Eight high-stakes online poker players including Brad Booth, Dan Smith and Dustin “Neverwin” Woolf have filed a Rico complaint against the former owners and management of Ultimate Bet.
The complaint names Excapsa Software,the company that controlled Ultimate Bet, and alleges that at least $20 million was stolen from customers of the online poker room. It goes on to assert that members of the site’s management were complicit in the theft.
In addition to Excapsa, the complaint names 10 John Does and explains that while the plaintiffs are unable to prove who these 10 individuals are right now, they have suspicions and are working to amend the complaint with names when evidence is discovered.
Ultimate Bet Super User Scandal Affects Familiar Names
The plaintiffs in the complaint are named as 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 and Dustin Woolf of Los Angeles, California.
While some of these names are familiar to mainstream poker fans thanks to televised appearances, all of them are or were high-stakes online poker professionals.
This complaint seeks not only to recoup the players stolen funds, but also to compensate them for interference with prospective economic advantage, intentional infliction of emotional distress, unfair business practices, fraud and negligence, as well as to uncover the identities of those responsible at Ultimate Bet.
The complaint’s supporting material reads as a detailed history of the Ultimate Bet super user scandal and investigation, clearly implicating founders and management of Ultimate Bet including Russ Hamilton, Greg Pierson, Jon Karl and Jack Bates.
The complaint reads:
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.