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.
- 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. ↩
- 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. ↩