Former Absolute Poker president and co-founder Scott Tom is set to be sentenced on September 28th, 2017, for crimes relating to his role running what was once one of the top online poker rooms in the world. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with his involvement in the infamous “Potripper” super-user cheating scandal from back in 2006.
Tom and his attorney signed a plea deal on May 31st of this year, pleading guilty to just one misdemeanor count of accessory after the fact when it came to transferring gambling information. Yes, that’s it. The deal, reached with – who else would it be – the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York office, has to do with violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA), not that Tom was the central figure involved with stealing money from customers at Absolute Poker.
Scott Tom co-founded Costa Rica-based AP in 2002, which feels like a century ago in the online poker world. Not long after Black Friday (which was April 15th, 2011), AP’s offices were raided by government officials and Tom bolted the country, fleeing to Antigua. He returned to the United States this year to finally face charges and was released on $500,000 bond. He will likely not have to return to prison, but will probably be hit was some hefty fines.
In the superuser scandal, Scott Tom and likely some accomplices could see the hole cards of players on Absolute Poker using special server-side software. The Potripper and a few other accounts used this “superuser mode” to cheat in tournaments and essentially steal an admitted (officially admitted by AP, not necessarily Scott Tom) $600,000 from customers, though most believe that the number was much higher.
Back in 2010, reporter Haley Hintze put together one hell of an investigative case, uncovering virtually all of the connections in both the AP superuser scandal and the larger UltimateBet superuser scandal. As part of her work, she produced proof that Scott Tom was in control of the cheating, showing evidence that an account linked to said cheating was also connected to personal computers and IP addresses at Tom’s residence. It is pretty amazing work, which I encourage everyone to check out.
One of many blog posts about the scandal and Hintze’s investigation can be found at her blog here.
With Absolute poker’s disappearance after Black Friday, players had millions of dollars go up in smoke. In April 2017, though, it was announced that there was enough money left over from the Full Tilt Poker reimbursement process to help make Absolute Poker (and UltimateBet) players whole. Thus, a claims process – again managed by the Garden City Group – began. The initial deadline to file a claim recently passed, but was extended to September 7th.