Full Tilt Poker CEO Taken into Custody
- 07/09/2012By Maria McCoyGoogleAfter touching down at JFK airport in New York City this past week, FBI agents arrested Raymond Bitar, former CEO of Full Tilt Poker. Bitar arrived on a flight from Ireland and was taken into custody of his own volition. Full Tilt Poker is known as one of the best online casinos for poker but is under investigation by the US Department of Justice in relation to the Black Friday case.
Bitar commented, “I know that a lot of people are very angry at me. I understand why. Full Tilt should never have gotten into a position where it could not repay player funds.”
Bitar is being charged by the federal government for conspiracy to violate gambling laws, operation of an illegal gambling business, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy. He has pled not guilty on all counts. If Bitar is convicted, he could be face up to 145 years in jail for his part in the scheme that cost poker players around the world millions of dollars.
A judge set bail at $2.5 million. Prosecutors voiced their objections who stated that Bitar should be held without bail because he is a flight risk.
Among the allegations against him, Assistant U.S. Attorney Devlin-Brown says that Bitar took at least $40 million from player revenue. The Attorney’s office says that despite the charges leveled against him as well as the ongoing investigation into the Black Friday affair, Bitar continued his illegal activities by taking funds from new players out of the country.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Devlin-Brown stated, “By then this company was little more than a Ponzi scheme, and his presence was needed to keep it from unraveling.”