Fourth Round of Payments Approved for UB and AP Players
Sometimes, a nudge is needed. Approximately one week after we attempted to reach the Garden City Group by phone regarding an update on payments for UltimateBet and Absolute Poker victims, the GCG posted an update that another round of refunds is in process.
We wrote about the attempted contact because there had been no updates on the GCG website since mid-March of 2018, and the new management at Poker Alliance hadn’t been in touch with the government-appointed group about payments. It appeared that the nudge worked, as a new notice was posted on Friday, October 26.
Players who were victimized by UltimateBet and Absolute Poker and left without their funds when the sites disappeared after Black Friday have been receiving payments since April 2017. The order originally came from the US Department of Justice’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Division, which put the GCG in charge of repayments for former Full Tilt Poker players and then UB and AP victims. Three rounds of payments had been sent in the past year and a half, but the process recently slowed and seemed to need some encouragement.
Latest Payment Details
Once the process for UB-AP players got underway, the payments got underway:
–August 2017 = 7,400 players for $33.5 million
–September 2017 = 4,600 players for $3.7 million
–March 2018 = 450 players for $1 million
This fourth round of payments consists of payments for petitioners who missed the initial deadline of September 7, 2017, as well as others who disputed their original account balances and provided evidence to support their claims. These have all been cleared, which means 494 players will be receiving payments totaling $133,005.04.
The group of nearly 500 players will be receiving emails within the next few weeks to confirm the method by which they will receive their funds. Those in the United States will receive electronic funds transfers to financial institutions, while all others will receive a foreign currency check or wire, depending upon their country of residence. Those contacted will need to confirm banking details.
There may be some petitioners who have debts to the US Internal Revenue Service. If so, some or all of their refund from the GCG will go toward that debt via the Treasury Offset Program. Emails to those persons will provide details as to how their funds will be distributed.
More to Come
The latest update from the GCG informed that more updates will be posted regarding petitioners whose payment requests have yet to be addressed. Those who do not receive emails in the coming weeks confirming payments will have to wait for the next round of payments.
Since the official deadline was more than one year ago, it is likely that the next round of payments could be the last. If there are players who have yet to file a petition, it is important to contact the GCG immediately for further instructions.
When the process began, the GCG reported that it contacted nearly 1.2 million people who were victimized by UltimateBet and Absolute Poker and were eligible for refunds. However, the four rounds of payments announced thus far, including the one currently in process, indicates that only 12,944 players have been or will be issued refunds. That number is a far cry from the millions originally contacted. Of course, there may be a number of people with small balances that they chose not to pursue, and there may be other reasons for the lack of petitions filed. But this money will go to the US government if not collected by UB-AP victims.
For those who have questions, the GCG has a specific page with FAQs, a page for those with pending petitions who need to update banking information, and a contact page with various ways to reach the GCG, whether by phone, email, or snail mail.
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