Scott Tom of Absolute Poker Back in US to face Charges

Scott Tom, Absolute PokerIf you have followed the online poker industry at all in the United States, then you have heard of Black Friday. The term Black Friday in the poker world does not refer to the shopping day enjoyed after the Thanksgiving holiday but April 15th 2011 when an online poker crackdown took place in the United States. For years, online poker sites had offered services in the US but legislation changes made it difficult for operators to continue services. On this day, several sites were shut down including PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker. Each faced charges for illegal operations and many top executives of the companies fled the country, including Scott Tom of Absolute Poker.

Tom was the founder of Absolute Poker who faced charges due to Black Friday and has eluded authorities since 2011. It has now been reported that Tom is back in the United States and is working to resolve the federal charges from the online poker crackdown from years gone by.

Tom Heads to Federal Court

Yesterday, Reuters reported that the founder of Absolute Poker was in federal court of Manhattan to face the charges against him. Tom reportedly pled not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering as well as illegal gambling. Bail was set at $500,000 and paid by Tom after the hearing took place yesterday. No information has been provided as to why Tom would come back to the US after all these years running from the charges but he supposedly came back on his own accord.

Tom is being represented by James Henderson who told the court after his client pled not guilty that he wants to reach a deal with prosecutors in the future. According to Henderson, there will be a resolution in the case quickly as the former poker site owner wants to get this behind him.

One of Several Charged

Scott Tom is one of two executives from Absolute Poker who was indicted due to Black Friday happenings and part of a group of eleven individuals who were charged that day. The other individual associated with Absolute Poker was Brent Beckley, the payments director. Beckley decided to plead guilty years ago and was sentenced in July of 2012 to 14 months in prison. Beckley pled guilty to charges of wire and bank fraud.

When Black Friday took place, it would not be long before Absolute Poker would collapse. The company was exposed by the charges and found to not have any money in place to be able to refund the account balances of players. Players of Absolute Poker were left high and dry while players who belonged to the Full Tile Poker site were given payment by the owner of PokerStars when the company took over the FTP brand and agreed to pay the previous balances. This took some time, several years in fact, but the majority of players from Full Tilt have now been reimbursed.

With the court appearance by Tom, it marks the second time a figure from Black Friday has returned to the United States to face charges in recent months. Back in October, Paul Tate, the former payment director for PokerStars, was in the very same court facing charges and pled guilty. Tate had to pay $119,000 to the court and managed to avoid any jail time.

Now, only one individual remains to face charges stemming from Black Friday. Isai Scheinberg is the founder of PokerStars who has made no effort to deal with the charges he faces due to the online poker raid or has shown any intention to pay back money that he earned from the sale of PokerStars in 2014 to Amaya Gaming.