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Poker News | World Poker News

$75 Million Lawsuit Brought Against UB Software Company

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The UltimateBet cheating scandal remains unresolved, approximately nine months after the company’s owner, Tokwiro Enterprises, realized that there was a problem. And amidst two ongoing investigations, one of UltimateBet by third-party audit company Gaming Associates and another of Tokwiro by investigator Frank Catania, the scandal has made the pages of the national media. MSNBC is reporting a new development in the case.

As MSNBC Projects Team Editor Mike Brunker was looking into the voluntary dismemberment of Excapsa Software Inc. of Toronto, the company that originally owned the UltimateBet software and gaming license, he came upon an interesting piece of information. A company called Blast-Off Ltd., a private company based in Malta that has a current ownership interest in UltimateBet, filed a $75 million claim against Excapsa.

MSNBC spoke with Sheldon Krakower, president of XMT Liquidations Inc., who is in charge of the Excapsa breakdown, who noted that the claim “did not directly correlate with the amount believed to have been stolen from UltimateBet players, but he declined to provide additional details.” Krakower told MSNBC, “We’re taking it seriously and are in contact with the stakeholders with a goal of settling the claim… It’s a very touchy situation.”

It is unclear whether Tokwiro Enterprises has any part in the lawsuit, as it purchased UltimateBet from Excapsa in October of 2006, according to Tokwiro’s COO Paul Leggett, but does not seem to be a participant in the suit. And when asked about it in this interview in August, Leggett didn’t seem particularly sure about the details of the sale of UB to Tokwiro. “I’m not 100% on this, but E-World Holdings held the brand, and Excapsa held the software and provided its license.”

According to one website, Blast-Off Ltd. is a private company located in Malta but whose servers are located in the Mohawk Territory and licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. Blast-Off controls ten gaming-related sites, including Bet21, BenefitPoker, CardPlayer, DevilfishPoker, DV8 Poker, Green Tie Poker, Magic Palace Poker, UpperClass Poker, and UltimateBet. Allegedly, Blast-Off participated in the purchase of UltimateBet from Excapsa in October of 2006 for $130 million.

And per MSNBC’s investigation, Excapsa sold its assets to Blast-Off Ltd. However, this information does not clear up the ambiguity regarding the relationship of Tokwiro Enterprises to Blast-Off Ltd. More information will be reported as it becomes available.

The gist of the $75 million claim against Excapsa is to hold the former owners of UltimateBet responsible for the scandal that has cost the new owners untold amounts of money in investigative costs and necessary security upgrades, not to mention business lost due to the scandal and its negative publicity. If a settlement is agreed upon, it is likely that the details will not be released to the public, but more information about the lawsuit should be forthcoming.

For now, the UltimateBet scandal has been catapulted into the national spotlight due to the widely-read MSNBC article. One paragraph summed up the latest development succinctly: “The unprecedented claim is just the latest twist in a slowly unfolding whodunit that began more than nine months ago when poker players posted comments about suspicious play on UltimateBet in an internet poker forum. It’s a mystery steeped in international intrigue and featuring a cast of characters that includes some of the world’s most famous poker players, the former grand chief of a Canadian Mohawk community and executives of a secretive Oregon Internet security company.”

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