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Old 07-15-2008, 10:09 PM   #1
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: @Kevmath
Posts: 27,835
UltimateBet scandal sticky

Anytime a UB thread gets started, it gets bogged down with thousands of posts, most of them completely useless. I'm working on creating a sticky covering information that is known about the UB scandal. So my request to you is to PM me with the various Cliffnotes, relevant posts, and other FACTUAL information regarding the UB situation. Much thanks goes to those who've discovered the majority of information found here (Cornell Fiji, trambopoline, N 82 50 24, and many more)

To start, we'll go with this post from Cornell Fiji, from May 20:

May 20, 2008

AN OPENING THOUGHT

This following is a summary of this thread which originally appeared in the High Stakes No Limit forum on twoplustwo.com where the story of corruption at UltimateBet originally broke. UltimateBet, an online poker room founded in 2001 and one of the largest in the online poker industry, has been given ample opportunity to refute any of the statements in that thread, but have chosen not to do so as of this writing. Every claim made in the summary that follows in this thread is backed up by insurmountable evidence, which can be provided by request. Some of that evidence is included in this thread and there are links to many of the source in this thread. If UltimateBet or Absolute Poker feels inclined to refute anything that is said in this summary, they’re urged to do so.

I believe that it is important for online poker players to know about the unethical business practices of UltimateBet and Absolute Poker. It is also imperative to understand that these unscrupulous activities are not an indictment on the entire online poker industry. As you read this thread please keep in mind that UltimateBet and Absolute Poker are owned by the same company. They are also regulated by the same puppet regulatory commission. Most poker sites are run with the utmost integrity and security. UltimateBet and Absolute Poker are the exception and not the rule.

I urge the concerned reader to pass word of this summary on to other interested parties. The spread of this information will ultimately protect poker players from unknowingly exposing themselves to the corruption detailed below. If any reader is unfamiliar with any poker or technical terminology contained within, please let me know and an explanation will be provided.

I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to every one who investigated this scandal and who have worked tirelessly to uncover the truth and demand restitution for the affected parties. I did not participate in any part of the investigation myself, all I did was summarize the hard work of posters such as 'trambopoline,' 'dlpnyc21,' Nat Arem, and 'Josem.' Special thanks also to poker columnist Gary Wise who assisted in the editing this post.

Last, I want to make it clear that neither Two Plus Two Publishing nor any of its associative media is in any way responsible for these investigations, nor the accusations made based on their results. We thank Two Plus Two for providing an open forum in which those who have been investigating UltimateBet’s actions could gather and exchange information.

Steven Ware
Cornell Fiji





INTRODUCTION

It has been one hundred fifty days since allegations about suspicious activity in the high stakes no limit games on UltimateBet were first made public in this thread in the High Stakes No Limit forum (referred to as ‘HSNL’ from this point) on twoplustwo.com.

Several million dollars were stolen and the evidence in the HSNL thread indicates very strongly that:
  • UltimateBet has known about the cheating for at least nine months.
  • UltimateBet knew about but did not make any attempt to acknowledge the cheating before it was exposed on 2+2.
  • People who worked for UltimateBet facilitated the cheating.
  • UltimateBet actively took steps to cover up these crimes and thwart the investigation of this scandal.
Additionally:
  • UltimateBet did not make any public statements or acknowledge that cheating had occurred until March 6th, 2008, three full months after the crimes became public.
  • UltimateBet has not reached out to any of the players who were stolen from (many of whom still don't know that they were cheated). When players read the HSNL thread, discover that they have been cheated and attempt to contact UltimateBet, they’re forced to wait several days for an email response, only to be told that UltimateBet is 'looking into the allegations.'
  • UltimateBet has not offered to reimburse any of the victims of the theft.
The first post in HSNL thread provided irrefutable evidence, including a graphic (below) proving that that the player NioNio's winning statistics were abnormal.

Note: this image was posted 3 lines into the first post alleging misconduct at UltimateBet

Over the 2,984 hands examined in the first post, NioNio won $293,677.16; a rate of approximately 155 big blinds per 100 hands played (bb/100).

