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Absolute Poker Exec Pays Fine, Serves Minimal Jail Time

PokerNews Legal
  • Absolute Poker founder Scott Tom paid $300K and served just a week in jail before heading home.

Scott Tom, founder of Absolute Poker, appears to have finally ended his long-running legal case with the U.S. government, and poker players victimized by the fraudulent site won't be happy to hear he escaped with relatively little punishment.

Tom paid $300,000 in fines as part of a plea deal and then served a week in jail before heading back to his adopted home in Antigua, reported yesterday.

Charges, Pleas and Sentencing

Originally hit with a host of felonies in conjunction with the Black Friday charges fired off by the Department of Justice against a litany of poker sites serving U.S. customers, Tom returned to American soil in February after years on the lam. He entered a plea of not guilty and was released on $500,000 bond.

His attorney promised a quick resolution and a plea deal, and that's exactly what happened. Tom pleaded guilty early this summer to just a single misdemeanor count of accessory after the fact in connection with the transmission of gambling information.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses did give Tom a final slap on the wrist by handing him the short jail sentence in lieu of time served, which clearly came as a surprise to Tom, as he and his attorney complained that he'd already secured a plane ticket out of the country.

Empty Justice

However, the punishments as a whole will ring hollow to countless players victimized by the shady workings of Absolute Poker and sister site Ultimate Bet. Tom never answered for his role in the superuser scandal that rocked the poker world and caused national headlines, including a spot on 60 Minutes.

Players who had their bankrolls shattered by the infamous financial collapse of the two sites are beginning to be made whole with several players confirming on Twitter recovery of lost funds in the past couple weeks. That remissions process, plus Tom's exit from the country, looks likely to be the final chapter of the saga, but it will remain an ugly memory in the minds of poker players everywhere for years to come.

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