Card Player Magazine reports that Ray Bitar, the embattled CEO of Full Tilt Poker, the largest of many now-illegal online poker sites, surrendered himself to the FBI at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York. Bitar has been on the run and hiding out overseas since being charged with violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, as well as money laundering. Ten other people were also indicted as the internet poker industry was a tad slow in complying with the Federal ban.
According to Card Player, "the allegations stated that the online poker companies illegally coerced banks into processing payments after the UIGEA was passed."
I can confirm that I was able to pull my remaining $12 out of Full Tilt back in 2007 but that I was unable to make deposits. Apparently, larger-stake players were able to successfully deposit funds despite internet poker being outlawed in 2006.
In fact, it wasn't until last year, when the Government handed out indictments, that Full Tilt Poker suspended American players from participating in real-money games on their site.
At that time, Poker Players Alliance chairman Alfonse D’Amato released a statement. “On behalf of the millions of poker players across the country, we are shocked at the action taken by the U.S. Department of Justice today against online poker companies and will continue to fight for Americans’ right to participate in the game they enjoy. Online poker is not a crime and should not be treated as such"
Prior to online poker being outlawed, several players were busted for cheating on Full Tilt.
Here's the Department of Justice banner you'll find if you visit Full Tilt's site now.