Less than twenty-four hours after the initial allegations were posted on 2+2, on the 68th post in the HSNL thread, 2+2’er 'Josem' created the following scatter plot;

The yellow data point in the upper-right corner is the accused NioNio account

Some facts about the scatter plot image that was posted on January 9th:
  • There are 870 “normal” accounts from a variety of sites and limits.
  • Each of those other accounts has at least 2,500 hands logged on them.
  • The graph expresses big blinds won/100 hands. BB/100 represents the total winnings, expressed in number of big blinds at the stakes being played, that each player won per one-hundred hands that they played.
  • The mean BB/100 win rate in the sample is 1.528 BB/100.
  • The standard deviation is 14.08 BB/100.
  • NioNio is winning at approximately 10 standard deviations above the mean.

Assuming a normal distribution of win rates, the chance that NioNio's results could be explained by variance is 1:131,236,127,000,000,000,000,000.

Expressed another way, 1:131,236,127,000,000,000,000,000 is about the same as winning the powerball jackpot three days in a row.

This information was all posted and explained within 24 hours of the first post about this scandal on 2+2.

On March 6th, 2008 in a long-anticipated press release , UltimateBet concluded that after “extensive inquiry involving an independent third-party expert… NioNio account’s winning statistics were indeed abnormal” but did not reveal whether they’d found an unfair advantage existed. This press release is the only time that UltimateBet has publicly addressed this issue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateBet
Montreal, Canada (March 6, 2008) – UltimateBet (UB), one of the ten largest online Poker cardrooms, today issued the following interim statement with respect to allegations of unfair play on its site.

“On January 12, 2008, UltimateBet was alerted to allegations that a player with the online handle “NioNio” exhibited abnormally high winning statistics and was accused of having an unfair advantage during play. These allegations were made both directly to UltimateBet by concerned players and the KGC, and indirectly through several web forums. The allegations also included reports of suspicious activity concerning the deletion of the NioNio account and other accounts that may have been related to this scheme.

“We immediately launched an extensive inquiry involving an independent third-party expert to review hundreds of thousands of hand histories, all of which were promptly locked down and made available to this expert. The initial findings of our third-party expert confirm that the NioNio account’s winning statistics were indeed abnormal, and we have expanded the investigation to look into whether an unfair advantage existed, how such a scheme might have been perpetrated, and whether additional accounts beyond those of NioNio were involved.

“UltimateBet is in regular communications and contact with its regulatory authority, The Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC), and will continue to cooperate fully with that body.

“UltimateBet is determined to complete a full and thorough investigation. We pride ourselves on providing a safe, secure playing environment for our customers. The investigation has proven to be extremely complex and, therefore, has been more extensive and taken much longer than initially expected. We continue to aggressively pursue the matter and will communicate the findings of our full investigation to our regulatory authority and to our customer base as soon as practicable.”

THE KEY PLAYERS

UltimateBet is owned by Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG, a privately owned company that also owns and operates Absolute Poker.

Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG is run by Joe Norton, the former Grand Chief of the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake. UltimateBet and Absolute Poker are overseen and licensed by the “independent” Kahnawake Gaming Commission.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is a regulatory arm of the Mowhawk Indian tribe in Canada.


THE ABSOLUTE POKER SCANDAL: A Short Summary

Suspicious activity at Absolute Poker
In August 2007 a player on Absolute Poker with the username of POTRIPPER won the weekly $1,000 buyin tournament in a highly suspicious manner: he played an abnormally high percentage of his hands preflop and played near-flawless Poker after the flop, seeming to always fold when his opponent had a strong hand and raise when his opponent was bluffing.

With the field down to two players, the tournament culminated in an unbelievable hand where the board read 4KK7. POTRIPPER’s opponent, Marco Johnson, playing under the name CrazyMarco, made a massive check-raise all in with a flush draw 92 only to be called by POTRIPPER’s T9. POTRIPPER’s ten high, no pair, no draw held up to win the tournament.

Johnson was suspicious of POTRIPPER’s play. He contacted Absolute Poker, asked for the play be investigated and that the tournament hand history be sent to him. Absolute Poker responded that they’d looked into his play and could not find anything suspicious. They emailed Johnson the hand history in an encrypted Microsoft Excel file. Since it would be tiresome to go through the Excel file and because Absolute Poker had apparently investigated the play, Johnson didn’t examine things any closer for the time being.

In September of 2007, this thread was posted in the high stakes limit forum on 2+2 alleging suspicious play in the $150/$300 limit games on Absolute Poker. There were three players--STEAMROLLER, GREYCAT and DOUBLEDRAG--who despite playing what can be defined mathematically as a losing strategy, were crushing the games. Suspicious posters on 2+2 started examining hands that they had played against these three opponents. In analyzing the hands they found that the three suspicious accounts played most of their hands preflop and then were very aggressive postflop. The most suspicious play generally came on the river (the final betting round,) where seemingly every single time an opponent of the named accounts bluffed, they would be called down lightly or they would be raised and forced to fold. Every single time.

