Poker Coverage: Poker Legislation Poker Tournaments U.S. Poker Markets

Black Friday Defendant Faces Years-Old Charges

Absolute Poker's Scott Tom Turns Himself In


The founder of the disgraced poker site Absolute Poker has pleaded not guilty in federal court in Manhattan.

Reuters reports that Scott Tom voluntarily came to the U.S. from Barbados on Thursday to face the charges over his former business. The poker site went defunct with player money in 2011 after the U.S. government went after the site, along with PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker’s sister site Ultimate Bet, for operating in violation of federal law.

The event was dubbed online poker’s Black Friday.

According to the report, a plea deal for Tom is expected soon. He was released on $500,000 bail. The government said that Absolute Poker made some $500 million from Americans during its run.

About $60 million worth of player money was lost when the site shut down.

Eleven people were charged criminally on Black Friday. Everyone but PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg has faced their respective charges. Before Tom, the defendant to resolve their case most recently was Paul Tate late last year. Tate had been a payment processor for PokerStars.

Six of the men pleaded guilty within a year after Black Friday, but the rest had their cases draw out.

Since the 2011 crackdown on online poker, just three U.S. states have legalized and regulated real-money online poker platforms. However, California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts are all considering it this year.