Feds: Full Tilt Poker site was Ponzi scheme

By DAVID B. CARUSO | September 20, 2011 | 2:45 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors in New York say an Internet poker company shut down in the spring as part of an online gambling crackdown had operated as "a global Ponzi scheme."

The U.S. attorney revised its civil lawsuit against Full Tilt Poker on Tuesday to include new allegations that the company raided player accounts to fund its operations and make lavish payments to the site's owners.

Investigators say that over four years, the company used $444 million in player money to pay board members.

The poker site had promised players that their accounts were protected and wouldn't be touched. But authorities say that as of March, the company had only $60 million left of the $390 million owed to players.

The company's lawyer was traveling Tuesday and not immediately available for comment.