by Wendeen H. Eolis
STUNNING MOVE BY GOVERNMENT PAVES WAY FOR TAPIE DEAL TO GO FORWARD.
CRITICAL NOTE: This afternoon, CNN published a story regarding this deal while it was still embargoed, noting in its headline that the story could not be published without clearance from representatives of Groupe Bernard Tapie. EOLIS International Group had the same information from multiple sources. Following publication of the CNN story, Wendeen H. Eolis, CEO of EOLIS Intl Group, spoke with GBT counsel Benham Dayanim who confirmed for her all of the information herein.
In a letter signed by Laurent Tapie, the contents of which this writer has confirmed with Groupe Bernard Tapie’ outside counsel, the United States Department of Justice has signed off on an unprecedented agreement with GBT, allowing Tapie to “buy” FTP’s full assets from the Justice Department—subject to approval of FTP.
I. Upon approval by Full Tilt, the deal can and will be put in place as follows:
- FTP agrees to forfeit all of its assets to the United States in consideration of the Government’s dismissal of the forfeiture action against the companies comprising FTP.
The DOJ takes possession of FTP’s assets for the purpose of selling them in their entirety to GBT for the sum of $80,000,000 and on the understanding that GBT will re-establish FTP based on the following understandings:
- GBT will hold at least a majority interest in the company
- None of the current FTP directors will be permitted to hold shares in the company
- The Agreement does not bar any other shareholders from owning shares in the company
- With respect to FTP’s US customers, the Agreement provides that such customers can submit petitions to the US government to “request compensation for their losses”
- With respect to players outside of the US, the Agreement provides that GBT will, “repay or make whole,” all of those customers
- The US customer list is a part of the assets, but GBT has no plans of any kind to utilize that list except to assist the DOJ to identify customers who are due or entitled compensation, according to GBT counsel, Behnam Dayanim.
Mr. Dayanim says, “The next step is to obtain an agreement from the Full Tilt Companies.” Dayanim emphasizes, “I anticipate it will happen,” explaining his optimism; “It allows for players to be repaid, and resolves the FTP forfeiture action by the Government.”
It should be noted that there is nothing in the signed agreement between GBT and DOJ to suggest any relationship whatsoever between the proposed resolution of the April 15 forfeiture action (as amended September 19), and the DOJ’s prosecution of any of the defendants in the April 15 indictment, U.S. v. Scheinberg, et. al which notably includes FTP CEO and board member Ray Bitar, among others.
Editor’s Note: Wendeen Eolis is CEO of Eolis International Group, a legal/government affairs consultancy with 40+ years of experience in the gaming space, and related responsibilities during her stint as 1st assistant and senior advisor to former New York Governor George E. Pataki. During her spare time, Wendeen became the first woman to cash in the main event of the World Series of Poker and counts six more WSOP prize-winning finishes to her credit.