Ray Bitar Says Goodbye To Full Tilt Poker
Former CEO Of Company Still Facing Charges Of Defrauding Players
Ray Bitar is finally saying goodbye to the company he founded in 2004 and built to prominence with the help of a number of poker’s biggest names.
Over the years, the company grew to one of the most popular online poker sites in history. However, its finances began to unravel at around the end of the decade.
In April 2011, Bitar, along with other leaders of the major offshore poker sites operating in the U.S. at the time, was accused of financial and gambling-related crimes. The charges have piled on for the 40-year-old since then, resulting in a possible prison sentence of 145 years, if convicted of defrauding former customers. Federal prosecutors allege that Full Tilt Poker became nothing more than a “global Ponzi scheme.”
Bitar remained the CEO while being a fugitive in Ireland. After being apprehended in early July and pleading not guilty, Bitar was still the leader of the defunct company, allowing him to sign papers facilitating its sale to former rival PokerStars, which was also booted from the U.S. as part of Black Friday.
In a statement released to CardPlayer, Bitar said:
“For the past 15 months, I have worked hard on possible solutions to get players repaid. It has been a very long road, with lots of bumps along the way, but I am glad we have gotten to the end. I only wish that we could have resolved the situation much sooner.”
“Today’s settlement also ends the U.S. government’s legal case against the Full Tilt companies. I am glad that this chapter has closed. I would like to thank the company’s many dedicated employees who helped achieve this result. It has been a pleasure working at Full Tilt and I am grateful for the many friendships and memories that I made there. I wish everyone in the Full Tilt family success in their future endeavors.”
Stay tuned to CardPlayer.com for continuing coverage of Tuesday’s breaking news.
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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