Online Gambling Crime Doesn't Pay

Published Saturday, December 13, 2014 -
Online Gambling Crime Doesn't Pay

The old saying ‘crime doesn’t pay’ is a good one to describe the fallout from the Full Tilt Poker scandal that rocked the online gambling world not long ago. In some ways those involved and prosecuted for the fraud and unlawful internet betting got off lightly with stiff fines and forfeitures with short times in prison. Those who benefited from illegal online gambling in America are now safe from further penalties ordered by the courts and have little to show for their efforts after giving the government most of their ill gotten gains.

Ray Bitar pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and other charges and was sentenced to time served after he agreed to forfeit  $40 million in cash and other assets. US District Judge Loretta A. Preska said that she would have given Bitar a big chunk of prison time if it weren’t for his poor health. Some critics claim this sentence is minimal and should have been stiffer for the fraudster. His medical conditions aside Bitar did have a significant stash set aside for a long a prosperous life which included funds from 18 different bank accounts in eight separate banks, including accounts in Scotland, Ireland, and Malta. Bitar also had four houses, commercial properties, and equity in 23 enterprises related to Full Tilt, as well as several unconnected companies.

Bitar has been saddled with a criminal conviction, and little money to live the life style he became accustomed to. The critics claim he has lost the game at the expense of those who still haven’t received compensation for their losses.

Former Full Tilt poker professional  Allen Cunningham has reacted to players who criticized the sentence saying, “To all the conspiracy theorists: according to my sources Ray Bitar is unlikely to live more than a couple years and is nearly penniless,”

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