Ray Bitar Challenges the DOJ without a Lawyer?

... while B-list Black Friday indictees put forth biggest UIGEA challenge to date

by , Oct 3, 2011 | 10:10 am

nevada license plate notaryI gotta think representing himself pro se against the DOJ was not part of the original plan. But that’s the real story (imho) yet to be noted in Ray Bitar’s claims that he wants some of his property back (including two bank accounts in Pokerati’s old Dallas stomping grounds).

Have a look at the document. He filed the motion himself — “Verified Claim of Raymond Bitar, Pursuant to Rule G of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty and Maritime Claims” — with an Irish notary public to make it official.

I certainly don’t know the nuances of Rule G of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty and Maritime Claims, but it seems complex enough that an attorney might-should usually be filing this kinda thing. And the lack of legal counsel’s involvement in this civil matter raises plenty of questions about the financial status of Bitar … and maybe even the motivations of various comments by Full Tilt attorneys who may or may not be still be getting paid.

So either Ray Bitar is broke, wants to appear broke (hey, it apparently worked for Daniel Tzvetkoff) … or is running some sorta triple-range-legal-merge to extract maximum value from his dwindling stack of FTP dollars while conserving favors from friends who went to law school.

This pro se filing follows Jeff Ifrah’s removing himself as attorney or record on various civil matters and class-action lawsuits against Full Tilt companies and principals, and Full Tilt lawyers skipping out on the nearly week-long AGCC hearing that resulted in further suspension of FTP’s gaming licenses.

Ifrah emerged as the first lawyer willing to speak on Full Tilt’s behalf, when he let eGaming Review know that Bitar’s feelings were really hurt after Wicked Chops Poker reported the Ireland-based CEO had been ousted as captain of the Full Tilt ship.

(Ifrah was saying in July: “We can completely deny the reports that Ray Bitar is no longer CEO. In fact that [rumour] really ruined his day yesterday. It doesn’t help anyone for sites to be reporting news that’s not true.”)

We’ll have to save for later a rundown of what Full Tilt legal representatives had said over time … it’s an interesting progression suggestive of what game Full Tilt might really have been playing at various points along the way.

Meanwhile, Chad Elie and John Campos — a payment processor and the Utah banker — have filed motions in the court that Forbes magazine calls the “first direct assault” on the DOJ’s case … essentially arguing that if poker is indeed a game of skill, then the premise for virtually all of the government’s case against online poker falls apart.


  • Political Force

    What’s the big deal here?  This document was drafted by a lawyer.  Why would a lawyer want to “appear” on behalf of defendant Bitar for something as simple as this to lay “claim” to his property within the jurisdiction?  It’s not like HE is coming into the jurisdiction of the S.D.N.Y.   Don’t worry, Pokerati, Bitar isn’t gonna take on the U.S. DoJ with a full on defense all by his lonesome.

    • so why didn’t he use a lawyer to submit this filing?

  • Jack Hoffman

    So few fucks are being given.  All I want is to see Lederer, Ferguson and Ivey in orange jumpsuits.  I’ll get my money one way or the other.