Absolute Poker Founder Scott Tom Goes to Jail After All, Serves 7-Day Sentence

The long-running case stemming from the infamous April 15, 2011, Black Friday indictment against Absolute Poker founder Scott Tom was resolved on Sept. 28, with the former fugitive sent to jail for a week upon paying his $300,000 fine.

Scott and Phil Tom of Absolute Poker

Absolute Poker founder Scott Tom (left), seen here with his father soon after settling criminal proceeding with federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, temporarily lost his liberty before being permitted to return the free world. (Picture: Facebook)

The sentence was part of a plea deal reached on May 31 with US prosecutors.

Tom’s incarceration was a surprise, as his lawyer had requested time served for his misdemeanor sentence. But US Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses denied that wish and ordered him to jail. She was unswayed by the fact that Tom bought a non-refundable airplane ticket to Antigua that left on Sept. 30, two days into his sentence.

The time was minimal considering conspiracy to violate the UIGEA the charges had him facing several felony counts, including violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and operation of an illegal gambling enterprise. The charges carried a potential sentence of up to 15 years in prison and $. However, allowed him to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor.

Customer Relief?

People who saw their accounts suspended might be disappointed that Tom did not face stricter penalties for absconding with their money, but now, after a six-year wait, some players have started to find refunds.

Players from other websites, such as PokerStars and Full Tilt received their account balances by 2015, but the parent company of Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet went bankrupt and could not pay its players. These account funds were not included in the deal that allowed PokerStars make their players whole that was jilted and to buy complete Tilt.

However, $33.5 million from this deal did go unclaimed, and the DOJ’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section directed the leftover funds to pay as much as 7,400 AP/UB players will find a share of the $33.5 million that’s been approved by the of the Department of Justice.

Should get their money by November, which will finally close the books on all players seeking.

From Fugitive to Freedom

Tom made no comment on his plans and other than returning to Antigua, a island currently embarking on its healing upon being released from jail. He has no business interests in gambling. Through the ordeal, which saw him return to the US in February to work on the plea deal, he’s made no public statements.

Tom’s case’s resolution leaves only one remaining indictment from the 11 named on Black Friday. Former owner Isai Scheinberg and founder was the first person and he has yet to resolve pending criminal complaints.

He remains out of the country, but through his lawyers was instrumental in working to help pay players back who had their accounts suspended in 2015 and settle charges.

This applied to customers of PokerStars, but also for players who thought they might’ve lost their money after expecting a company run by jailbird Tom, who the US government now says he’s paid his debt to society.

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