Poker pro Allen Cunningham says that former Full Tilt CEO Ray Bitar is struggling with health problems and hasn’t been living the high life at all since his sentencing last year, despite what some poker fans may think. Those comments came in the middle of a TwoPlusTwo.com forums thread discussing the details of the assets that Bitar was forced to forfeit as a part of his punishment for crimes related to his time as head of the infamous poker site.
“According to my sources Ray Bitar is unlikely to live no more than a couple years and is nearly penniless,” Cunningham wrote in a reply to the “conspiracy theorists” who suggested that Bitar faked his heart problems to get a more lenient deal last year. “He didn’t get away with anything. That should be worth more than a random nvger’s gossip as I was member of team full tilt.” [sic]
Guilty of Full Tilt Charges
Bitar was sentenced last April to time served after pleading guilty to charges of unlawful Internet gambling and conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud. That sentence also included the forfeiture of $40 million in assets that were derived from his work at Full Tilt. At the time, Judge Loretta A. Preska noted that Bitar would have faced prison time as well if it hadn’t been for the fact that he needed an urgent heart transplant to deal with a serious medical condition.
Despite Cunningham’s words, however, posters continued to question whether Bitar had really been punished harshly enough for his crimes at Full Tilt, which included suggesting to players that their funds were protected in segregated accounts, despite this clearly not having been the case. That led to more messages from Cunningham, who felt that the reality was far different from what most posters imagined.
“Sorry, I didn’t realize the thread was just about baseless speculation,” he wrote. “I just saw ten posts contradicting what I had heard from some people close to Bitar so I thought someone might like to know.”
Enough Karmic Punishment, Cunningham Says
While some of the other posters in the thread didn’t think that a former Full Tilt pro was in the best position to be convincing them that Bitar was worthy of sympathy, Cunningham made it clear that he felt that the loss of Bitar’s wealth and his failing health was more than enough punishment for his crimes.
“I feel like that’s not getting away with it in a karmic way at least. And especially in contrast to the conjecture at the beginning of the thread that he had hidden accounts and faked the heart problem,” Cunningham wrote. “Some people still haven’t gotten paid and it’s mostly Ray Bitar’s fault, but he isn’t benefitting from it.”
The statements came in the wake of newly released information about the $40 million in assets forfeited by Bitar as a part of his sentence. In total, money was seized from 18 different bank accounts at eight different banks, including five accounts at the Bank of Valletta in Malta. Four homes were also surrendered, along with several commercial properties. Bitar was also forced to give up his stakes in over 30 different corporate entities, including 23 that were associated with Full Tilt.