Full Tilt Poker CEO Freed on Bail

By Debra SaundersGoogle
After touching down at John F. Kennedy International airport from Ireland last week, Full Tilt Poker CEO Raymond Bitar was taken into custody for his involvement in the 2011 Black Friday case.

This week, Bitar's bail was set by Judge Paul Englemayer in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. He was freed on a $2.5 million bond after agreeing to post $2 million in property to ensure he returns when required by the court.

Bitar maintains his innocence and entered a not guilty plea. In a statement he said that he has “worked hard” for the last fifteen months to ensure that players are repaid. He said that returning to face charges “part of that process.”

Judge Paul Engelmayer raised the initial amount of the cash or property need to fulfill the bail requirement  $1 million to $2 million. Bitar met the terms and was granted freedom. He appeared in court wearing prison clothes to hear the determination. As part of the bail package, Bitar will return to his home in Glendora, California, where he will be monitored electronically by the feds. This will mark his first return home in more than a year.

The bail terms have a $2.5 million personal recognizance bond attached. As an insurance, five individuals close to Bitar are backing his bail commitments and will be held responsible if he fails to honor the deal. Bitar will be held in the New York area for 48 hours until he discloses to federal prosecutors all of the assets he holds both in the U.S. and abroad.

Judge Engelmayer stated, “I will approve the bail package counsel has proposed,” noting that Bitar voluntarily came back to the U.S. to face the charges against him. “Mr. Bitar is facing very serious charges, charges that have grown over time.”

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