Feeds

Full Tilt Poker boss arrested over $430m 'Ponzi scheme'

Hands himself in to authorities over missed payments

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

The CEO of Full Tilt Poker has handed himself in to American authorities to face charges of running a Ponzi scheme against its users.

Raymond Bitar was arrested by the FBI at JFK Airport, in New York over allegations that his website, at one time the second biggest online poker company in the world, defrauded players by taking money that was reserved for payments and distributing it to directors of the company.

"Bitar and Full Tilt Poker persisted in soliciting US gamblers long after such conduct was outlawed. As alleged, Bitar has already been charged with defrauding banks to conceal the illegal gambling," said FBI assistant director-in-charge Janice K. Fedarcyk 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. The on-line casino become an Internet Ponzi scheme."

According to the FBI, the company told players that their money was held in ringfenced accounts, but Bitar and the other directors siphoned off $430m for their own use, leaving US users short of $344m in lost gaming funds.

Full Tilt only had around $145m in its bank accounts and was using funds from new players to pay off existing debts, the FBI says.

"I know that a lot of people are very angry at me. I understand why," Bitar said in a statement emailed to El Reg. "Full Tilt should never have gotten into a position where it could not repay player funds. For the last 15 months, I have worked hard on possible solutions to get the players repaid. Returning today is part of that process." ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.