Wednesday August 1,2012 : ABSOLUTE POKER ET AL TO SURRENDER ASSETS (Update)
Lawyer confirms deal with US Justice Department
Yesterday's report that Absolute Poker et al has also reached an agreement with the US Justice Department has been confirmed by company legal representative Jerry Bernstein, who told US media Tuesday that the deal included the forfeiture of Absolute Poker's remaining assets to the government.
"Our hope and expectation is that the proceeds of the forfeiture will be used to repay our players," Bernstein said, although he could not say how much was owed to US players at the now moribund websites of Absolute Poker and Ultimatebet.
Companies named in yesterday's order of settlement submitted by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York include Absolute Poker, Ultimate Bet, Absolute Entertainment, S.A., Blanca Games, Inc., Hoop & Javelin Holdings Limited, Hoop Payment Solution Services Ltd., and Morning Bliss Overseas Ltd.
The Order specifically notes that the agreement between the parties is not an "….admission of culpability, liability, or guilt on behalf of the Absolute Poker Group.”
In return for the assets, the government will drop civil money laundering claims against the companies named above, dismissing these "with prejudice".
However, the civil money laundering claims against Blue Water Services Ltd., Trust Services Ltd., SGS Systems Inc. and Fiducia Exchange Ltd., are excluded from the dismissal and remain pending.
The US government has already indicated that it intends to liquidate the forfeited assets in order to entertain claims by other parties and owed US poker players.