The judge in the Black Friday civil case against Full Tilt board members has ruled that the allegations against Ray Bitar will be put on hold until the outcome of the case involving criminal charges in a superseding indictment that was unsealed earlier this month.
Judge Leonard B. Sand made his decision to stay the civil proceedings against the 40-year-old CEO, but proceedings involving fellow Full Tilt executives Chris Ferguson, Rafe Furst and Howard Lederer will apparently move forward, eGamingReview has reported. The trio separately filed motions to dismiss the civil complaint against them last week and do not face the same criminal charges as Bitar.
Bitar returned to the U.S. and surrendered to federal authorities July 2 after nearly 15 months on the lam following the Black Friday indictments on April 15, 2011. He was charged in a superseding criminal indictment that alleges his participation in wire fraud for his continued role in running a "global Ponzi scheme" even after the Black Friday allegations. He spent a week behind bars before being released on $2.5 million bond, which requires electronic home-monitoring and restriction of travel between New York and California. Following his surrender and arrest, Bitar released a statement that his voluntary return to face the charges was necessary to further the ultimate resolution of Full Tilt players with money stuck on the shuttered site to be reimbursed.
A scan of popular online public poker forums readily shows that players are quite perturbed with the on-again, off-again announcements that Full Tilt will be sold--first to Group Bernard Tapie and now to PokerStars--and that players will finally get their money. Its very disheartening for players to get their hopes up, only to lose hope time and time again amid rumors and speculation about what is really happening behind the scenes. How hard is it for the DOJ or PokerStars to make a simple announcement to let players know the real story behind the possible purchase and player reimbursement?