Monday July 2, 2012 : US GOVERNMENT REQUESTS ONLINE POKER CASE ADJOURNMENT
Full Tilt's Bitar surrenders to U.S. authorities
The U.S. Government has submitted a request to Judge Leonard B. Sand in the United States v. Pokerstars et al case requesting a brief adjournment with respect to upcoming deadlines.
The letter submitted by Sharon Cohen Levin of the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the Assistant United States Attorney requests the adjournment in order to "facilitate, and hopefully, to successfully conclude, certain ongoing settlement communications".
The speculation is that the party referred to in the letter is PokerStars although it is not named.
There were widespread stories several months ago that PokerStars was in negotiations with the Department of Justice in a bid to acquire the failed Full Tilt Poker.
In related news, Forbes.com reports that Ray Bitar has returned to the United States of America and surrendered himself to the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York in relation to charges laid against him in the Black Friday indictments.
According to Forbes, Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have filed a superseding indictment against Bitar detailing fresh allegations regarding Bitar’s alleged efforts to conceal Full Tilt’s cash situation following the April 2011 crackdown on online poker.
An e-mail reportededly written by Bitar to Full Tilt staff based in Dublin, which was leaked on respected poker forum Two Plus Two by the anonymous poster with the moniker PS<3FTP, seemingly confirms Full Tilt's purchase by PokerStars.
The e-mail reads as follows:
"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"