Gambling-Backed CU Brings Big Guns To Court To Challenge NCUA Seizure

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WASHINGTON – Lawyers representing NCUA are scheduled to tangle in federal court tomorrow with a duo of high-powered White Shoe attorneys for Boies Schiller & Flexner, a New York legal firm hired by Vensure FCU in its challenge of last month’s NCUA takeover.

Representing Vensure, the Arizona credit union that is accused of processing billions of dollars of online poker bets, is Tanya Chutkin, an antitrust specialist who won two big antitrust cases, and James Meadows, former prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney in New York and its Criminal Rackets Bureau.

Chutkin won a $150 million verdict in the Vitamins antitrust litigation, and a $34 million verdict in the Scrap Metal antitrust case. Before joining Boies Schiller in 2002 she was a trial attorney and supervisor with the District of Columbia Public Defender Service, where she tried more than 50 jury trials.

The Vensure lawyers are seeking to prevent NCUA from proceeding with a liquidation of the $5 million credit union, which was taken over April 15 for its role in financing Internet bets for the two biggest poker websites, and NCUA seized the credit union hours after the U.S. Justice Department indicted a dozen international gambling figures and dozens of their accounts, including the biggest account at Vensure. NCUA says in court documents Vensure is nothing more than a front for the gambling business and has no other legitimate business purpose.

A federal judge has scheduled a show cause hearing for tomorrow, during which NCUA will be asked to justify its takeover.


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