Eight high-stakes poker players claim that employees of the former owners of Ultimate Bet stole at least $10 Million in a RICO complaint filed against Excapsa Software. The alleged theft was perpetrated against plaintiffs and other high-stakes poker players.
The group of plaintiffs claims that $2 Million was lost in games where their hole cards were accessible to Ultimate Bet employees that were playing under a variety of user names. The plaintiffs consist of Brad Booth, Dustin Woolf, Tom Koral, and Daniel Smith, among others. The cheating scandal has "been the subject of intense public interest and scrutiny," according to Daniel Ashman, the lead plaintiff in the case.
Ten John Does and 6356095 Canada Inc. (Excapsa Software) are the defendants in the complaint which reads as follows:
"UltimateBet (aka Ultimatebet.com) is an online poker and gambling website that has and continues to serve players in the United States. 6356095 Canada, Inc. (formerly Excapsa Software, Inc. or 'Excapsa') and Does 1-10 are holding companies, licensing entities, marketing companies, software firms, and individuals organized in or residing in jurisdictions throughout the world that developed software for and/or operated UltimateBet by and through which owners of Excapsa sought to direct and shield its illegal and fraudulent activities from courts, police, and tax authorities. Individual Doe defendants are owners, operators, officers, employees, and/or agents of Excapsa. While UltimateBet is not itself a legal entity, it is the vehicle through which defendants operated various conspiracies to defraud plaintiffs and the broader public.
"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."
According to the complaint the players are seeking an injunction and damages for Rico conspiracy, interference with prospective economic advantage, conversion, intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud, unfair business practices, and negligence. Alan Engle with Meador & Engle of Anaheim Hill, California represents the players.