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FBI Arrests Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar
Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar was arrested after turning himself over to US law enforcement, according to a story that appeared today on Forbes.com.
News of Bitar’s arrest first appeared a few hours ago on poker forum Two Plus Two in the form of an email from Bitar to Full Tilt Poker staff in Dublin, where Bitar was reportedly located since the indictments of Black Friday more than one year ago.
In the email Bitar tells his staff that he’s returned to deal with the civil and criminal charges against him. Bitar also mentioning that the staff’s salaries have been guaranteed by PokerStars at least until the end of July, lending further credence to the rumors that Stars is stepping in to buy the defunct online poker room.
Here is the email as it appeared on Two Plus Two
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.
Forbes also reported that a superseding indictment against Bitar has been issued by the DOJ, outlining new allegations that allege Bitar to have concealed the nature of Full Tilt Poker’s money problems following Black Friday.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan maintain that Bitar lied to Full Tilt’s customers, telling them “legal and jurisdictional issued were interfering with paying out player funds while withdrawing millions in shareholder distributions.