Rep. Frank plans to reject Ponzi poker haul

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) plans to give up over $30,000 in campaign donations he received from board members of an online poker company that was recently accused by federal prosecutors of being a massive Ponzi scheme.

After the Boston Globe asked Frank about the contributions from board members of Full Tilt Poker, the lawmaker announced he would be looking to either give those funds to those defrauded by the company or donating it to charity.

"I'm really very unpleasantly surprised that these guys were defrauding people," Frank told the publication.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed a civil suit against the directors of the company, which includes several professional poker players, alleging the website defrauded thousands of online players out of over $300 million.

“Full Tilt insiders lined their own pockets with funds picked from the pockets of their most loyal customers while blithely lying to both players and the public alike about the safety and security of the money deposited with the company,” Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

Those named in the complaint have either defended their innocence or declined to comment to media requests.

Frank, a longtime advocate of legalizing online gambling, received $18,600 from Full Tilt board members since 2007, and another $14,000 from the Poker Players Alliance, which is largely funded by those same members.