Feeds

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

Hands himself in to authorities over missed payments

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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." ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
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.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.