Frequently Asked Questions
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|1.||What is this action about?|
Based on a number of factors, including the interrelated nature of many payment processing channels utilized by Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet, the Department of Justice concluded that Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet’s failure to have adequate funds available for its clients to withdraw their funds upon request constitutes the same conduct for which the forfeiture of the available funds was ordered.
The Petition for Remission Process
|2.||What is a Petition for Remission?|
In cases where the Government has obtained judicial forfeiture of assets that are associated with criminal activity, victims of the criminal activity, or a related offense, can file a "petition for remission" with the Attorney General of the United States to recover amounts that they have lost as a result of the crime. The Department of Justice’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section will rule on all petitions with input from both the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The regulations governing the petition for remission process can be found at 28 C.F.R. § 9.8.
|3.||How do I get a Petition for Remission?|
On April 10, 2017, GCG emailed Notices to all potentially eligible victims of Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet’s conduct who have been identified by GCG utilizing data supplied by Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet. The Notice provides instructions for filing petitions online through the administration website. If you did not receive an email notice and you believe you are eligible to participate in the remission process, contact the Claims Administrator by email at info@AbsolutePokerClaims.com.
|4.||When can I file a Petition for Remission?|
You can file a Petition for Remission online beginning April 10, 2017.
|5.||Is there a deadline to submit a Petition for Remission?|
The deadline to submit a Petition for Remission is June 9, 2017 (the "Bar Date").
|6.||Will I be notified if my Petition for Remission is deficient?|
Yes, GCG will provide a Notice of Deficiency to all Petitioners with eligible but deficient Petitions specifying the additional information that must be submitted for the Petition to be considered.
|7.||What documents need to be submitted with the Petition for Remission?|
If you agree with the Account Balance displayed through the online filing process, you are not required to submit documentation. However, if you dispute the balance, you are required to submit supporting documentation, such as complete unaltered copies of cancelled checks, wire transfers records, bank or credit statements or similar official transaction records. This supporting documentation must show the account holder's name, date, transaction descriptions, amount, and financial institution information.
|8.||What are the other requirements outlined in 28 C.F.R. § 9.8?|
|9.||If an eligible player has passed away, what documentation may be submitted so that the player's estate is able to file a Petition?|
In order to file a Petition on behalf of a deceased player, an executor of the player's estate must submit a copy of the document that appoints him or her as executor. If there is no executor, a document designating the heirs may be submitted.
|10.||Who is eligible to participate in the remission process?|
To qualify for a payment from the Fund, you must satisfy the following eligibility criteria:
- You must have deposited funds into an account with Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet.
- Your account with Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet must reflect a last known account balance of greater than $0.00.
- You are excluded from participation in the remission process if you are:
- A past or present employee of Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet or any of its past or present Affiliates;
- A past or present shareholder of Absolute Poker, Ultimate Bet, Absolute Entertainment, S.A., Blanca Games, Inc., Hoop & Javelin Holdings Limited, Lacrosse Holdings Limited, Hoop Payment Solution Services Ltd., or Morning Bliss Overseas Ltd.;
- A past or present officer or director of Absolute Poker, Ultimate Bet, Absolute Entertainment, S.A., Blanca Games, Inc., Hoop & Javelin Holdings Limited, Lacrosse Holdings Limited, Hoop Payment Solution Services Ltd., or Morning Bliss Overseas Ltd., or any of their past or present Affiliates;
- A defendant in any civil action or a claimant in any forfeiture action brought by the Department of Justice related to the violations alleged in this action, or any related action (or any of his or her Affiliates, assigns, heirs, distributees, spouses, parents, children, or controlled entities); or
- A person who, as of the Bar Date, has been the subject of criminal charges related to the violations alleged in this action, or any related action (or any of his or her Affiliates, assigns, heirs, distributees, spouses, parents, children, or controlled entities).
