After a week in federal custody, Ray Bitar, chief executive officer of Full Tilt Poker, was released on bail. After arguing last week that Bitar posed a flight risk and should be denied bail, the U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed to a deal that was approved by federal judge, Paul A. Engelmayer.
As part of the deal that enabled him to be released from custody, Bitar agreed to post a $2.5 million personal recognizance bond that is secured with $2 million of Bitar’s assets, including cash and property, and signed by five co-signers who will be personally responsible for satisfying the terms of the bond if Bitar fails to do so himself. Bitar also surrendered his passport and will have his movements tracked by an electronic monitoring device to ensure he does not travel anywhere other than California or New York.
As of the time of publication, Bitar had posted $280,000 in cash and $715,000 in property as part of his bail. An appraisal of a warehouse located in San Dimas, California, that is owned by Bitar is expected to be completed within the next few days. The warehouse may be sufficient to satisfy the requirements of Bitar’s recognizance bond if its appraised value is at least $1,005,000.
When arrested after surrendering himself to authorities at JFK International Airport in New York last week, FTP’s chief executive officer pled innocent to nine criminal charges, including allegations that he defrauded poker players located in the United States and abroad about the safety of their money. If convicted on all counts, Bitar could face a sentence of up to 145 years behind bars.