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Ray Bitar Full Tilt Poker founder

Ray Bitar, the online poker tycoon who ran the worlds second largest poker site from servers in Guernsey, has abandoned his defence against criminal charges brought by US prosecutors, striking a plea bargain as he awaits a heart transplant in California

 Bitar, 41, one of the founding figures behind Full Tilt Poker, becomes the second of 11 senior poker executives and payment processor intermediaries charged two years ago with bank fraud, money laundering and online gambling offences.
 
He was charged in April 2011 on five counts, and faced a maximum jail sentence of 65 years. Full Tilt was shut down and assets frozen. In four and a half years since the US enacted anti-online gambling laws, prosecutors alleged Full Tilt – branded around star players Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer and Chris Jesus Ferguson, each of whom had a stake in the business – had taken at least an estimated $1bn from the US alone.
 
However, bank fraud and money laundering allegations turn out to be just the start of Bitars woes. Detailed investigation led the US authorities to further allege that he and co-conspirators had secretly been plundering purportedly ring-fenced customer accounts, where poker players thought they had safely deposited cash and winnings.

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Ray Bitar, the online poker tycoon who ran the worlds second largest poker site from servers in Guernsey, has abandoned his defence against criminal charges brought by US prosecutors, striking a plea bargain as he awaits a heart transplant in California More

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