- A person who was flagged by Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet as having engaged in improper conduct.
|11.||How many documents can I upload if I choose to dispute my displayed account balance or if I am filing a new Petition?|
|12.||Can I update or remove a document before submitting my Petition?|
Yes, prior to submitting your Petition you may remove any documents that you uploaded. However, once you click on the "submit" button to file your Petition, you will not be able to make any changes to the Petition or the documents submitted. If you have any questions about your submission, please contact us.
|13.||I do not have a Social Security Number because I am not a United States citizen, but can I still file a Petition?|
If you are a U.S. citizen, or if you are not a U.S. citizen but you have a Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number, you must provide it when you file your Petition. If you are not a U.S. citizen and if you do not have a Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number, you must so declare under penalty of perjury when you file your Petition; you must also provide documentation evidencing your citizenship, such as a valid passport, by sending a copy of the document to the Claims Administrator either by email or mail. Do not send originals.
|14.||I am a non-U.S. resident living abroad. Am I eligible to file a Petition?|
Yes. This process includes both U.S. players and ROW (rest of world) players. On the Petition Identification screen on the online filing portal, non-U.S. residents should provide their address information after selecting the box for “I am a non-U.S. resident living abroad.” Non-U.S. residents providing their address on the Registration page should provide their non-U.S. address in the address fields provided.
|15.||Does this administration also include UltimateBet.com (UB.com) players?|
Yes. The funds from UltimateBet.com are included in this process.
|16.||Can I file a petition for my account balance from Full Tilt Poker?|
|17.||What is a Professional Player?|
A Professional Player is any player who earns a majority of their income from playing poker, or is known in the industry as a Professional, as approved by the Department of Justice.
|18.||What is an Affiliate?|
An Affiliate is anyone who was designated as an Affiliate in the data supplied by Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet.
Calculation and Payment of Funds to Approved Petitioners
|19.||What is the calculation formula that will be used to determine payment?|
The calculation formula to be used for the Petition for Remission process is based on players' last known account balance with Absolute Poker and/or Ultimate Bet (the "Account Balance"). If the forfeited funds available for distribution (the "Fund") equal or exceed the aggregate Account Balances for all eligible Petitioners, each eligible Petitioner with an approved petition will receive the entirety of his or her Account Balance or approved loss amount. If the aggregate Account Balances for all eligible Petitioners exceeds the Fund, payments will be made to eligible Petitioners on a pro rata basis.
All account balances for Affiliates and/or Professional Players are $0.00 because they are presumed to result from non-compensable Affiliate and/or Professional payments, unless proven otherwise through valid documentation.
|20.||How do I know the amount of my Account Balance?|
If you received an email Notice containing both a Petition Number and a Control Number, once you login to the Petition filing process through this website, you will be able to view your Account Balance. You will then be able to confirm or dispute this balance. Players who did not receive an email Notice may file a new petition, following the directions on this website, but their Account Balance will not be displayed on the website; such Petitioners will need to provide the amount of their Account Balance through the Petition Filing site, and will need to submit documentation to substantiate their claimed Account Balance. To access the petition filing site, please click on the tab on the left side of this page.
|21.||What do I do if the account balance displayed through the online filing process is not correct?|
If you believe that your account balance is incorrect, please click the button labeled, "To Dispute Balance: Click to Upload Documents" and follow the instructions provided.
|22.||Are Tournament Dollars, Step Tickets, Loyalty Points, Event Dollars and other bonuses going to be refunded or included in my account balance?|
Absolute Tournament Dollars, Step Tickets, Loyalty Points, Event Dollars and other similar types of bonuses, will not be refunded or reflected in a player’s account balance.
|23.||Why is the Account Balance for Affiliates and Professional Players $0.00?|
All transactions associated with Affiliates and/or Professional Players are presumed to have resulted from their Affiliate and/or Professional Player status. Therefore, all players who have been designated as Affiliates and/or Professionals will be deemed to have an Account Balance of $0.00 on the Petition Filing site.
