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Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved. Poker History. Editor: Erik Smith.
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AP/UB EXEC PAYS THE PRICE FOR UNLAWFUL BUSINESS

The events of Black Friday struck many of the then-biggest online poker companies in the world, including the former giant CEREUS, which pooled activities from Absolute Poker and UB Poker. Following the US Department of Justice’s clampdown on the company, two of the leading figures behind the scenes of the controversial company became wanted men – to the satisfaction of many poker players across the globe.

The two CEREUS Network online poker rooms, UB Poker and Absolute Poker, were among the sites that were shut down on Black Friday as part of the US Department of Justice’s actions against illegal online poker and payment processing in the US.

The two sites had before this gone through a long and troublesome rebranding process, trying to clear especially UB Poker’s name after the 2007 Super User Scandal.

To many poker players the responsible people behind the Super User Scandal were never identified, and there had for years been outspoken criticism of the company for deliberately obstructing the investigation of the case. Among the main characters named in this relation was Scott Tom, at this point identified as part owner of Absolute Poker.

Many poker players therefore took some consolidation when Tom was listed as one of 11 individuals indicted by the US Department of Justice on Black Friday for their alleged roles of running illegal online gambling operations.

Tom was listed in the indictment for his involvement in UB/AP Poker’s operations in the US, and was accompanied by Head of Payment Processing for CEREUS, Brent Buckley, who was at this point working at the company headquarters in Costa Rice.

Buckley in July 2012 pleaded guilty in a Manhattan court to conspiring to break US laws, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. By doing so, he likely avoided a hefty jail sentence, potentially reaching 30 years of imprisonment. Tom, on the other hand, remains on the loose, and has yet to be located for further prosecution.

If Tom is apprehended and put to justice, he will likely feel the wrath of an entire online poker community, who now seek repercussion for both the 2007 Super User Scandal and the losses incurred by the decline of the CEREUS brand under Tom’s supervision.

Meanwhile, Black Friday also meant serious damage to the UB/AP Poker brand, and the company today holds little if any value. An indication of the remarkable decline of the once dominating force in US online poker is the incredible losses in player numbers, according to some sources as much as 99% of the two sites’ entire player pool.