Ray Bitar ‘Black Friday’ Forfeiture Details Published
by Haley Hintze on Tuesday 21st October 02:22 UTC

Full details of the $40 million in civil forfeitures agreed to by former Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar have been published in a series of documents added to his trial record over several months following his sentencing a year and a half ago.  (Due to misreporting on other sites and the availability of numerous post-plea documents, an earlier version of this story misreported the ‘time served’ sentencing of Bitar from last year as new; FlushDraw retracts that earlier error.)

Ray Bitar

Ray Bitar sporting the Full Tilt gear at the tables.

Bitar originally pled guilty to charges of violating UIGEA (the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.  Bitar faced a total of nine felony counts when indicted in 2011, and faced a maximum possible sentencing of 35 years behind bars before cooperating with investigators.

Though his current health status remains unknown, full details regarding the makeup of the $40 million Bitar forfeited in connection with his Black Friday indictment only began to emerge months after his formal sentencing.

Bitar was also slapped with one of the largest individual fines in the case, agreeing to the $40 million forfeiture as part of the settlement.  The $40 million was comprised of funds seized or surrendered from 18 separate bank accounts under Bitar’s control, located in Scotland, Ireland, Malta, Germany, and in the United States, in Dallas, Texas.

The 18 bank accounts spread across five countries, all in the name of Raymond Bitar or Raymond Jack Bitar, included the following:

  • Two (2) numbered accounts at the Royal Bank of Scotland International (Scotland);
  • Three (3) accounts at the Bank of Ireland (Ireland);
  • One (1) account at the Bank of Scotland Ireland, Inc (Ireland);
  • Two (2) accounts at National Irish Bank (Ireland);
  • One (1) account at Allied Irish Bank (Ireland);
  • Five (5) accounts at Bank of Valletta (Malta);
  • Two (2) accounts at Wirecard Bank AG (Germany);
  • Two (2) accounts at Comerica Bank (Dallas, Texas).

Bitar also surrendered ownership in several properties as part of the plea deal, including four homes and commercial properties in California, two more in Terre Haute, Indiana, and one-tenth ownership in a resort vacation unit in Bermuda.

In addition, Bitar surrendered his ownership and/or equity interest in 23 separate corporate entities connected to Full Tilt’s global operations, including software ownership holding company’s Tiltware, LLC and Pocket Kings, Ltd.  Other corporate Full Tilt entities were revealed as a result of Bitar’s settlement, with the full list showing these: BT Management; Dromane Limited; Filco (Holdings) Limited; Filco Limited; Fitzroche Limited; Graybel Limited; Irolo (Italy) Limited; Kolyma Corporation AVV; Ludus Limited (Cyprus); Media Management GmbH; My West Nook Limited; Oxalic Limited; Orinic Limited; Pocket Kings Consulting Limited; Pocket Kings Limited; Ranston Limited; Real Kings LLC; Rekop Limited; Rosbull Limited; Rullan Joyce Limited; Tiltproof Limited; Tiltware LLC; Tiltware Merchandise Services LLC; and Vantage Lmited.

The existence of many of the corporate entities in the above had already been revealed through prosecution documents, while others became known only through Bitar’s cooperation and legal need to pay the full extent of the civil forfeiture connected with his plea deal.

Bitar also surrendered his interests in at least nine business entities not connected directly to the Full Tilt operations, in documents which were finalized only earlier in 2014.  The list included everything from an entertainment company to a fledgling brewery operation, and was comprised of the following: Sierra Slover LLC; Path to Prosperity Inc.; Panjia Inc; RCR Pictures LLC; Exit Row LLC; PASG LLC; LBC, LLC; GLX Limited; and B.C. Brewing.

Bitar was one of 11 individual Black Friday defendants who faced charges in connection with the online-poker crackdown, which forced PokerStars, FTP and Absolute Poker (also including UltimateBet) out of the US market.  Eight of the 11 defendants have pled guilty and been sentenced for their roles, while three others officially remain fugitives outside US jurisdiction.

Leave a Comment



Twitter Facebook Google+
Haley Hintze

Contributing Editor

FlushDraw’s Contributing Editor, Haley Hintze, is a poker industry veteran with 25 years of general writing and editing experience and a poker focus for the last decade. Hintze’s no-holds-barred approach to poker reporting and her entertaining, often controversial style define her thousands of published poker credits, with her willingness to write the tough stories the hallmark of her approach. Hintze’s prior poker credits include a stint as the Editor-in-Chief of PokerNews.com, and the general recognition as the leading independent investigator into the Absolute Poker and UltimateBet onliine poker scandals, the twin subjects of an in-progress book. Questions and comments regarding FD content can be sent to [email protected]

PokerStars Continues Grey-Market Departures,...

Global online-poker PokerStars is continuing its ongoing strategy of pulling out of so-called “grey market” international jurisdictions by announcing its departure from Israel.  The move was announced to Stars’ Israeli customers [...]

Brexit’s Surprise Online-Gambling Loser...

This week’s surprising and controversial decision by United Kingdom voters to exit from the European Union will have global reverberations.  Compared to the global economy as a whole, the online-gambling industry is decidedly small potatoes, [...]

The Pechanga California Online Poker Push Poll,...