Once the data was compiled, it was thoroughly analyzed both on a hand by hand basis and by looking at the data as a whole. The following scatter plot was created by 2+2 poster Nat Arem. In the scatter plot VPIP stands for the percentage of hands in which a player put non-blind money into the pot preflop.

The red dot on the top right of the graph is alleged cheating account



Out of a sample of 5,251 players, the suspects were an unfathomable fifteen standard deviations above than the mean.

Convinced that these opponents had the ability to see their hole cards, players emailed Absolute Poker’s security department en masse, presenting the evidence and demanding an inquiry. They were completely stonewalled.

The available data had made the investigators nearly certain that STEAMROLLER, GREYCAT and DOUBLEDRAG were cheating, but the only way to have definitive proof was to see the cards that those three accounts were playing. Thankfully, every poker site has the ability to review a player’s hands for suspicious activity, so the posters in this High Stakes Limit thread called and emailed Absolute Poker’s security department asking them to look into the issue.

On October 12th, 2007, Absolute Poker finally responded to the allegations saying (note: emphasis is mine):
Quote:
Official Absolute Poker Response To Player Fraud Allegations
Absolute Poker takes all allegations of player fraud and collusion extremely seriously. Fair play and security are of paramount importance to us. Our Security and Fraud Department is dedicated to ensuring that everyone on the site has a fair opportunity to win, and that no improper methods, devices, programs and/or other unfair advantages are ever utilized in our games.

We were greatly concerned by a recent thread on the 2+2 forums along with emails and other communications we received, regarding alleged player fraud. We thank the vigilant players who reported this matter to us, giving us an opportunity to investigate these serious allegations. We spent extensive resources thoroughly investigating and analyzing our players’ claims. While our investigation is ongoing, we feel that we have enough information at this point to share with you some of our findings.

Please be advised, that we will continue to investigate each and every claim of wrong-doing on an individual basis and we will report any further significant findings that are appropriate for public review. Also, please keep in mind, while we endeavor to provide as much information as possible on a public level, we take our players’ privacy issues very seriously, and will never compromise this. As a matter of Company policy, Absolute Poker never divulges personal information about our players nor do we make public any hand information that did not go to a showdown, ever. As a result, we are limited in terms of the level of information that we can provide for public review.

In response to the allegations, we froze the accounts of the players in question while we performed an extensive investigation. The result of our investigation is that we found no evidence that any of Absolute Poker’s redundant and varying levels of game client security were compromised. In other words, we have determined with reasonable certainty that it is impossible for any player or employee to see hole cards as was alleged. There is no part of the technology that allows for a “superuser” account, and there is no way for any person to influence the game software to their advantage. We base this finding on a thorough security check on a technological level, coupled with a thorough investigation of hand histories including those that did not go to a showdown. As a part of our investigation, we also tested the integrity of our certified random number generator (“RNG”.) We determined that our RNG was not compromised either.

Details of the investigation:

We combed through all hands involving the accounts that were mentioned in the online forums. Please note that only a select number of hands were featured in the threads. Our ongoing investigation continues to show that there were countless instances where a somewhat unorthodox Poker strategy resulted in a loss. Allegations that the player accounts at issue “always guessed right” are unfounded.

We examined screen shots from Poker Tracker Software that displayed an “infinite” river aggression factor for one of the player accounts at issue. We examined similar screen shots which showed a lower but still relatively high river aggression factor. We were very concerned by this anomaly. Accordingly, we reviewed each and every hand that this player played during the relevant time period and determined that while the play was extremely aggressive, particularly on the river, there were several instances where the player merely called on the river. Thus, the allegation that the player accounts at issue “never called on the river, they either raised or folded” are also without merit.

With respect to the allegation of chip dumping, we have determined that chip dumping by at least one of the accounts at issue, did in fact, take place. We have determined that the chip dumping was made to several seemingly unrelated accounts. We are continuing to investigate this issue.
Conclusion

A ‘super-user’ account does not exist in our software. Absolute Poker was created by Poker players who value security and fair play. The back-end of the Absolute Poker software prevents the possibility of any such feature. Our game client only receives data regarding an individual’s hand and no other player hole cards are ever visible – by anyone – except in the event of a showdown. Having said that, we will continue this investigation as well as look into any other allegations of wrong-doing. If appropriate, we will freeze funds and reimburse effected players.

