Ray Bitar, the former CEO of Full Tilt Poker was sentenced for his role in the illegal activities that the poker committed under his watch.
Bitar was sentenced to time served and fined $40 million in cash and assets as part of a plea deal that he struck with the federal government. The defendant was able to avoid jail time due to a serious heart problem that will require him to have a transplant in the near future. It is speculated that if a transplant does not come through that Bitar will die within a year.
Officially Bitar plead guilty to charges of fraud and violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which could have placed him behind bars for more than seven years.
Speaking to the court, Bitar said that he and his firm worked with others to find ways to move money through U.S. banks by disguising the transactions. He also said that Full Tilt misled punters by telling them that their money was safe and that player funds were held in a segregated accounts. This ended up not being the case, and after the indictments occurred, thousands of players were unable to pull their money out of their Full Tilt accounts. Many players in Europe have been able to get their funds back, but U.S. players are still in the dark.
“I regret my actions. I know they were wrong and illegal. I am very sorry,” Bitar told the court.