FlushDraw returns today to the topic of the smearing and obstructionist “push poll” conducted on behalf of the Pechanga / Agua Caliente-led coalition, which claims to show, among other misleading claims, that a majority of Californian [...]

Pechangas Fund Smear-Job Push Poll Before...

Smear-job politics have resurfaced amid the contentious legislative and political in-fighting surrounding the ongoing events to legalize online poker in California, the US’s most populous state. In the latest developments, and just prior to [...]

California Online Poker Bill Passes Assembly...

California Representative Adam Gray’s Assembly Bill 2863 has passed an important Assembly Appropriations Committee vote today, moving on to consideration by the state’s full Assembly body. AB 2863’s passage from committee came [...]

Should the WSOP Ban Howard Lederer and...
(Author’s Note: The opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the owners, publishers [...]

Daniel Negreanu Puts Chris Ferguson on...
In the poker world, one does not want to get on Daniel Negreanu’s bad side. Not that “Kid Poker” is perfect or anything, but he is one of the [...]

Howard Lederer Issues Apology Five...
Full Tilt hasn’t garnered many headlines in the last couple years, as it has basically just chugged along under the wing of its big brother, [...]

Don’t Cry for Full Tilt
While the brand is still technically intact, Full Tilt effectively died this week as its player pool was merged into that of PokerStars and Full [...]

Ray Bitar ‘Black Friday’ Forfeiture Details Published

Full details of the $40 million in civil forfeitures agreed to by former Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar have been published in a series of documents added to his trial record over several months following his sentencing a year and a half ago.  (Due to misreporting on other sites and the availability of numerous post-plea documents, an earlier version of this story misreported the ‘time served’ sentencing of Bitar from last year as new; FlushDraw retracts that earlier error.)

Ray Bitar

Ray Bitar sporting the Full Tilt gear at the tables.

Bitar originally pled guilty to charges of violating UIGEA (the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.  Bitar faced a total of nine felony counts when indicted in 2011, and faced a maximum possible sentencing of 35 years behind bars before cooperating with investigators.

Though his current health status remains unknown, full details regarding the makeup of the $40 million Bitar forfeited in connection with his Black Friday indictment only began to emerge months after his formal sentencing.

Bitar was also slapped with one of the largest individual fines in the case, agreeing to the $40 million forfeiture as part of the settlement.  The $40 million was comprised of funds seized or surrendered from 18 separate bank accounts under Bitar’s control, located in Scotland, Ireland, Malta, Germany, and in the United States, in Dallas, Texas.

The 18 bank accounts spread across five countries, all in the name of Raymond Bitar or Raymond Jack Bitar, included the following:

  • Two (2) numbered accounts at the Royal Bank of Scotland International (Scotland);
  • Three (3) accounts at the Bank of Ireland (Ireland);
  • One (1) account at the Bank of Scotland Ireland, Inc (Ireland);
  • Two (2) accounts at National Irish Bank (Ireland);
  • One (1) account at Allied Irish Bank (Ireland);
  • Five (5) accounts at Bank of Valletta (Malta);
  • Two (2) accounts at Wirecard Bank AG (Germany);
  • Two (2) accounts at Comerica Bank (Dallas, Texas).

Bitar also surrendered ownership in several properties as part of the plea deal, including four homes and commercial properties in California, two more in Terre Haute, Indiana, and one-tenth ownership in a resort vacation unit in Bermuda.

In addition, Bitar surrendered his ownership and/or equity interest in 23 separate corporate entities connected to Full Tilt’s global operations, including software ownership holding company’s Tiltware, LLC and Pocket Kings, Ltd.  Other corporate Full Tilt entities were revealed as a result of Bitar’s settlement, with the full list showing these: BT Management; Dromane Limited; Filco (Holdings) Limited; Filco Limited; Fitzroche Limited; Graybel Limited; Irolo (Italy) Limited; Kolyma Corporation AVV; Ludus Limited (Cyprus); Media Management GmbH; My West Nook Limited; Oxalic Limited; Orinic Limited; Pocket Kings Consulting Limited; Pocket Kings Limited; Ranston Limited; Real Kings LLC; Rekop Limited; Rosbull Limited; Rullan Joyce Limited; Tiltproof Limited; Tiltware LLC; Tiltware Merchandise Services LLC; and Vantage Lmited.

The existence of many of the corporate entities in the above had already been revealed through prosecution documents, while others became known only through Bitar’s cooperation and legal need to pay the full extent of the civil forfeiture connected with his plea deal.

Bitar also surrendered his interests in at least nine business entities not connected directly to the Full Tilt operations, in documents which were finalized only earlier in 2014.  The list included everything from an entertainment company to a fledgling brewery operation, and was comprised of the following: Sierra Slover LLC; Path to Prosperity Inc.; Panjia Inc; RCR Pictures LLC; Exit Row LLC; PASG LLC; LBC, LLC; GLX Limited; and B.C. Brewing.

Bitar was one of 11 individual Black Friday defendants who faced charges in connection with the online-poker crackdown, which forced PokerStars, FTP and Absolute Poker (also including UltimateBet) out of the US market.  Eight of the 11 defendants have pled guilty and been sentenced for their roles, while three others officially remain fugitives outside US jurisdiction.