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Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar Surrenders to U.S. Authorities

Posted at 07:00 2012-07-03 by PokerNetwork Staff

Ray Bitar, the chief executive officer of Full Tilt Poker and one of 11 men indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on Black Friday, surrendered to U.S. authorities on Monday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York confirmed to PokerNews that Bitar gave himself up to the FBI in New York. Bitar is facing five charges for his role at Full Tilt Poker, including conspiracy to violate the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), operation of illegal gambling business, and money laundering conspiracy.

Monday's news initially broke on the TwoPlusTwo forums, where a reputable member leaked an internal email allegedly sent by Bitar to staffers in Ireland. In the email, Bitar explains that his return to the U.S. is "part of the process" in completing the pending deal with PokerStars and the Department of Justice.

"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," Bitar writes. "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."

UPDATE: PokerNews has received an updated indictment signed by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara that details Bitar's efforts to cover up Full Tilt Poker's liquidity problems after the original indictment was released on April 15, 2011.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York will be issuing a press release later today. PokerNetwork will have more on this story as it develops. Follow PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

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