Blanca Games issues statement after Costa Rica offices’ raided

Posted by Gerry Poltorak on May 08, 2011 Posted in Legal Poker News | No Comments »

Blanca Games –the parent company of the Cereus Poker Network—issued its second statement in as many days, this time responding to the news that their Costa Rican offices were raided by The Organismo de Investigaciones Judiciales (OIJ), the Costa Rican equivalent of the FBI. The raid comes on the heels of a very incriminating E-Mail exchange between UB Poker CEO Paul Leggett and Olman Rimola, the owner of the company that supplies UB/Absolute Poker with their marketing and customer support team in Costa Rica, a company called IDS.

In the exchange Rimola tells Leggett that unless his employees are paid the wages owed to them ($2.75 million according to the E-Mai) by May 3rd he would go to the authorities –which he apparently did since the OIJ raided the Costa Rican headquarters of the company on Thursday.

Here is a look at Blanca Games statement regarding the raid:

“Blanca can confirm that Costa Rican officials visited the office of Innovative Data Solutions (“IDS”), the former customer service centre of Absolute Poker and UB in Costa Rica. The Organismo de Investigaciones Judiciales (“OIJ”) took action yesterday to further their investigation of Olman Rimola, the owner of IDS, Scott Tom, who was also recently named in the indictment list issued by the Department of Justice on April 15th, and a third lesser known party, Oldemar Vargas. The reported OIJ ‘raids’ of IDS and various associated private residential addresses were in relation to their search for Rimola, Tom and Vargas, and do not involve Blanca or the operations of Absolute Poker or UB.

A company spokesperson said: “We want to correct the rumors being reported in poker circles and the wider community that yesterday’s events are related to the recent Department of Justice indictments. Our understanding is that this is not the case, and that they were driven by local investigations of a separate matter in Costa Rica that involves a concerted effort to locate and apprehend Rimola, Tom and Vargas for questioning in relation to a money laundering investigation.”

Blanca has terminated its supplier contract with IDS after discovering that Rimola has misappropriated millions in IDS severance payments. The company is currently exploring all legal options available to recover the lost funds. Furthermore, Blanca is cooperating fully with the local Ministerio de Trabajo (Department of Labor Officials) in Costa Rica in order to coordinate an alternative method to remit all severance payments to IDS employees, thereby bypassing the facilities of IDS and Rimola to ensure that all obligations to former employees are fulfilled.

As stated previously, Absolute Poker and UB continue to operate their non-U.S. facing business around the world. The company is engaged in ongoing discussions with the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s office regarding an agreement that will facilitate the return of funds to U.S. players.”

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