Absolute Poker’s Scott Tom Spends Just One Week in Jail

October 11th, 2017 | by Jason Reynolds
Scott Tom jail sentence.

Absolute Poker founder Scott Tom spends just seven days in jail despite previously facing federal charges linked to illegal gambling. (flushdraw.net)

Absolute Poker founder Scott Tom has been released from jail and taken a one-way trip back to the US after spending just one week behind bars.

Tom was initially charged with operating an illegal online betting site back in 2011. Alongside 11 other suspects, Tom faced federal charges for violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA).

When the original indictment was opened by US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, Tom was able to evade arrest by virtue of his residency in Antigua.

Despite his stepbrother Brent Beckley serving 14 months in prison after pleading guilty to illegal gaming charges back in 2012, Tom remained in Antigua as well as St Kitts and Nevis.

 Tom Gives Up on His Own Terms

With no extradition pact with the US, officials couldn’t force Tom to appear in court. Eventually, he returned to the US in an attempt to agree to a plea deal. Appearing before Judge Barbara C. Moses in a Manhattan Federal Court on February 23, 2017, Tom was later released on a $500,000 bail bond.

Following this hearing, Tom was sentenced on September 28 and forced to forfeit $300,000 and spend just seven days in a cell for being an accessory after the fact in the transmission of gambling information.

The misdemeanor charge is a far cry from the extended prison sentence Tom would have received under the original federal charges, but that didn’t seem to comfort the former poker site owner. Speaking through his attorney, Tom pushed for a non-custodial sentence because he had already booked a one-way ticket to St Kitts and Nevis.

No Reason Not to Spend Some Time in Jail

Judge Moses didn’t appear to accept this is a legitimate reason not to impose some form of jail term on Tom. Despite there being a case for the Absolute Poker founder to escape with nothing more than time served (his time awaiting trial would have been his punishment), the Judge saw no merit in his case.

Regardless of how long Tom spent behind bars, it now looks as though one of the final chapters has in the Black Friday case has been written. When the Department of Justice (DOJ) shutdown PokerStars, Full Tilt and Absolute Poker back in 2011, it sent shockwaves through the industry.

Since that time, previously powerful figures such as Ray Bitar (former Full Tilt CEO) and have been forced to negotiate their freedom and leave the industry. The only former executive that is yet to resolve their case with the DOJ is Isai Scheinberg (founder of PokerStars) who remains at large in the eyes of the US justice system.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.