On Monday, an email posted to poker forum TwoPlusTwo broke the news that Full Tilt CEO Ray Bitar has returned to the U.S. and surrendered himself to the FBI at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Bitar was among the 11 indicted in April of 2011 for violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, as well as money laundering. The allegations stated that the online poker companies illegally coerced banks into processing payments after the UIGEA was passed.
In the leaked copy of an internal email sent to Full Tilt staff, Bitar confirmed his surrender, as well as the rumor that began circulating in May that PokerStars was in the process of purchasing the company’s assets.
The DOJ has yet to release a public statement on Bitar’s surrender.
Below is the email:
To all Dublin Staff,
By now you probably have heard that I have returned to the US to deal with civil and criminal case that are pending against me in New York. We have all worked hard over the last 15 months to preserve Full Tilt’s assets and potential in order to provide for the repayment of all players, and that continues to be our top priority. It is as important as ever that we all do everything possible to make that happen and, hopefully our deal with Poker Stars will very soon make our goal a reality. My return to the US is part of this process.
I am particularly grateful to all of you here in Dublin for your hard work, patience and understanding during this difficult time. I believe that your hard work and dedication should not go unrecognized, and we have made arrangements for Poker Stars to guarantee all July salaries. You should therefore have no concern about coming to work during this period. After that, we expect that your employment contracts will be assumed by the buyer of the company’s assets.
For those that need to reach me, I expect to continue to be available by email and phone starting late Monday, New York time.
In the meantime, please refer any operational questions to REDACTED, and any HR questions to REDACTED.
Thank you all again.
Raymond J Bitar
Former Utah banker John Campos was sentenced to three months in prison last week for his part in processing over $200 million in online poker payments.
article by Julio Rodriguez; CardPlayer.com