By Basil Katz | Reuters –
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The chief of Full Tilt Poker surrendered to U.S. authorities on Monday and pleaded not guilty to charges of illegal gambling and that the online poker operator defrauded its players.
Raymond Bitar,40, had been working at Full Tilt’s Dublin, Ireland, headquarters, and until Monday had not returned to the United States since charges against him were first announced in April 2011.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged 11 people at the three biggest online poker companies: Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars. The U.S. government also seized their Internet domain names.
At a hearing late on Monday in Manhattan federal court, Bitar pleaded not guilty to nine criminal counts, including illegal gambling, money laundering and wire fraud charges.