An Internet poker company founder accused of operating his business like a Ponzi scheme has pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

Raymond Bitar (BIH'-tahr), of Glendora, Calif., appeared Monday in a federal court in Manhattan. He's the founder of Full Tilt Poker.

He was sentenced to time served and had to give up his assets as part of his plea deal.

Bitar flew from Ireland over the summer to face charges in a prosecution that shut down U.S. operations for the three largest Internet poker companies.

Prosecutors had alleged he falsely told poker players their money would be safe. But they said nearly $300 million owed to players worldwide was missing.

His lawyers said previously that he was helping recover money.