The Epic Poker League’s Standards and Conduct Committee announced this week that Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson have both been suspended indefinitely. The announcement, which appeared on Epic Poker League’s website Thursday stated:
On Tuesday, following the U.S. Attorney’s filing of an Amended Complaint in the federal civil action pending in connection with the April 15th 2011 indictments, Epic Poker League’s Standards & Conduct Committee indefinitely suspended League members Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson. The Amended Complaint named Lederer and Ferguson as defendants, specifically in relation to their roles as directors of Full Tilt Poker from April 2007 to April 2011. Committee Chairman Stephen Martin said, “The Committee voted to suspend Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson indefinitely, pending the outcome of the Department of Justice’s action.” Martin, a former federal prosecutor, serves as the Independent Ethics Advisor to Epic Poker.
Martin emphasized the following factors in the Committee’s decision:
- “Although the Amended Complaint constitutes a civil, and not criminal, action and facts are alleged but not yet proven, the specificity of the allegations and the fact they came from the United States government made this the right course of action in the best interests of the players in the League.”
- “The government chose to name Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson individually in their roles as members of the board of directors Full Tilt.”
- The Committee will continue to monitor the legal actions. “If other members are named in the actions, the Committee will consider additional disciplinary action.”
The Committee’s jurisdiction is based on Player Disciplinary Policy and the Players’ Code of Conduct. Howard Lederer, who has signed those documents and is a 5-year cardholder, is indefinitely suspended. Chris Ferguson, who has not yet signed League documents but is eligible for a 5-year card, has also been suspended. Neither Howard Lederer nor Chris Ferguson has yet to play in an Epic Poker League event.
Committee member Andy Bloch recused himself from consideration of the issue. Commissioner Annie Duke, while a non-voting member of the committee, does not participate in any committee decisions or discussions that involve league member discipline.
Lederer and Ferguson have both been members of the Epic Poker League since 2006.