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Ray Bitar Pleads Guilty; Sentenced to Time Served and Must Forfeit Assets

Ray Bitar

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported former Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar had reached a deal to plead guilty to criminal charges. Today, on the two-year anniversary of Black Friday, the WSJ reports that Bitar was sentenced to time served and ordered to give up his assets, which are rumored to include his various homes and $40 million in cash.

Bitar, who appeared in front of U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York via a live video feed from Los Angeles, was arrested at John F. Kennedy Airport last July upon his return to the U.S. for the first time since Black Friday. He served seven days in jail after his arrest.

According to Dave Behr of, Bitar expressed remorse. “I regret my actions. I know they were wrong and illegal. I am very sorry,” he said. “I’m very sorry for the problems that Full Tilt Poker got into. It never should have happened.”

Bitar's sentence could have been more extreme had it not been for the fact that he is a Class IV heart transplant candidate.

“The driving factor in this sentence is Mr. Bitar’s precarious health condition,” Judge Preska said. “The Federal Bureau of Prisons is not able to provide the care that Mr. Bitar needs. Prison almost undoubtedly would kill him. The possibility of prison would make Mr. Bitar ineligible for a heart transplant, which would also impose a death sentence.”

PokerNews will bring you more on this story as it develops.

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