Bitar Files Claim Against Seizures

September 30, 2011 - 12:37 PM EDT
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While the poker world was discussing the AGCC’s decision to revoke Full Tilt Pokers licenses, Ray Bitar was filing his claim against some seized assets that occurred on Black Friday.

Bitar, citing his legal and equitable ownership interests in some of the in rem defendants, made his claim, as required by Rule G of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime and Asset Forfeiture Claims. He has also claimed ownership of the domain names.1

Bitar specifically cites his ownership interests in Full Tilt Ltd. and Tiltware LLC, although he stopped short of confirming a definitive ownership percentage in either.

He has further asserted legal and equitable ownership interest in the bank accounts of those companies, in addition to at least one in his own personal name, that are listed in the amended civil complaint, filed on September 20th.2 He specifically names the following bank accounts, but does not limit his claim to further include others:

  •  account 1892947126, held at Comerica Bank, Dallas, Texas, in the name of Tiltware, and all funds traceable thereto
  •  account 1892947134, held at Comerica Bank, Dallas, Texas, in the name of Tiltware and all funds traceable thereto
  •  account GB81 RBOS 6905 4234 0877 66 held at NatWest in the name of Raymond Bitar and all funds traceable thereto

Bitar also specifically alleges that

My interest in these above-referenced properties is legal and equitable ownership, an ownership interest acquired by my lawful establishment of those entities and my entirely lawful hard work performed for said companies over the years. The assets subject to forfeiture are neither proceeds nor instrumentalities of any crimes in any jurisdiction in the United States or elsewhere.

Bitar asserts that his interest trumps that of the government and that he not only disputes the government’s forfeiture allegations, but asks for the opportunity to challenge the governments claims, both on factual and legal grounds.

His verified claim was notarized in Dublin and filed in the US Court through his New York attorney, Richard W. Levitt.

Footnotes

  1. The FullTiltPoker.com domain name was seized on Black Friday, although the DOJ later allowed FTP use of the domain so that they could facilitate withdrawals to US players while continuing with their non-US business. Such withdrawals have never taken place.
  2. The two Tiltware accounts were listed in the original civil complaint filed on April 15th, while the NatWest account in Bitar’s name was originally mentioned in the criminal indictment but added to the amended civil complaint.

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15 Responses to Bitar Files Claim Against Seizures

  1. declan oconnell
    September 30, 2011 at 12:48 PM EDT

    if he wants his money we want ours asshole!!!

  2. Drew
    September 30, 2011 at 12:51 PM EDT

    So help me God if he somehow stops a deal with the investors.

    • Rick Charles
      October 1, 2011 at 2:43 PM EDT

      Trust me, the “investor” deal is a ruse. They guy who is supposedly the buyer has been convicted of fixing sporting events and fraud, and not only that but the agreement says that everyone must be paid back first. This will NEVER happen. He is a friend of Bitar’s who is just trying to muddy the waters. There IS no real offer, there IS no real deal, and our money IS already in the pockets of thieves.

  3. Cameron
    September 30, 2011 at 12:54 PM EDT

    “Entirely lawful hard work performed”

    Hahahahahaha….hahaha…ha. Oh boy.

    So he’s really going to waste time because the website was taken? That almost has nothing to do with anything, correct? I mean, I sure don’t give a sh*t about the website.

  4. Rob C
    September 30, 2011 at 1:30 PM EDT

    Individual filings rarely mean anything. FTP/Bitar’s attorneys are following a planned course of procedural filings to establish a footing and foundation for his overall defense.
    Unless the courts allow Bitar to defend his claim to his assets in absentia he will have to return to the US. Don’t forget he is under indictment for Bank Fraud and is subject to arrest and incarceration. Both events are unlikely. This is just a legal filing to protect his interest in the company. If Bitar were to allow these seizures to occur without response he would be allowing the DOJ a default victory.

  5. Kevin
    September 30, 2011 at 3:27 PM EDT

    If Bitar’s accounting skills for his personal finances are as good as his accounting skills as a CEO at Full Tilt..then i’d say he has little hope.

    Although it is nice to see him starting to squirm a little bit over ‘money’, after months and months of players being denied the money that rightfully belongs to them.

    I hope they take it all from him, and he has to end up living in a homeless shelter and going to a food bank.

  6. TILT_ANON
    September 30, 2011 at 4:51 PM EDT

    I met him a few times in my short tenure at FT. He was always a dodgy bastard, I just didnt realise how crimina/incompetant the American management were (in stark contrast to the people who built the business).

  7. YaBoy
    September 30, 2011 at 7:00 PM EDT

    this is unreal stuff, so we are clear him and circus clowns are still living like millionaires! i HATE these people!

  8. Rob
    September 30, 2011 at 8:23 PM EDT

    He must have thought he was going to have his golden goose forever. He does not present himself very well.

    “My interest in these above-referenced properties is legal and equitable ownership, an ownership interest acquired by my lawful establishment of those entities and my entirely lawful hard work performed for said companies over the years”

    Some pretty crazy stuff still coming out of the wood work. Kind of annoying after having paid 5 figures of rake that they do not have my 4 figure account balance.

  9. Dontrustdurrrr
    October 1, 2011 at 10:07 PM EDT

    I really think those of us owed money by FT need to shine the spotlight on Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, and every other poker player out there who owe FT money. I also want to make it clear to Ivey, Dwan, and the others that their days as marketable pros are over. You were paid endorsers of a company that stole my money while you borrowed my money. No site, present or future, will ever want any part of you.

    • Adreno
      October 2, 2011 at 3:32 AM EDT

      Just look at Tony G, he seems to get TV appearances and sponsorship deals just fine despite the fact that he scammed tons of players with T6 poker.

      • Mikey
        October 2, 2011 at 4:09 PM EDT

        ftom my undertanding Tony G paid/compensated everyoen who was affected in that scandal back so thats irrelevant

      • MoreEV
        October 3, 2011 at 8:11 AM EDT

        Tony G is the man

  10. antoine hunt
    October 2, 2011 at 5:43 PM EDT

    Meanwhile, from approximately April 2007 until
    April 2011, Full Tilt Poker, and its Board of Directors, Bitar,
    Howard Lederer (“Lederer”), Christopher Ferguson, a/k/a “Jesus”
    (“Ferguson”), and Rafael Furst (“Furst”), all owners of Full Tilt
    Poker, distributed approximately $443,860,529.89 to themselves

    enough said!!! thats why you aint got no money because they stole it pure and simple and how on earth they are not locked up right now is anyone guess. all them years i watched the big cash games on full tilt tv and million doller cash games were ferguson and the gang were all playing and all the time they were using our money. just look how gus plays cash games like a man who money is not even his.

    • Dontrustdurrrr
      October 3, 2011 at 1:38 AM EDT

      Great points. I’ve thought the exact same thing. Now some of those plays that Gus and Dwan made make sense….they were playing with my money. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sick. It’s a lot easier to bluff when you’re playing with funny money. When will they be arrested? And I’m not just talking about Bitar, Lederer and Ferguson.

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