Guernsey millions divvied up with the United States
According to BBC reports Friday a total of GBP 9.5 million recovered from internet poker fraudster Raymond Bitar, former chief of online poker company Full Tilt Poker, has been shared with US authorities by the island government of Guernsey.
In 2013 Bitar pleaded guilty to prejudicing Full Tilt customers to the tune of $350 million, but handed over just $40 million in forfeited assets to the authorities.
However, money totalling $14.3 million stashed in Guernsey has now been split between the island government and the US Treasury in terms of an agreement inked with the US government two years ago.
It is believed that the island of Jersey has a similar agreement with the United States, motivated by the need for international transparency to counter money laundering.
The BBC report reveals that Guernsey authorities restrained bank accounts and provided financial records between 2012 and 2015 to help US investigators seize Bitar’s assets.
This occurred after he admitted that he did not keep player funds separate from operational funds, thus prejudicing Full Tilt players when the company failed following a 2011 federal government action in the United States.
John Cronan from the US Department of Justice’s Criminal Division said he valued the work of his Guernsey counterparts in this case, whilst Guernsey Attorney General Megan Pullum QC said it was an excellent example of cross-country working.
“Guernsey has an ongoing and exemplary commitment to international co-operation and mutual legal assistance and we are therefore extremely pleased to announce this asset share,” she said.