Former Full Tilt CEO Ray Bitar granted continuance

With all of his Full Tilt Poker cohorts settling their civil cases with the Department of Justice –Howard Ledererer, Rafe Furst, and Chris Ferguson—there is only one man who could take the fall for the failed operation from the Full Tilt Poker Board of Directors; Ray Bitar. Unlike Lederer, Ferguson, and Furst, Bitar faces not only a civil complaint, but also a criminal indictment, and on Monday Ray Bitar was granted a continuance which will see pre-trial hearing put on hold until he recovers from unspecified health problems according to –perhaps he has a broken heart over the way Full Tilt Poker turned out and the plight of US players?

Bitar has borne the brunt of the player outcries from the outset of Black Friday, and has been portrayed as everything from scheming to incompetent by other Full Tilt Poker owners and even by Howard Lederer himself, who basically threw Bitar under the bus during his Lederer Files interview with

Bitar surrendered to the US Department of Justice last summer, capping off a wild week that saw PokerStars settle with the DOJ and purchase Full Tilt Poker and all of its assets and debts. Bitar’s Hollywood-esque airport surrender was more of a side story once the PokerStars/Full Tilt Poker deal was announced, at which point the anger and hated towards Bitar has subsided and he has been somewhat of forgotten player since.

Upon surrendering, Bitar was arraigned where he pleaded not guilty to nine criminal charges including fraud and money laundering. Like Lederer, Furst and Ferguson, the US Department of Justice has also filed a civil complaint against Bitar, and is seeking some $40 million from the former Full Tilt Poker CEO.

In December of 2012, Rafe Furst was the first FTP Board of Directors member to settle with the DOJ, surrendering an unspecified amount of money and setting a precedent that Lederer and Ferguson would also use, admitting no guilt.

Furst’s settlement was followed by Howard Lederer, who settled with the DOJ a few weeks later in December 2012, surrendering an unspecified amount of money and physical assets.

And just a few weeks ago it was Chris Ferguson’s turn to forfeit some monetary assets and end his legal nightmare with the Department of Justice.

It’s unclear whether Bitar will face major jail time over his transgressions, considering all of the other criminally indicted individuals from Black Friday were able to plea down to fairly major charges and sentences, but in the case of Bitar there might not be anyone higher-up to “rat out” in order to get a lesser sentence.

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