Six years on from its collapse, Absolute Poker customers are going to be reunited with their long-lost funds.
On Monday 10th April, Joon H Kim, Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, issued a statement regarding “a compensation programme for Absolute Poker victim players.”
The statement went on to say that the Department of Justice has retained the Garden City Group to oversee compensation for “eligible victims of a fraud committed by Absolute Poker.”
PokerStars comes to rescue of Absolute Poker players
On Friday 15th April 2011 – otherwise known as Black Friday -Absolute Poker, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker were indicted by the then Attorney General for the Southern District of New York.
AP subsequently collapsed as it emerged that the online entity didn’t have the money to refund their player account deposits. Full Tilt Poker players were also left out of pocket – at least, that was until PokerStars founders Isai and Mark Scheinberg arranged a deal with the DOJ to cover both Stars’ and FTP’s obligations to American players.
These repayments have totalled $118 million to date. With the DOJ claiming that Absolute Poker players “are similarly situated” to FTP’s defrauded US players, a portion of the remaining funds from the PokerStars settlement “will be used to fund a claims process for eligible Absolute Poker victims.”
The Department of Justice added that the claims process for AP customers will begin shortly.
Was DOJ decision tied to return of AP’s Scott Tom?
Understandably, the GCG can’t guarantee that customer will receive their full balance since it remains to be seen whether the total sum sought will exceed the undisclosed amount left in the Garden City Group’s kitty.
Quite why the DOJ has come to the aid of the Absolute Poker victims is unknown. That said, it’s perhaps no coincidence that announcement comes two months after former AP CEO Scott Tom returned to America to resolve his six-year-old federal charges of illegal gambling and money laundering.