With most of the legal jeopardy and fallout from the Department of Justice indictments waning, there has been an uptick of information coming out regarding the goat rodeo that was Full Tilt Poker operations post-Black Friday....
(alternate headline: It’s Time to Short William Hill Stock) After Federated Sports+Gaming crashed and burned more spectacularly than any company in poker history, many wondered if Jeffrey Pollack, Annie Duke, and others would...
Ray Bitar needs a new heart. Wait, Ray Bitar had a heart?
Ok ok ok. We won’t make light of this. The man doesn’t deserve physical harm or misery. But seriously.
On Monday it was announced that former Full Tiltstooge CEO Ray Bitar would plead guilty to his criminal charges after striking a deal with the U.S. government.
In an odd twist, Bitar, who many believe at a minimum had no soul, needs a new heart. Say Bitar’s lawyer to the WSJ:
“It’s a very unusual situation. We’ve been able to work out something with the government that takes into account the unique circumstances. We appreciate the government’s courtesy in this regard.”
Additionally, Bitar asked for no “incarceration” as part of the deal, because, well, why the fuck wouldn’t he.
As we argued on Rich Muny’s Poker Advocacy podcast on Monday (here), assuming Bitar survives the transplant (he’s supposedly 50/50 to do so), then the man needs to serve jail time. No way around it. No matter if he cedes over $40M in assets (as has been vaguely reported) or not.
While Bitar hasn’t quite yet entered the Tyson Zone, he’s getting close.
Hat’s off to Poker News and Matt Parvis for getting the first post-Black Friday Howard Lederer interview.
Part I dropped on Tuesday. Howard comes right out and says, “I am one person in what was a very complicated situation. I don’t have all the answers and all the facts.” It’s unfortunate that he tries to instantly absolve himself of knowledge of the company because let’s be clear about something: Howard might not know every single fact about Full Tilt Poker–but he knows more than anyone else.
Howard details the beginnings of Full Tilt Poker, including who the original money in the company was (Phil Ivey, Andy Bloch, Perry Friedman, etc.) and how the company launched. He doesn’t sound like he was overly impressed with Ray Bitar at first (or in general), which is interesting considering how much he attached the company’s success and management to him. He does seem to have a fonder opinion of Chris Ferguson.
Interesting stuff. Watch in full above or on Poker News here.
If the U.S. Government has its way, Howard Lederer won’t be having backyard parties again.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has amended its civil complaint against Howard Lederer, claiming he used proceeds obtained unlawfully via Full Tilt Poker to fund personal bank accounts and buy property, including his home.
[The amendment claims] there is “probable cause for forfeiture”, with the [U.S. Attorney's Office] citing the forfeitable assets as traceable to money laundering offences, wire fraud, bank fraud and the operation of an illegal gambling business, as well as the use of relevant property in illegal gambling businesses.
Of the estimated US$443m total, the USAO claims “at least $44,314,997.31 in United States currency that was directly tied to…criminal conduct…” was paid into a bank account in the name of HH Lederer Consulting, with the bulk of that total being paid directly from FTP company Pocket Kings Consulting Ltd.
A second amended complaint details Lederer’s $10M “dream home” (complete with a lit up Full Tilt logo in the pool) on Hawk Ridge Drive in Las Vegas, and specifically how illegal funds were used to purchase it.
Additionally, it’s claimed that Bitar authorized a payment from Pocket Kings of over $566,000 of alleged illegally obtained funds to an escrow account for a California home he purchased in April 2010.
Developing…but read more behind the eGR paywall here.
Seven years from now is really gonna suck for me, Mickey.
About fucking time.
Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar has surrendered to U.S. authorities in New York today.
Along with the previous Black FridayTM charges against him, Bitar was hit with a new indictment. The new filing claims that Bitar knowingly misled Full Tilt customers after Black Friday in order to instill confidence that Full Tilt was still “safe and secure” as well as lying to the AGCC regarding Tilt’s ability to do business.
And oh yeah, despite running Full Tilt into the ground, Bitar is alleged to have paid himself $3M in compensation AFTER Black Friday.
Read the indictments in full, as well as an email Bitar sent to Full Tilt employees, here.
After some technical difficulties,* Part I of the Wicked Chops & Gavin podcast is now up. We recorded this one at the Casa de Gavin, so it’s possible that you’ll hear some crying children in the background for the first 15 minutes. In related news, Gavin Smith is a father. In this one, we cover [...]
Here’s Part 2 of the latest Wicked Chops & GavinTM podcast. What happened to Part 1? Some back-end technical difficulties that we’re blaming on Falcon Heene. Little fucker is at it again. Part 1 should be up later today. So Part 2 of the podcast was based on a brilliant Gavin Smith idea: the Awesome [...]