Department of Justice Issues Warrant In Rem Against Bank Accounts



Earlier this week, the Manhattan United States Attorney’s Office amended its April 15 complaint against online poker companies. The amended complaint now includes charges against the board members of Full Tilt Poker, which includes Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, CEO Ray Bitar, and Rafe Furst. Not surprisingly, the DOJ issued a warrant in rem for the seizure of five bank accounts related to those charges on Sept. 19.

For those unfamiliar with legal jargon, “in rem,” refers to a legal action directed toward property. In other words, the property of these men is at risk. These warrants are not issued for the arrest of Ferguson, Lederer, etc., given that the complaint is civil in nature, and not criminal.

Below is a copy of page three of the warrant, which contains the information pertaining to the seized accounts.

"YOU ARE HEREBY COMMANDED AND AUTHORIZED to seize the property described below by personally serving a copy of this warrant in rem upon any person presently in possession of such property:

All funds and other property on deposit in account numbered GB81 RBOS 6095 4234 0877 66 held at NatWest, in the name of Raymond Bitar, and all funds traceable thereto;

All funds and other property on deposit in account numbered 7655741861 held at Wells Fargo Bank N.A. in the name of HH Lederer Consulting LLC, and all funds traceable thereto; and

All funds and other property on deposit in account numbered GB56LOYD30166314010402 held at Lloyds TSB International, Isle of Mann, in the name of Howard Lederer, and all funds traceable thereto;

All fund and other property on deposit in the account numbered 40039049628 held at Citibank N.A., in the name of Chris Ferguson, and all funds traceable thereto; and

Account numbered CH87 0875 5057 0684 0010 0 held at Pictet & Co Bankers, Switzerland, in the name of Telamonian Ajax Trust, and all funds traceable thereto.

YOU ARE FURTHER COMMANDED AND AUTHORIZED to prepare a written inventory of the property seized and promptly return this warrant and inventory before this Court as required by law."

The arrest warrant in rem was issued on Sept. 19 and signed by the Honorable Leonard B. Sand, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York. It was issued to "any designated officer of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and/or any law enforcement officer authorized by law," commanding them to seize the property that appears in the warrant.

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