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Six Years After Black Friday, Feds To Begin Paying Out Absolute Poker Victims

About $60 Million In Player Money Could Be Returned

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The U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday that the process of compensating victims of Absolute Poker and its sister site Ultimate Bet will begin this year.

The feds charged the operators of Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet, along with Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, in April 2011 in an event known as Black Friday. Account balances were either frozen or lost as a result of the indictments.

PokerStars cashed out players, and the following year FTP was acquired by its former rival. PokerStars’ settlement was for more than $700 million and in doing so provided the government with enough money to repay FTP victims in the U.S. To date, about $118 million has been returned to former FTP customers, the government said Monday.

The Absolute Poker remission process will be handled by Garden City Group, the same firm used by the government for the FTP funds.

Absolute Poker settled with the feds in July 2013 and agreed to forfeit its assets. FTP had done the same a year prior in its settlement involving PokerStars.

It took a handful of years, but the government is finally ready to help Absolute Poker victims.

Absolute Poker, founded in 2008, made some $500 million from Americans during its run. About $60 million worth of player money was lost when the site shut down.

“[T]he Department of Justice has concluded that players of Absolute Poker who were unable to recover their funds from Absolute Poker are similarly situated to the eligible victims of Full Tilt Poker, in that Absolute Poker, like Full Tilt Poker, did not maintain funds sufficient to repay all of its players,” the Department of Justice said.

The feds said the remission process “will begin shortly.” Information about the claims administration is available at AbsolutePokerClaims.com. Information is also available at (855) 907-3254.

The deadline for filing a petition is June 9.

Players will be paid what they had in their accounts when the site closed in U.S. cyberspace, but only if there’s enough money available from the forfeiture agreement.

“If the aggregate account balances for all eligible petitioners exceed the funds available for distribution, payments shall be made to eligible petitioners on a pro rata basis,” Garden City Group said on its website.

The annoucnement about the Absolute Poker remission process comes just weeks after the site’s founder, Scott Tom, turned himself into authorities and pleaded not guilty in federal court in Manhattan.