Former Full Tilt poker pro Allen Cunningham has fired back at players who criticized the sentence received last year by the site’s ex-CEO Ray Bitar, saying that his former boss is in poor health and not enjoying the funds he earned while heading up the poker site.
The comments came in a thread on TwoPlusTwo.com, in which posters were discussing the newly released details of the assets Bitar forfeited after his sentencing last year.
“To all the conspiracy theorists: according to my sources Ray Bitar is unlikely to live more than a couple years and is nearly penniless,” Cunningham wrote. “He didn’t get away with anything. That should be worth more than a random nvger’s gossip as I was a member of team full tilt.” [sic]
That post came in reply to some speculation that Bitar was getting off easy, with some saying that he should have been serving jail time, even if he did not have long to live. Others suggested that Bitar may even have faked his health problems to get off lightly in sentencing, though there were plenty who pointed out that the judge and prosecutors were unlikely to have simply accepted Bitar’s claims without confirming them.
Last April, Bitar pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud, as well as to unlawful Internet gambling. As a result, he was sentenced to time served and agreed to the forfeiture of $40 million in cash and other assets. At the time, US District Judge Loretta A. Preska made it clear that she would have given Bitar significant jail time if it weren’t for his failing health, which included a serious condition that left him in urgent need of a heart transplant.
Given that acknowledgement, perhaps the speculation over whether or not Bitar was really sick shouldn’t be a surprise. But Cunningham said that nothing he had heard from his sources suggested that Bitar had pulled a fast one on federal officials.
“Sorry, I didn’t realize the thread was just about baseless speculation,” Cunningham said in response to some posters questioning whether he was simply trying to get sympathy for Bitar’s plight. “I just saw ten posts contradicting what I had heard from some people close to Bitar so I thought someone might like to know.”
The details of the assets forfeited by Bitar were released during the past week, the first time the public gained any insight into exactly what was surrendered last year. That included funds from 18 different bank accounts in eight separate banks, including accounts from banks in Scotland, Ireland, and Malta. Bitar also gave up four homes and some commercial properties, and relinquished the equity he held in 23 entities related to Full Tilt, as well as several more companies that were unconnected to the poker site.
In the end, Cunningham said, this leaves Bitar with a criminal conviction, little money and likely a short life span. And at least as far as he is concerned, that’s enough to say that Bitar has received all the punishment he deserves.
“I feel like that’s not getting away with it in a karmic way at least,” Cunningham wrote. “I would trade places with any of his victims over him. Some people still haven’t gotten paid and it’s mostly Ray Bitar’s fault, but he isn’t benefitting from it.”