Prosecutors Will Sentence Former Full Tilt Poker Head to Death if Jail Time Sought

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
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Prosecutors Will Sentence Former Full Tilt Poker Head to Death if Jail Time Soug

With news that Full Tilt Poker former CEO Ray Bitar has plead guilty in connection to a April 11, 2011 indictment for money laundering and bank fraud, we have also learned that the disgraced businessman is now facing death.

The good news for Bitar is that he likely will not face any prison time.  That’s because federal prosecutors believe Bitar won’t live long enough to see the inside of a jail cell.

Bitar has been diagnosed with Class IV heart failure with a prognosis of 6 to 12 months survival.

Prosecutors would essentially be handing down a death sentence to Bitar should they recommend prison time.  That’s because the former head of Full Tilt would not be eligible for a heart transplant behind bars.  Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place.

There is, of course, the outside chance that Bitar will obtain a heart transplant during the 12 month window of survival possible.

The good news for Bitar is that Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi was set free back in 2009 as he, too, was supposedly knocking on death’s door.  Bset al-Megrahi managed to survive another three years.

Bitar will be required to fork over $40m in assets, which is enough to make anyone’s heart fail, with or without a disease.

Bitar is widely blamed for the implosion of the online poker industry in the US back on April 15, 2011, commonly known as “Black Friday”.  He and nearly a dozen others were charged for their role in running a money laundering operative through a Utah bank.  US Government officials cracked down hard on the industry as a result.

- Jagajeet Chiba,