Category Archives: Black Friday

Sentencing hearing: Absolute Poker’s Scott Tom never inhaled


absolute-poker-scott-tom-sentencing-marijuanaAbsolute Poker (AP) co-founder Scott Tom and former US President Bill Clinton have at least one thing in common: neither one of them inhaled.

CalvinAyre.com has obtained the transcript of Tom’s September 28 sentencing hearing, which saw US Magistrate Judge Barbara C. Moses order Tom to spend a week in jail after he pled guilty to a single misdemeanor count of transmission of gambling information. (The full transcript can be read here.)

In case anyone needs a refresher, Tom and his step-brother Brent Beckley founded AP and its sister site Ultimate Bet, both of which went belly-up shortly after the April 15, 2011 Black Friday online poker indictments. Were it not for outside funds contributed by PokerStars’ former owners, AP’s customers would still be waiting to be reunited with their account balances.

One of the early items raised in the hearing by Tom’s attorney James Henderson was a correction to “one minor problem” in the pre-sentence investigation report that even Henderson admitted was “not of particular relevance to today’s proceeding.”

Henderson noted that the report’s claim that “five years ago Mr. Tom had smoked some marijuana or something.” This had led the Court to impose a drug testing regimen, with Tom being tested “10 or 12” times, all of which he passed with flying (yellow) colors.

Henderson said his client had informed him that the report’s pot-smoking claim was “incorrect information” and that Tom “has never used marijuana.” It’s worth noting that Tom was most likely not hooked up to a polygraph machine at the time he made this statement.

Tom’s insistence on asserting his lifelong ability to ‘just say no’ reflects recent attitudes at US border crossings, in which many an overzealous Barney Fife has questioned would-be tourists if they have ever – and we mean ever – smoked pot. Believe it or not, in today’s America, merely confirming that you once got hot-boxed in the back seat of a Chevette in junior high school can potentially bar one’s future entry into the country for five years.

TOM “REGRETS” RENOUNCING CITIZENSHIP
And Tom is considered a foreigner in US eyes, having renounced his US citizenship “many years ago,” although Henderson said that’s a decision that Tom now “regrets.” AP’s operations were largely based in Costa Rica, but Tom took up residence in Antigua – which lacks an extradition treaty with the US – after US authorities began actively targeting online gambling in 2006.

Henderson said Tom has been “trying to arrange to get back in the United States pursuant to visas in the future.” Tom still has family in the US, although his mother died during the period in which he was reluctant to set foot on US soil.

ABSOLUTE DISAGREEMENT WITH FATHER OVER BAIL MONEY
Tom’s father is still alive and was the source of the $100k that Tom was required to post at his bail hearing in February. The sentencing hearing revealed that there is sharp disagreement between Tom and his father regarding whose money this is.

Henderson told the court that Tom had inherited the $100k “from his grandmother” and that he’d given it to his father “to hold for him because he was obviously out of the country experiencing these legal difficulties.” Henderson said that Tom’s father “is now contending that that is his money.”

This poses a problem, because the release of this money was intended to provide a good chunk of the $300k that Tom was ordered to forfeit as part of his plea deal. Tom brought $25k to the hearing that he intended to pay toward this forfeiture.

Henderson said his office was working on resolving ownership of this $100k to ensure it didn’t go “back to the father and have that money disappear,” but Judge Moses took it upon herself to place the $100k into a trust account pending the resolution of the dispute.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
As for the rest of the forfeiture amount, Moses left it up to the government to establish a payment schedule. How Tom will afford it was also addressed, with a mention of Tom’s Antigua-based business – a celebrity party boat recently profiled by Flushdraw’s Haley Hintze – that Henderson assured Moses had “survived the hurricane problem down there.”

Moses inquired about Tom’s former residence in Costa Rica as another potential source for raising the forfeiture funds. While the “fairly nice home” is currently generating rental income, Henderson claimed it “appears to be basically unmarketable” based on the fact that a home of equal value just down the street had been on the market “more than three years” without a single offer. Tom “just can’t make [his CR house] liquid at this point.”

In delivering Tom’s sentence – which included the surprise seven-day jail stint – Moses said his AP involvement “does indeed appear to be the only significant blemish on an otherwise law-abiding life” and that Tom had “demonstrated that you are capable of living a law-abiding life for a sustained period of time.”

