Ray Bitar to Plead Guilty Due to Health Issues
The Full Tilt saga has been full of twists and turns and it looks like ending soon, but not in the way that many had expected and certainly not wanted. Bitar will plead guilty to felony charges relating to the Black Friday indictment, says the Wall Street Journal among others, and although this news may not be that surprising the details of the guilty are. The circumstances around the plea make things very interesting and as Bitar's attorney, Jack Baughman presented Chief U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska Bitar's medical records, things took a strange twist. The medical records show that Bitar has been diagnosed with an extremely serious heart condition of which there is no cure for, this diagnosis took place in November last year and the only way that Bitar's health could ever improve is to have a heart transplant, or to use an artificial heart. Without either fix then Bitar's chances of living even the next 6 months are put at 50%. The condition is a class IV heart problem and he cannot engage in any physical activity without pain. This means several thing as far as the trial and the rulings are concerned.
What This Means in Court
Bitar's attorney, due to these health issues has requested that the judge forgoes the usual 90 day waiting period between hearing and sentencing, and in fact completes both on the very same day. Also, should the judge accept this then Bitar, who is unable to travel to New York for the hearing will appear live on camera from California. The largest part of the deal is however yet to come. Due to the fact that Bitar needs serious medical attention, before and after any operation, it has been requested that Bitar serves no prison time. A patient waiting for a heart transplant cannot be incarcerated or be facing incarceration due to the medical attention required. It's thought that if all goes to plan then the hearing and indeed sentencing could be April 19th however there is no guarantee that District Judge Loretta Preska will accept the deal. Bitar is facing up to 35 years jail time and if that is given, he will in effect be sentenced to death. However it's likely that the judge may simply request that Bitar turns over everything he earned fro Tilt, including real estate and investments and of course a very large dollar amount. The prosecution has stated that it will not argue with the judge in any decision on these matters.