Ray Bitar, the man behind the ponzi scheming site Full Tilt Poker, was recently taken into custody by the police when he reached the JFK airport in New York on returning from Ireland. According to authorities, the FTP main man had decided to turn himself in; however, he has chosen to file a plea of “not guilty” and is facing a bond of $2.5 million bond.
After the events of Black Friday, it must be noted that 11 people were indicted, including Bitar. The charges levied against Bitar accuse him defrauding players to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. He now faces over 140 years of a prison sentence.
The Associated Press reported that the government had been working with Irish authorities and was prepared to extradite Bitar if he did not return voluntarily.
According to Preet Bharara as reported in a press release,
Raymond Bitar will now be held criminally responsible for the alleged fraud he perpetrated on his U.S. customers that cost them hundreds of millions of dollars. The indictment alleges how Bitar bluffed his player-customers and fixed the game against them as part of an international Ponzi scheme that left players empty-handed.
Surprisingly, Bitar was vocal about the situation, unlike the earlier silence that the poker community had grown accustomed to from him after Full Tilt Poker went through the events of Black Friday.
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.
Unfortunately for Bitar, he has become the target and mascot for the Full Tilt Poker fiasco and every poker player who has funds stuck at the online poker room has it in for Bitar. Even those poker players not associated with the site are angry with Bitar.
Blair Hinkle, a former player at Full Tilt Poker who now has $1 million blocked in his account at the poker room, claimed that Bitar was “probably the worst” person who was involved in the Full Tilt Poker fiasco
Even Daniel Negreanu expressed his intense dislike for Bitar, saying he and the others required “ a few swift baseball bat swings to the groin.”
Bitar stands accused of cheating the Full Tilt Poker players of their rightful money. He had allegedly taken the players money and given it out to other owners of the company. It remains to be seen how many other Full Tilt Poker owners will be arrested – as it would be a little too convenient perhaps to have Bitar take the fall for everyone.