Players finally strike back at UB Poker

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jan 18, 2012 Posted in Legal Poker News, Online Poker News | No Comments »

Three years after the doors were completely blown off the Super-User scandals taking place at Ultimate Bet Poker a group of eight players has decided to file RICO charges against the site’s parent company Exscapa Software. The eight players were some of the biggest players at the site during the Super-User days, including well known UB players like Brad Booth, Tom Koral, Dustin Woolf, and Daniel Ashman.

Here is a look at the full list of Plaintiffs named in the lawsuit:

* Daniel Ashman of Cambridge, Massachusetts

* Brad Booth of Vancouver, British Columbia

* Thomas Koral of Skokie, Illinois

* Greg Lavery of Madison, Wisconsin

* Dave Lizmi of Baltimore, Maryland

* Joseph Sanders of Lima, Peru

* Daniel Smith of Bethesda, Maryland

* Dustin Woolf of Los Angeles, California

It seems an odd move so many years after the fact, and after the sites have repaid players millions in that time period, made even more bizarre considering the sites are being liquidated to repay players after the site was named in the Black Friday lawsuits –indications are that the sites will be able to repay only 15% of what is currently owed.

The group of players is not only seeking their monetary losses, but also compensation for interference with prospective economic advantage, intentional infliction of emotional distress, unfair business practices, fraud and negligence. Thus far no specific people have been named as defendants, but the complaint allows for the defendants to be amended in the future; at this time the complaint cites 10 John Does as defendants.

Here is a look at the complaint that was filed on January 13, 2012:

Since at least June 2003 and until at least January 2008 Excapsa/UltimateBet did conspire to and did direct, effect, and permit the theft of over $2 million held in plaintiffs’ online poker accounts at UltimateBet.com. Specifically, by creating and making use of an intentional a security flaw in the UltimateBet.com software, and with the assistance of owners, agents, and employees of Excapsa and its various subsidiaries that operated UltimateBet, defendants either allowed others to or did directly view plaintiffs ‘hole cards’ during high-stakes poker matches run at UltimateBet.com.

With the assistance of owners, operators, officers, employees, and/or agents of Excapsa and its subsidiaries, the cheaters were further able to change their online identities to avoid detection and to improperly funnel their illicit proceeds through various UltimateBet accounts in a manner that would have been impossible without insider assistance. Through these activities, defendants stole or caused to be stolen at least 20 million dollars from plaintiffs and other high-stakes poker players at games run by UltimateBet.

At this time, plaintiffs suspect but do not know the identities of Does 1-10. Evidence, some of which is discussed below, has arisen that some of the founders and management of UltimateBet and Excapsa, including Greg Pierson, Jon Karl, Jack Bates, Russ Hamilton, and others who formerly operated (and may continue to be involved in the operation of) UltimateBet were likely aware of or involved the conspiracy to cheat players. However, because the identities and activities of UltimateBet and those who have profited from its operations has been intentionally shielded though numerous agents, subsidiaries, and foreign corporations, it will be necessary to conduct significant discovery before a complete list of defendants can be identified. After such discovery, plaintiffs will seek to amend the complaint to add additional defendants.

In “the UltimateBet.com online poker cheating scandal” plaintiffs and other high-stakes online poker players were cheated out of millions of dollars in crooked online poker games where their opponents (employees, agents, owners, and/or officers of Excapsa/UltimateBet) had illicit access to players ‘hole’ cards. Plaintiffs unknowingly played games of high-stakes poker with their cards essentially face-up. The facts underlying the case have already been the subject of intense public interest and media scrutiny, including a feature story on 60 Minutes, an investigative series by the Washington Post, a feature article by MSNBC, and hundreds of articles and news reports across the Internet.

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