PPC Founder Files for Bankruptcy Protection5 months ago
Less than 5 months on from the news breaking that the PPC poker tour may in fact have been operating as one huge Ponzi scheme, co-founder Bryan Oulton has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in the US Bankruptcy Court, with debts exceeding $890,000 - including hundreds of thousands owed to poker pros and casinos which have not been paid.
When the story broke back in December of last year, it was claimed that the Players Poker Championship tour run by Oulton and fellow founder Sandy Swartzbaugh had failed to pay prizes, travel expenses and hotel bills to its winners, often amounting to tens of thousands of dollars.
Now the bankruptcy filing by Oulton has laid out the true amount of debts and creditors left in its wake, during which time repeated calls for Oulton and Schwartzbaugh to make public statements fell on deaf ears – which led one prominent local organizer to go public, stating:
“We, as a community, have to take action when we see something wrong,” stated Richard Herbert, former Tournament Director at Maryland Live! Casino. “Outing this is the only recourse we as a community have. We have to stop people from being scammed.”
According to Oulton’s petition filed 10 days ago, he owes $891,701.41 to almost 200 creditors, with the largest debt owed to the Small Business Owners of America (SBOOA), amounting to $259,600.
Amongst the poker pros who were ripped off by the PPC tour and their inability or refusal to pay winners at the 2016 PPC Aruba World Championship are final tablists Stephen Deutsch (owed $128,987 according to the filing), James Beadnell $85,906, Michael Lerner $43,426, John Ott $22,085, and Joan Sandoval $11,390.
Co-founder Oulton claims to have no source of income at this time, his sole assets being a $338,000 valued home in Lighthouse Bay, Florida and some $50,000 in the form of annuities according to FlushDraw.
Oulton’s filing did not include Swartzbaugh as a co-debtor and it is unclear as yet whether the bankruptcy filing will be accepted by the court, as 2+2 poster michelle227 pointed out:
“…people who were effectively scammed by them should file objections with the Court. There are plenty of instances of a Bankruptcy Court denying the protection where the debts were the product of fraudulent or criminal activities...”
The 2+2 forum is where the story first broke, myself and PokerTube being the first media outlet to publicise the Ponzi scheme claims in the interests of the average poker players who populated many of the PPC events. Many of the players had paid for, or won, satellite tickets which they were unable to use and which were never repaid, and PokerTube will continue to highlight such cases which abuse the grassroots of the game.
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