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Poker News | Gambling and the Law

Ray Bitar Pleads Guilty as Medical Condition Revealed

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During the first week of March we reported that Former Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar appeared to have a "medical condition" that was affecting the Black Friday criminal case against him according to his lawyers.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that former Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar has reached a deal to plead guilty to criminal charges as his medical condition is revealed…he needs a heart transplant.

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska set April 19 as the potential date for Bitar to enter a guilty plea in California in his case. Bitar's surgery will take place in the Golden State.

Bitar's attorney, John F. Baughman, said that Bitar entered a plea agreement but the charges he will plead guilty to were not disclosed.

"It's a very unusual situation," Mr. Baughman said. "We've been able to work out something with the government that takes into account the unique circumstances. We appreciate the government's courtesy in this regard."

Last July at John F. Kennedy Airport Bitar turned himself over to authorities after he returned to the U.S. for the first time since Black Friday. In March of 2012, in an interview with PokerStrategy Bitar apologized.

In July of last year the Rational Group bought Full Tilt by settling with the U.S. Department of Justice for a sum of roughly $750 million.

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