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Ray Bitar Files Claim Challenging U.S. Department of Justice Forfeiture Allegations

Ray Bitar Claim

On Sept. 28, Full Tilt Poker CEO Raymond Bitar, filed a claim against the United States Department of Justice's forfeiture allegations. Bitar's claim is in accordance with Rule G of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty and Maritime Claims, which is part of the Federal Rules for Civil Procedure.

Generally, Admiralty Law covers offenses that are maritime in nature; however, the law also covers "commercial activities that are land based or occur wholly on land, that are maritime in character." Rule G went into effect in Dec. of 2006, and "governs procedures for civil asset forfeiture actions in federal courts."

In the claim, Bitar states that he has "legal and equitable ownership in various companies (set out in the Government's First Amended Complaint) in varying percentages including ownership interests in Full Tilt Ltd. and Tiltware LLC." He also claims that he had ownership in the domains of those entities which the government is attempting to forfeit.

On top of claiming ownership in Full Tilt and Tiltware, Bitar asserts "legal and equitable ownership interests in the bank accounts of those companies as well as a bank account in my name."

Bitar then references three accounts that were set out in the first amended complaint:

  • account numbered 1892947126 held at Comerica Bank, Dallas, Texas in the name of Tiltware, and all funds traceable
  • account numbered 1892947134 held at Comerica Bank, Dallas, Texas in the name of Tiltware, and all funds traceable thereto; and
  • account numbered GB81 RBOS 6095 4234 0877 66 held at NatWest, in the name of Raymond Bitar, and all funds tranceable thereto.

Bitar claims the "assets subject to forfeiture are neither proceeds nor instrumentalities of any crimes in any jurisdiction in the United States or elsewhere. He disputes the "government's forfeiture allegations" and requests "an opportunity to challenge the government's forfeiture claim; both the factual allegations and legal claims, as contained in the Complaint," saying his "claim to the specified property is superior to the government's interest" in the properties.

Read Ray Bitar's entire claim for more.

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