If a player designated as an Affiliate and/or Professional believes they have transactions that did not result from their Affiliate and/or Professional Player status, they can dispute the designation. If you dispute your Affiliate and/or Professional Player designation, you must submit documentation, such as complete and unaltered copies of pro-time and rakeback reports, emails or other online messages, written correspondence, screenshots, player account histories, and bank statements. A written explanation may also be included in order to address the details of the transactions.
|24.||Is rakeback considered an Affiliate payment or Professional funding?|
The Department of Justice does not consider rakeback an Affiliate payment or Professional funding. Accordingly, rakeback will be included in players’ Account Balances and will be included in approved remission amounts for those players who are not designated as Affiliates or Professionals or for Affiliates or Professionals who can demonstrate with documentation that the transactions did not result from their Affiliate and/or Professional status.
|25.||What type of documentation do I need to submit if I have been designated as an Affiliate or Professional Player?|
Please submit any documents that detail your transactions, including the amount of funds you received as an Affiliate and/or Professional Player. This includes, without limitation: pro-time and rakeback reports, emails or other online messages, written correspondence, screenshots, player account histories, bank statements, and documents demonstrating that payments were not Affiliate payments and/or were not hourly fees (for example, pro time or rakeback reports). A written explanation may also be included in order to address the details of the transactions.
|26.||What if I don’t have documentation to substantiate my Affiliate or Professional transactions?|
If you are unable to provide the necessary documentation, please upload a letter explaining your situation in as much detail as possible.
|27.||What if I received no Affiliate or Professional funding from Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet?|
If your account history indicates that there are no Affiliate or Professional transactions funded by Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet, you may enter $0.00 when asked to quantify the value of proceeds from Affiliate or Professional transactions funded by Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet. You will then be able to continue with the online filing process.
|28.||What if my Affiliate or Professional Player designation is incorrect?|
All transactions for players designated as an Affiliate and/or Professional Player are presumed to be Affiliate or Professional in nature and result in a default account balance of $0.00. As noted above, it is the player’s responsibility to submit appropriate documentation in order to dispute the account balance. The Department of Justice and GCG did not designate players as Affiliates—these designations were provided by Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet.
|29.||When and how will I be paid on my claim?|
All approved Petitioners will be paid after the Bar Date and after GCG has reviewed submitted Petitions, provided recommendations to the Department of Justice, and receives approval from the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section. Funds will be paid electronically via ACH.
|30.||When will I be asked to provide my bank account information?|
All approved Petitioners will be asked to provide banking information once their Petition has been approved. No banking information is required at the time of filing.
The Administration of the Claims Process
|31.||What entity is in charge of this matter?|
The Petition for Remission Process is being handled by the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section of the United States Department of Justice.
|32.||What is GCG?|
Garden City Group, LLC ("GCG") is a settlement and bankruptcy administration company that has provided comprehensive legal administration services for nearly three decades. GCG has been selected as Claims Administrator by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York to process Petitions for Remission submitted by the United States Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet fraud victims.
|33.||How do I contact the Claims Administrator?|
|34.||How do I update my contact information?|
Call us toll-free at: (855) 907-3254, email us at: info@AbsolutePokerClaims.com, or write to us at: Absolute Poker Claims Administration, c/o GCG, P.O. Box 10277, Dublin, Ohio 43017-5777. Failure to update your contact information or banking information may delay payment should your petition be approved.
|35.||Why do you require my Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number?|
Prior to the payment of funds to a Petitioner, GCG will provide the Petitioner’s Social Security or other Taxpayer Identification Number to the Government, in order to offset and collect any qualifying debts currently listed in the Treasury Offset Program (“TOP”). You can contact TOP at (800) 304-3107 or visit www.fms.treas.gov/debt/top.html for additional information.
|36.||I did not receive an email containing a Petition and Control Number and believe I should have. Can you tell me why?|
There are several reasons why you may have not received an email Notice containing login credentials. Notices were sent based on data received from Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet. In many cases, email addresses may have been outdated and no longer valid. Also, if we did not receive your name and email address in the data supplied by Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet, an email was not sent. Additionally, if you were identified by Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet as ineligible, you would not have received an email Notice.
If you did not receive an email Notice and you believe you are eligible to participate in the remission process, please contact the Claims Administrator by email at info@AbsolutePokerClaims.com.
|37.||Do I need to file separate claims for my Absolute Poker and my Ultimate Bet accounts?|
Players with accounts at both Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet were emailed separate Notices for each unique account held, and separate Petitions should be filed for each. In other words, if you had separate accounts with both Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet, you were sent two separate Notices containing unique log-on credentials, each of which should be used to file separate Petitions for each account online through this website.
JUNE 9, 2017
Petition for Remission Deadline