Full Tilt Poker CEO Pledges to Return Player Money, Delaware Is First to OK Online Casinos

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Full Tilt Poker, a company founded by professional poker players in the U.S. in 2004, offered Internet gambling to U.S. residents, and took in an estimated $1 billion from U.S. residents through April 15, 2011, according to the indictment.

The U.S. Attorney's office said, "Because U.S. banks were largely unwilling to process payments for illegal Internet gambling," Bitar and co-defendant, Nelson Burtnick, the head of Full Tilt Poker's payment processing department, "relied on fraudulent means designed to trick U.S. banks by disguising payments to Full Tilt Poker as payments unrelated to Internet gambling."

John Bauhman, an attorney for Bitar and a partner at Paul, Weiss, said he and his client "had previously informed the United States Attorney's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation that Ray and I would be arriving at JFK this morning on a flight from Europe, and Ray's surrender took place at the airport in my presence and without incident."

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