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    The Ray Bitar Case: How the Legal System has Repeatedly Failed Us

    Posted by Matt Kaufman April 22, 2013

    Last week, Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar plead guilty to criminal charges in the Southern District of New York. Full Tilt operated like a Ponzi Scheme under his leadership, and to this day Americans with Full Tilt accounts haven’t received a dime of what is owed to them.

    Judge Loretta Preska sentenced Bitar to time served and a fine of $40 million worth of assets.

    Far less significant players in the Full Tilt scandal, especially on the payment processing side, are currently behind bars for what they did. Meanwhile, Bitar gets to go home.

    The reason why is that he has serious health issues – he’s currently a candidate for a heart transplant.

    The poker world and mainstream media have basically accepted this as a reasonable explanation for why he should be excused from a sentence that almost certainly would have been years in prison.

    Why are we okay with that?

    To me, this seems tremendously unfair. What if Bitar receives his heart transplant and goes on living happily for the rest of his life? He’ll simply never fully pay for his wrongdoings?

    A much more just means of handling this situation would be to delay his entry to prison until after his health issues are dealt with adequately. Of course, our legal system doesn’t provide the possibility for that to happen.

    The judge in the case stated that sending Bitar to jail would be a death sentence for two reasons:
    1) the prison system can’t support individuals in his condition, and
    2) the possibility of prison would make him ineligible for the transplant.

    The fact that the prison system can’t support inmates in his condition is understandable, but mostly it just gets back to my point that he should be admitted to prison later on.

    The second reason – that he could become ineligible for the transplant if prison were a possibility – is quite strange to me.

    I’m going to avoid discussing the ethics of whether or not a convicted felon deserves saving less than an individual not in jail. Instead, I’ll address both sides of that argument:

    • If inmates deserve to receive the same rights to transplants as everyone else, then the possibility of Bitar going to prison simply shouldn’t make him ineligible for a transplant.
    • If inmates do NOT deserve to receive the same rights to transplants, it must be due to the crimes they committed. Bitar plead guilty to significant crimes! Why should there be a difference between someone who committed a crime who happens to be behind bars and someone who committed the SAME crime who’s not? It’s the crime itself that should be relevant.

    As a poker-playing American, I didn’t like when the government stepped in on April 15, 2011 and told me I couldn’t play online anymore. I especially didn’t like it when I found out the site I had been playing on was fraudulent. And now, after an investigation that lasted years and 2 years of litigation following Black Friday, the resolution is that the man most responsible won’t even go to jail?

    The American poker community has been dealt quite the series of bad beats by its own government.

    About Matt Kaufman

    Matt Kaufman is Editor-in-Chief of QuadJacks.com and Director of Interactive Marketing at Z4 Poker.

    View all post by Matt Kaufman Visit author's website

    There is 1 Comment

    1. - April 24, 2013
        -   Reply

      article interessant…

    Write Your Comment

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