Apr 10, 2013
Ray Bitar to Plead Guilty and may Avoid Jail Time as he Awaits Heart Transplant
By RTR Dennis
Former Full Tilt CEO Raymond Bitar has reportedly reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors that will see him forfeit roughly $40million worth of assets but spend no time in jail; arguing that his being diagnosed with class 4 heart failure should exempt him from a prison sentence.
Doctors say that Bitar’s Class 4 heart failure means that without a transplant or artificial heart, his chances for survival over the course of the next 6 months to a year are around 50%; and a prison sentence would most likely mean Ray Bitar would be struck from the list of candidates eligible for heart transplant. Doctors have also recommended that Bitar not travel and so his lawyers submitted a request that he be able to make his court plea via video from California, and that the judge – Loretta A. Preska – sentence Bitar the same day.
Although federal prosecutors have agreed not to contest foregoing prison time due to Bitar’s heart condition, Judge Preska could still sentence him to serve time. Bitar is expected to deliver his guilty plea within two weeks. At the moment full details of the plea agreement are unknown, other than that Bitar will plead guilty to two of the many felony charges he faces - including bank fraud, online gambling and money laundering offences.
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