Full Tilt CEO arrested in NY, is sorry (Caro Blog)

Poker1.com default content graphicEntry #29 (2012-07-03) 

Today, Raymond Bitar, who is the founder of one of the world's milestone online poker sites, was arrested at the airport in New York City. Apparently, he returned voluntarily and faces up to 145 years in prison. But, of course, an actual sentence, if convicted, would be much less in practice. Look for the possibility of a plea bargain, according to my sources.

There is more to this story, though, and it will become known in the months ahead.

Full Tilt Poker was launched in 2004 and became a predominent player in the online poker arena. However, when the site was seized last year by the U.S. government — along with other high-profile competitors with stellar finances — it was holding $350 million in obligations to players, from deposits or winnings. Only a fifth or less of that money was actually on hand at the time of the seizure. Most players have not been able to withdraw the funds that belong to them, despite a ruling by the government allowing payouts to be made.

Two shades of evil

I have a personal interest in this development. In 1998, I was the first well-known poker personality to endorse an online site. That was Planet Poker, headed by Randy Blumer, a man of ultimate integrity. Back then, and ever since then, I have insisted on assurance that separate funds were kept to cover player accounts whenever I associated with or endorsed a poker site.

So, to me, not having funds to cover deposits is a horrible transgression. But beyond that, what the U.S. Department of Justice did by seizing legally operated and regulated sites (headquartered in other countries) and denying citizens the right to participate in this worldwide poker celebration, seems just as evil. Like others, I'm waiting to return to the arena in a major way.

Meanwhile, you may find this article about the arrest by CNET.com of interest:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57465457-93/poker-site-ceo-arrested-in-multimillion-ponzi-scheme/ —  MC

 

 

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Mike Caro

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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.

4 thoughts on “Full Tilt CEO arrested in NY, is sorry (Caro Blog)”

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  1. if the goverment  has a ruling  allowing payments to be made  ,  whats going on at  EWALLET ,  the funds there where seized before  black Friday,  havent  heard  any news about them,  has everyone forgot  about the  funds there???  Are  they also  broke,  no one has  any  clue  whats gonna happen with  my  and lots of others  $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$  ????????? Amazing  to  me  not a peep  from either side  with this  case !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Mike, I can't see Ray coming back unless there was a plea on the table. He could have stayed overseas forever if he wanted. After the banker got 30 days, I think you'll see Ray getting close to the same deal. As for the Feds keeping the money. Yes, they are complete crooks also.

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