According to cnet.com, Raymond Bitar, founder and CEO of Full Tilt Poker, was arrested yesterday as he arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York and charged with running a Ponzi scheme, gambling, bank fraud, and money laundering offenses, faces up to 145 years in prison, if convicted of all the charges.
“Full Tilt owed $350 million to players around the world while holding only $60 million to $70 million to cover payments, authorities allege. More than $430 million in gamblers’ winnings were allegedly siphoned to Bitar and other owners of the online poker site.”
“Bitar and Full Tilt Poker persisted in soliciting U.S. gamblers long after such conduct was outlawed,” Janice K. Fedarcyk, assistant director-in-charge at the FBI, said in a statement. “Now he stands accused of defrauding Full Tilt’s customers by concealing its cash-poor condition and paying off early creditors with deposits from later customers.”
In April of 2011
The US government added the charges of running a Ponzi scheme against the company and directors last September.
It was back in April of last year that the US charged PokerStars, FullTiltPoker, AbsolutePoker (using UB.com) on charges of, violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, operation of illegal gambling business, conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy.