Disgraced Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar finally had his day in court, and he got about as light of a punishment as he could’ve hoped for. Bitar was credited with “time served” before sentencing and won’t have to do any more jail time. The reason why is because he needs a heart transplant and would likely die behind bars. The kicker is that he’ll have to forfeit $40 million worth of assets, which isn’t that much of a kicker when you consider what he did.
Not long after Bitar was indicted by the US Department of Justice on various felony charges, Full Tilt eventually lost its license along with $330 million worth of player deposits. It was later revealed that he used funds from Full Tilt player accounts to pay himself and other board members. He also misled new players into thinking that their money was kept separate from FTP’s payroll and expense accounts.
Considering that Ray Bitar earned well over $40 million during his time at FTP, it’s pretty clear that $40 million in asset forfeiture and a little time served in jail is a sweet deal. In fact, most would say that justice wasn’t served at all in this matter.
Millions of professional players who trusted Full Tilt with money had their lives rocked. Some pros were forced out of the game altogether when their bankroll essentially vanished on FTP. All the while, Bitar was lining his pockets with money, even though he knew the risks associated with running a US-friendly online poker site.
Obviously what he did was immoral and affected a lot of people’s lives. So most would rather take the risk of him dying in jail over letting him get away with a less than satisfactory punishment. On the other hand, if Bitar’s heart condition is as bad as he claims, it seems like he’s suffering enough already. Fretting about what would happen to him all these months definitely took a toll on the obese man.
So has justice been served in this matter? The truth is that there’s no clear answer, but just know that Bitar didn’t get out of this matter totally unscathed.