The DOJ Rejects Lederer's Reliance on US v Dicristina

Attorneys for the office of Preet Bharara, the US District Attorney for the Southern District of New Your (SDNY) who has been central to the case against Full Tilt owner Howard Lederer, have written to Judge Leonard Sand to argue that US v Dicristina does not justify a status conference on Lederer’s case.

Lederer’s lawyers wrote to Judge Sand asking for a status conference to consider the impact of US v Dicristina on his own case. The Eastern District of New York (EDNY) case, US v Dicristina, established that poker was a game of skill and therefore, not subject to the Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA). Co-defendants Rafael Furst and Chris Ferguson agreed to be included in the request.

The attorneys for SDNY argue against holding the status conference. He explains that he doesn’t agree that these charges are affected by Judge Jack Weinstein’s ruling, and that in any case, he plans to file an amended complaint by September 10.

SDNY goes on to argue that “the Government respectfully disagrees with many of the conclusions reached” in the Dicristina order. He suggests that the defendants can use the arguments that led to this ruling in arguing their own dismissal motions when they submit them. He further points out that the Judge Weinstein’s order is not binding on Judge Sands.

As part of the amended complaint, the Government intends to include “additional statutory grounds for forfeiture and other relief.” Even if the Dicristina ruling is fully upheld, SDNY argues that it would not have an impact on many of the claims against the defendants and therefore a status conference would be “premature and unworkable.”

Lederer is hoping that the status conference could see some of the charges against him dismissed or delayed as the result of this ruling.