Six years down the line, former players at Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet will finally be able to claim money owed to them by the online poker sites. Together with Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker, the two sites were shut down by the Department of Justice on Black Friday in 2011. Since then, the process to return money to the bulk of the US online poker players affected by Black Friday has been completed. Now it is the turn of players at Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet.
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According to reports, the Department of Justice has retained the services of the Garden City Group (GCG) which dealt with the Poker Stars payout process in order to oversee the Absolute Poker payout process as well. In a press statement released this week, the Department of Justice said: “Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that the United States has retained the Garden City Group (“GCG”) to oversee a process for compensating eligible victims of a fraud committed by Absolute Poker against United States players who were unable to withdraw funds from Absolute Poker following the Office’s filing in 2011 of a civil money laundering and forfeiture action against Absolute Poker and others in United States v. PokerStars, et al.
“GCG is already overseeing the claims process for eligible victims of the fraud committed by Full Tilt Poker against United States players, as described in both United States v. PokerStars, et al., and the indictment in the parallel criminal case, United States v. Bitar, et. al. To date, approximately $118 million has been paid to Full Tilt Poker fraud victims through that process.”
Several sites have noted that the reason why it took so long for Absolute Poker players to receive their money was that the DOJ wanted to see if there would be any money left over from the Poker Stars payout. It is believed that the money going to Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet players are funds that were not claimed or were denied Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker players.