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Governments motion appealing bail for Bitar

Governments motion appealing bail for Bitar

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Published by: needstobesaid11 on Jul 06, 2012
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - xUNITED STATES OF AMERICA-v.-RAYMOND BITAR,Defendant.::::S8 10 Cr. 336 (LAK)- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x
GOVERNMENT’S MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF PRETRIAL DETENTION
PREET BHARARAUnited States Attorney for theSouthern District of New York 
 Attorney for the United Statesof America
Arlo Devlin-BrownAssistant United States Attorney
- Of Counsel -
Case 1:10-cr-00336-LAK Document 191 Filed 07/06/12 Page 1 of 11
 
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - xUNITED STATES OF AMERICA-v.-RAYMOND BITAR,Defendant.::::S8 10 Cr. 336 (LAK)- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x
GOVERNMENT’S MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF PRETRIAL DETENTION
The Government moves for the pre-trial detention of Raymond Bitar (the “defendant”) onthe grounds “no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance”of the defendant in Court. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(1). The defendant is charged with defraudingFull Tilt Poker players of approximately $350 million dollars, has millions of dollars in offshore bank accounts to support a life as a fugitive, and has already demonstrated a willingness remainabroad to avoid less serious charges.
Background
Raymond Bitar, a United States citizen, is the founder, Chief Executive Officer, and partial owner of Full Tilt Poker. In 2006, Full Tilt Poker moved its operations to Ireland andBitar relocated to Dublin, though he maintained property in the United States traveled back andforth between Ireland and the United States regularly for business and pleasure. That travelstopped, however, in early 2011, when Bitar concluded for several reasons (including, likely,from discussions Full Tilt Poker’ company counsel had with the Government in late 2010) thatan indictment could be imminent. Bitar then cancelled a reservation he had made for travel to1
Case 1:10-cr-00336-LAK Document 191 Filed 07/06/12 Page 2 of 11
 
the United States in early March and, for the first time since he had relocated to Ireland, failed toreturn to the United States in advance of his April 14 birthday.On April 15, 2011 an indictment was unsealed charging Bitar and ten other defendantswith gambling, bank fraud, and money laundering offenses relating to the operation of Full TiltPoker, Pokerstars and Absolute Poker. Bitar engaged a New York criminal defense lawyer,Richard Levitt, who contacted the United States Attorney’s Office shortly after the indictmentwas unsealed and intermittently thereafter. The Government’s message was consistent: if Bitar wanted to address the pending charges, he needed to return promptly.Bitar chose not to return. Nor did he step down as CEO of Full Tilt Poker, insteadfighting off an effort by passive shareholders of the company (which is held predominantly byUnited States poker players) to replace Bitar and the company’s board. Bitar told Full TiltPoker’s shareholders in substance that he could not step aside, that his role at the company wastoo critical, and that he and only he could raise money from new investors who might acquire acontrolling stake in the company to support its continued operations outside the United States.This struck several of the shareholders as preposterous – how could a CEO indicted on bank fraud and money laundering charges that he declined to face be the best person to represent thecompany with new investors? – but Bitar, backed by several allies, held on to control.In retrospect, the impetus of Bitar’s desire to remain at the helm is clear. As of the datethe indictment was unsealed, Full Tilt Poker was little more than a Ponzi scheme, and Bitar wanted to prevent it from unraveling. Specifically, as Bitar knew, Full Tilt Poker was in a perilous financial position even prior to the indictment. It owed players around the world over $350 million and, according to one company financial statement, only had $60 million in its bank 2
Case 1:10-cr-00336-LAK Document 191 Filed 07/06/12 Page 3 of 11

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