Poker pro Allen Cunningham says that former Full Tilt CEO Ray Bitar has lost nearly his entire fortune and is in poor health, something that should satisfy those poker players who were looking for a harsher sentence for the disgraced online poker boss.
That word came from a post by Cunningham on the TwoPlusTwo.com forums, in a thread about the details of the assets Bitar was forced to forfeit.
“To all the conspiracy theorists: according to my sources Ray Bitar is unlikely to live more than a couple years and is nearly penniless,” Cunningham wrote. “He didn’t get away with anything. That should be worth more than a random [poster’s] gossip as I was a member of team full tilt.” [sic]
Bitar’s Sentence Questioned
That followed the questions of some posters in the thread as to whether Bitar had received an excessively lenient deal from prosecutors in his sentencing last year. Back in April 2013, the former Full Tilt Poker CEO was sentenced to time served after pleading guilty to unlawful Internet gambling and conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud.
Bitar was also required to forfeit $40 million in cash and other assets that had been derived from his time at Full Tilt. However, until this past week, the details of those forfeitures had not been made public.
In total, funds were seized from 18 different bank accounts. That included multiple accounts at the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Bank of Ireland, National Irish Bank, Bank of Valletta, Wirecard Bank AG and Comerica Bank. Four homes were also seized, and Bitar was forced to give up his equity in 32 separate corporate entities. That included 23 that were related to Full Tilt, as well as an additional nine that were unconnected to the poker site.
$40 million is certainly a significant sum, but some of the posters in the thread where Cunningham posted his information seemed to feel as though Bitar had gotten off too easy. At least one even questioned whether the heart problems that were cited as a major reason for Bitar’s relatively lenient sentence were legitimate. Others pointed out that prosecutors wouldn’t have just taken his word at face value and would have confirmed his health issues before taking them into account. But that sentiment may still have prompted Cunningham’s comments.
“Sorry, I didn’t realize the thread was just about baseless speculation,” Cunningham posted later in the thread, after some posters continued to question his comments about Bitar. “I just saw ten posts contradicting what I had heard from some people close to Bitar so I thought someone might like to know.”
Cunningham continued by saying that being found guilty, being in poor health, and having his wealth taken away should be more than enough for most poker players to be satisfied with Bitar’s fate.
“I feel like that’s not getting away with it in a karmic way at least,” he wrote. “And especially in contrast to the conjecture at the beginning of the thread that he had hidden accounts and faked the heart problem. I would trade places with any of his victims over him. Some people still haven’t gotten paid and it’s mostly Ray Bitar’s fault, but he isn’t benefitting from it.”