The crackdown on the U.S. online poker industry is continuing.
Nathan Vardi of Forbes is reporting that Ray Bitar, the chief executive of Full Tilt Poker, has been arrested and is being held in New York. Bitar had been in Ireland.
The FBI arrested Bitar on Monday morning upon his arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Bitar pleaded not guilty to the federal charges in a late-afternoon hearing in federal court in Manhattan. He faces up to 145 years in jail if he is convicted on all counts filed against him by the government.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have also filed a superseding indictment against Bitar detailing fresh allegations regarding Bitar's alleged efforts to conceal Full Tilt's cash crunch that resulted in the company being unable to repay player money following the Aprill 2011 crackdown on online poker. Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, has said that Full Tilt was operating like a Ponzi scheme....
"I returned voluntarily to the U.S. from Full Tilt's headquarters in Ireland to face the charges against me," Bitar said in a statement. "I know that a lot of people are very angry at me. I understand why."