Blanca Games Releases Absolute Poker Assets to DOJ in Black Friday Settlement
Alleged Absolute Poker ownership group Blanca Games has relinquished all ownership claims regarding certain Absolute Poker assets as part of a settlement with the United States Department of Justice that releases Blanca Games and several related entities from further DOJ prosecution efforts in connection with civil money-laundering allegations.
The settlement signed by Black Friday presiding judge Kimba H. Wood is not a blanket dropping of all charges against all entities connected with Absolute Poker, but is instead related to a resolution of competing ownership claims connected to the DOJ’s seizure and planned liquidation of Absolute’s few remaining assets, which include domain names and marks, software, and player databases.
Blanca Games, which publicly purported to be the owner of Absolute Poker and UB.com after Joe Tokwiro and his Kahnawake-connected Tokwiro Enterprises exited the troubled AP ownership morass in 2010, was headed up by Stuart Gordon from the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda.
Gordon, an online-bingo entrepreneur who has been alleged to be a party friend of AP fratboy Garin Gustafson, agreed to serve as the frontman for Blanca as the real AP owners sought to shield the true ownership of the Cereus Network sites from.
The supposed Blanca Games purchase was later revealed to be a sham — no money actually changed hands — but the introduction of Blanca Games into the paper-ownership equation, followed by a subsequent claim by Blanca Games filed in October 2011 against AP assets that had been seized by the US Department of Justice, helped provide a tool through which the DOJ was able to assert clear title to the seized AP assets.
Through the complicated corporate paperwork trail, DOJ prosecutors convinced the court that the Blanca Games acquisition in 2010 — real money exchanging hands or not — was legitimate enough, and that the competing ownership claims of another AP ownership group, Avoine – Servico de Consultadoria e Marketing, LDA were not valid.
Like Blanca Games, Avoine had also filed a claim against the seized AP assets in January of 2012, but later dropped that claim, despite Avoine being the actual corporate home of the U. of Montana fratboys’ ongoing corporate interests in AP.
This latest settlement releases Blanca Games and seven related corporate entities from future involvement in the case. Including Blanca Games, the complete list of entities covered by the deal includes, the following, several of which are already defunct:
- Absolute Poker
- Ultimate Bet
- Absolute Entertainment, S.A.
- Blanca Games, Inc.
- Hoop and Javelin Holdings Limited
- Lacrosse Holdings Limited
- Hoop Payment Service Solutions Ltd.
- Morning Bliss Overseas Limited
All of the above, including Blanca Games, Inc. itself, are collectively described as the “forfeited property” of the thus-defined “Absolute Poker Ownership Group,” and is therefore forfeited in whole to the DOJ. As part of the deal, the Gordon-led group also agreed to provide the DOJ with information related to these assets and assist in the DOJ’s ongoing seizure efforts.
Those efforts continue against other AP corporate targets. Four additional entities more closely related to the original AP fratboy ownership group were exempted from the settlement, and remain subject to civil money-laundering actions:
- Blue Water Services Ltd.
- Trust Services Ltd.
- SGS Systems Inc.
- Fiducia Exchange Ltd.
The “SGS Systems Inc.” entity dates all the way back to the founding of Absolute Poker itself and its initial business plan / investment prospect, with the “SGS” likely standing for “S”cott Tom, “G”arin Gustafson, and “S”hane Blackford, the first three SAE fratboys involved with the company’s startup.
Blanca Games and Gordon admitted no culpability as one of the terms of the settlement, in exchange for releasing all future claims. Both sides agreed to accept their own attorneys’ fees in the case.