But Moses emphasized that Tom “did commit a crime. That’s why you’re here. You pleaded guilty to a crime … It is a misdemeanor, to be sure, which has immigration and other consequences, but a misdemeanor is a crime. I cannot ignore that.”

Tom’s sole statement during the hearing is reprinted below in its entirety:

“Your Honor, I very much regret the choices I’ve made, and after years of isolation and time to think, I realize I needed to come and face the Court in the US to try and move forward with my life. I hope you can consider my apology, and I look forward to returning home to a productive life.”

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Hills’ biggest shareholder slams Amaya merger converse Paul Tate responsible plea


Oct 13, 2016

william-hill-shareholder-slams-amaya-merger-talk-thumb

william-hill-shareholder-slams-amaya-merger-talkThe biggest shareholder of British isles betting operator William Hill has publicly opposed the corporation merging with Canadian on the net gambling operator Amaya Gaming, the parent corporation of PokerStars.

Last Friday, term broke that Hills and Amaya ended up considering a “merger of equals” that would generate an omni-channel gambling behemoth. On Thursday, London-based Parvus Asset Administration, which owns fourteen.three% of Hills, stated it was “extremely concerned” by the merger converse.

In an open up letter to Hills’ board of administrators, Parvus stated the proposed tie-up was based on “limited strategic logic.” Parvus co-founders Mads Eg Gensmann and Edoardo Mercadante explained to the board to “stop throwing away important time and shareholder assets pursuing this worth-destroying deal,” though urging the board to go after “all alternative possibilities obtainable, including a sale” of the British isles bookmaker.

Gensmann later explained to Reuters that it “shouldn’t choose extra than five minutes of the board’s time to recognize this deal does not pass the odor exam.” Parvus’ principal objections heart all-around Amaya deriving the wide majority of its revenues from on the net poker, which Parvus known as the economically minimum-desirable phase of on the net gambling.

Parvus expanded on its anti-poker views, indicating the vertical was a “mature, if not structurally declining, profits stream” that was dependent on a modest range of extremely-expert sharps who ended up “inherently difficult to sell” on other, extra rewarding verticals like on line casino. Parvus went as far as to contact Amaya an “overvalued asset.”

Parvus also experienced extra concrete objections, namely, the hefty personal debt load Amaya is carrying courtesy of its $4.9b deal to acquire PokerStars in 2014. Parvus notes that Hills rubbished the the latest joint takeover bid by Rank Team and 888 Holdings because it would have boosted the enlarged entity’s in general personal debt by £2.2b, though an Amaya merger would increase net personal debt by £2.8b.

Parvus also expressed worry in excess of the $870m Kentucky court judgment hanging in excess of Amaya due to PokerStars’ dealings in the state following the 2006 passage of the Illegal Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

In response to the Parvus letter, a Hills spokesman explained to Bloomberg that “given the strategic fit, diversification and probable synergies we have a duty to all our shareholders to fully assess” the proposed Amaya merger.

Activist trader Jason Ader, who lobbied really hard for the sale of Bwin.bash digital amusement (which went, sooner or later, to GVC Holdings), publicly disagreed with Parvus, tweeting that “William Hill require Amaya but I strongly assistance a $GVC order of $AYA and see considerable synergy and worth development.”

Last Friday’s reviews that Amaya was an acquisition focus on talked about GVC as a probable bidder but the subsequent joint announcement of the Hills-Amaya talks appeared to have sidelined GVC.

PAUL TATE PLEADS Responsible
The Parvus missive broke just as Reuters was reporting that a previous PokerStars exec experienced pled responsible to charges relevant to the April fifteen, 2011 ‘Black Friday’ on the net poker indictments. Paul Tate, Stars’ previous payments director, appeared in a New York District Court docket on Thursday to plead responsible to working an illegal gambling business.

The 42-year-outdated Tate, a British isles citizen, experienced been ‘at large’ considering the fact that the Black Friday indictments. Tate explained to US Justice of the peace Decide Barbara Moses that he and his loved ones “have paid a large price” for his illegal conduct. Tate faces up to five years in prison when he’s sentenced on Nov. 21.

Tate’s responsible plea leaves just PokerStars’ previous owner Isai Scheinberg and Absolute Poker co-founder Scott Tom as the sole remaining members of the eleven persons indicted on Black Friday to have however to access some type of deal with the US Section of Justice.



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