Full Tilt Poker CEO arrested in NYC for alleged Ponzi scheme

Ryan Lovelace Contributor
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United States law enforcement arrested Full Tilt Poker’s chief executive, Ray Bitar, on charges that Full Tilt was being run like a Ponzi scheme. Bitar voluntarily surrendered in New York City, Forbes reported.

Bitar returned from Full Tilt’s headquarters in Ireland to John F. Kennedy International Airport, where the FBI arrested him on Monday.

“I know that a lot of people are very angry at me. I understand why. Full Tilt should never have gotten into a position where it could not repay player funds,” Bitar said.

Bitar faces a potential 145 years in prison if he is convicted on all counts.

Federal prosecutors have issued an indictment that uncovered new allegations about Bitar’s attempts to conceal Full Tilt’s inability to repay its customers.

“For the last 15 months, I have worked hard on possible solutions to get the players repaid,” Bitar said, “Returning today is part of that process.”

The government claims Full Tilt still owes its players approximately $350 million, according to Forbes.