Ray Bitar, the ex-CEO of Full Tilt Poker (FTP) is not a popular man in the United States as Bitar along with other key executives Rafe Furst, Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer were alleged to have used the online poker website to run a racket that defrauded thousands of online poker players in the U.S. out of millions of dollars.
The ‘Ponzi scheme’ racket that they appeared to have carried out was finally busted and led to the unhappy Black Friday that caused the online poker industry in the U.S. to shutdown for good. Full Tilt Poker players found their winnings which amounted to millions of dollars vanish as the website was shutdown and no information was provided as to when they would be reimbursed.
Bitar along with his colleagues was arrested and tried in a court of law. Bitar was the only one who pleaded guilty in April 2013 to committing fraudulent banking transactions and committing a number of violations to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Bitar was expected to spend significant time in prison but since he required an urgent heart transplant, the judge decided not to give him any prison time stating that if he were to send him to prison with his heart condition, it would end up being a death sentence.
Bitar’s heart condition and the fact that he decided to forfeit $40 million was sufficient for him to walk and live as a free man. This verdict did not go down well with the poker community as thousands of FTP players were still owed millions of dollars and they felt that they had been wronged twice with Bitar being able to go free.
Since then Full Tilt Poker under the supervision of the Garden City Group has been paying out its dues to thousands of poker players and will complete processing of all outstanding claims this year.
The ex-CEO of FTP has maintained a rather quiet profile for the last couple of years until recently when he posted pictures of him getting married towards the end of 2015. The pictures show that Bitar has lost a lot of weight and looks healthy and happy. These wedding pictures have once again stirred up the online poker community who feel that Bitar looks healthy enough for him to be behind bars, serving the sentence that he should have got.
Twitter user Remko Rinkema posted “Bitar looks healthy now, please put him behind bars. The guy got off for a massive scam, admitted to it, and never served any time.”