggregate FTP Account Balances for all eligible Petitioners exceed the funds available for distribution, payments shall be made to eligible Petitioners on a pro rata basis.
Please continue to check this website for updates regarding this administration.