Full Tilt Poker co-founder and chief executive Raymond Bitar has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him after giving himself up to US authorities.
Bitar recently returned from Ireland to hand himself in to the FBI in New York, not long before news surfaced that the US government had issued a superseding indictment against him and Full Tilt head of payment processing Nelson Burtnick over allegations relating to the operations of Full Tilt Poker.
Following his arrest Bitar has been charged with nine criminal counts relating to illegal gambling, money laundering and wire fraud, all of which he denies, and has been informed by a US judge that he will remain in custody until a pre-trial conference on Monday, unless bail of $2.5m is posted.
A post on poker forum Two Plus Two claims to quote an internal email sent by Bitar to Full Tilt staff in Ireland in which he details his plans to return to the US to face civil and criminal cases, and also references Full Tilt’s rumoured takeover by PokerStars.
“We have all worked hard over the last 15 months to preserve Full Tilt’s assets and potential in order to provide for the repayment of all players, and that continues to be our top priority,” the apparent email read.
“It is as important as ever that we all do everything possible to make that happen and hopefully our deal with PokerStars will very soon make our goal a reality. My return to the US is part of this process.”