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Former FullTilt CEO Raymond Bitar Pleads Guilty
Wednesday October 15,2014 : FORMER FULL TILT POKER CHIEF PLEADS GUILTY
But Bitar's failing health will keep him out of prison.
The at one time high profile and high riding former chief executive of Full Tilt Poker during its spectacular failure several years ago, Raymond Bitar (41) pleaded guilty on Monday to contravening US anti-online gambling laws, but will not go to jail due to ill health.
Bitar is suffering from severe heart failure, reports the Reuters news agency, quoting Assistant U.S. Attorney Arlo Devlin-Brown at a federal court hearing in Manhattan.
However, he will have to forfeit $40 million.
Bitar was one of 11 people, including the owners of two other online poker companies, who federal prosecutors charged in 2011 with illegal Internet gambling and related offences. He was too ill to travel to Manhattan, instead communicating with the court on a video link from a California courtroom, and telling U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska:
"I regret my actions, I know they were wrong and illegal."
Bitar was originally charged with nine criminal counts, including operation of an illegal gambling business, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy.
He pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud...and he admitted misleading his players about the safety of their money with the company, where at one point there was a $350 million gap between what Full Tilt owed customers and how much cash it had available, the court was told.
In related news, the US Attorney's office in Manhattan has confirmed that a settlement is pending in similar litigation against another at one time major online poker company, Absolute Poker.
One of the owners of the firm, Brent Beckley, was sent to prison for 14 months last year after admitting that he was complicit in deceiving banks regarding the processing of online gambling funds.
Full Tilt Poker was ultimately taken over by the world's biggest online poker company, Pokerstars, which agreed to forfeit $731 million in a 2012 settlement with U.S. authorities. That included $547 million to reimburse Full Tilt's U.S. customers.
Danske Spil Bingo Moves to Microgaming -
The national lottery of Denmark, Danske Spil, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network. Danske Spil, the Danish national lottery, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network following a change to its licence conditions.
Quickfire live on Strendus -
Quickfire powered by Microgaming is extending its reach in the LatAm region with the signing of Strendus. Strendus is the online division of Logrand Entertainment Group. The group comprises several companies that operate gaming and entertainment establishments in Mexico, running 14 land-based casinos in total.
Quickfire content live on BetatHome -
Online gaming and sports betting company bet-at-home was founded in 1999. Today the company has 4.8 million registered customers around the world, offering sports betting, casino, live casino, Vegas games, poker and virtual sports.
Microgaming has donated £30,000 between four charities -
Gift of Giving provides Microgamingís customers the opportunity to vote for one of several charities in their region. In lieu of Christmas gifts, £30,000 is split equally between four global regions: Isle of Man, UK and Europe, Africa, and Rest of the World.
Entertainment Betting Odds: 90th Academy Awards -
The Shape of Water leads Sundayís 90th Academy Awards (8 PM ET, ABC) with 13 Oscar nominations, but when it comes to Best Picture, this highly-acclaimed film is a +140 second-favorite behind Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at Ė115.
Fair Play Bets and QuickFire in Deal -
Fair Play Bets enjoys an unrivalled reputation for an outstanding player experience, with secure deposits and withdrawals, surprising casino bonuses and committed customer support. Fair Play Bets is licensed in UK, Malta and Curacao.
Cavaliers Aim to Take Down Wizards on 2/22/18 -
The Cleveland Cavaliers have looked like a different team since making their moves at the trade deadline. The Washington Wizards are up next for the Cavaliers, who will be at home after the All-Star break.
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