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Full Tilt Poker Head Ray Bitar Surrenders to US Authorities

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Full Tilt Poker head Ray Bitar, one of the individuals named in the Black Friday indictments, has surrendered himself to US authorities.

Update: 10:30 AM EST July 3rd PokerFuse cites an AP report claiming Bitar’s surrender may not have been entirely voluntary, writing that:

US authorities had been working with Irish authorities and was prepared to extradite Bitar if he did not return voluntarily.

Update: 7:30 PM EST There is apparently no deal between the DOJ and Bitar. While widely assumed, no deal had been reported by any major sources throughout the day. This just gets odder:

Update: 3:48 PM EST Bitar apparently in custody.

Update: 3:20 EST Nathan Vardi of Forbes reports on superseding indictment against Bitar (click link to view document):

Update: 3pm EST: Nathan Vardi of Forbes reports that Bitar continued to draw a big ol’ salary post-Black Friday.

Update 2:25pm EST: Forbes is confirming arrest. H/T to ESPN’s Andrew Feldman:

Update 2:10 EST: Black Friday indictments have been updated:

Original story begins here.

News first broke on 2p2, where a new member posted the following email reportedly sent by Bitar to FTP employees:

To all Dublin Staff,

By now you probably have heard that I have returned to the US to deal with civil and criminal case that are pending against me in New York. 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. It is as important as ever that we all do everything possible to make that happen and, hopefully our deal with Poker Stars will very soon make our goal a reality. My return to the US is part of this process.

I am particularly grateful to all of you here in Dublin for your hard work, patience and understanding during this difficult time. I believe that your hard work and dedication should not go unrecognized, and we have made arrangements for Poker Stars to guarantee all July salaries. You should therefore have no concern about coming to work during this period. After that, we expect that your employment contracts will be assumed by the buyer of the company’s assets.

For those that need to reach me, I expect to continue to be available by email and phone starting late Monday, New York time.

EGR is confirming the story.

PokerNews is also confirming:

@Kevmath is sharing an image on Twitter that purports to show an update to Bitar’s case tracking: A “sealed” document entered on 7/2/12.

HT to @KevMath for the original link:

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Chris Grove
- Chris is the publisher of OnlinePokerReport.com. Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.