Absolute Poker remains a 100% secure place to play. We value all of our players and we will continue to provide our community with a safe, secure and exciting online Poker experience.
The Absolute Poker Management
The posters in the High Stakes Limit thread were sure that there was cheating going on but, as one poster pointed out; “Well WE will really never be able to PROVE that these players are cheating…without further knowledge of their opponents hands”

The Break in the AP Case
After reading the thread about possible cheaters at Absolute Poker and reading Absolute Poker’s official statement, Marco Johnson came to believe that all of the suspicious play on Absolute Poker was unlikely to be a coincidence. He went back to the e-mail he’d received in response to his inquiry in order to take a closer look at the hand history.

Upon this second look, Johnson realized that the hole cards of all of the players had been included in the email, an alarming fact as no entity including the Absolute Poker powers-that-be should have access to that information (a fact confirmed by Absolute Poker in their official statement published less than twenty-four hours later). The text version of the hand history can be found in this thread. You can also watch the hands played out on a video replayer that was uploaded onto youtube. If you read the hands or watch the video, you will have no doubt that POTRIPPER had the ability to see his opponents hole cards.

Upon examination of this master hand history, the cheating could not have been any more apparent (even someone who doesn’t play Poker regularly can watch that youtube video and see there’s something extra-sensory going on). After the second hand of the tournament, from the 10/20 blind level to the 100/200 blind level in, POTRIPPER only folded preflop four times. Each time he folded, a player behind him held a big pair. POTRIPPER played the tournament perfectly for someone with knowledge of his opponents cards, raising whenever opponents had nothing and folding whenever they held a strong hand.

After analyzing the master hand history, it was not only obvious that POTRIPPER and the other players were cheating at Absolute Poker, but also that the cheater clearly had access to a superuser account (a term applied to describe an account that could see every hand on the table in circumstances where those cards would normally be hidden). It was now apparent that Absolute Poker knew about the cheating, was intentionally engaging in a cover-up, and had deliberately lied in their press release that was sent out just one day earlier.

THE ABSOLUTE AFTERMATH
In summary, the Absolute Poker press release had stated that:
  • ”We spent extensive resources thoroughly investigating and analyzing our players’ claims.”
  • The result of our investigation is that we found no evidence that any of Absolute Poker’s redundant and varying levels of game client security were compromised.
  • ”we have determined with reasonable certainty that it is impossible for any player or employee to see hole cards as was alleged. There is no part of the technology that allows for a “superuser” account”
  • ”We base this finding on a thorough security check on a technological level, coupled with a thorough investigation of hand histories including those that did not go to a showdown”
Less than twenty-four hours later it was proven by the investigation’s collaborators that:
  • It would be impossible to look at the players’ hole cards without immediately recognizing that POTRIPPER had a superuser account.
  • Absolute Poker knew that their game security had been compromised and they tried to cover it up.
  • Absolute Poker had planned on continuing to lie about the cheating and had no inclination to repay the players who had been stolen from.

The collaborators investigating Absolute Poker had provided proof of what had actually happened. They knew when the cheating had occurred and more importantly for our purposes, when it stopped. They knew how the cheating had occurred. The why should be obvious.

The last big question needing an answer was who was doing the cheating.

While inspecting the POTRIPPER hand history, some of the collaborators discovered that this file also contained the IP addresses and user details (including email addresses) of all players seated and observing the table. User #363 (which eventually was identified as the superuser account with hole card access) and POTRIPPER both had their accounts traced back to Costa Rica, the home of Absolute Poker’s servers. The e-mail address and IP address linked to #363 was the same as that of another observer using the e-mail address scott@rivieraltd.com, the owner of which was allegedly Absolute Poker co-founder Scott Tom.

Further investigations revealed that rivieraltd.com’s mail server IP (66.212.244.147) was allocated to Absolute Entertainment SA at Mohawk Internet Technologies data center (po12.dr4.kdca.mohawk.ca. Two hours after this discovery was posted on twoplustwo the DNS information at rivieraltd.com had been deleted. Tracks were being covered.

Mohawk.ca should also sound familiar to those of you paying attention so far. To refresh your memory:
Quote:
UltimateBet is owned by Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG , a privately owned company that also owns and operates Absolute Poker .
Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG is run by Joe Norton, the former Grand Chief of the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is the regulatory arm of the Mohawk Indian tribe in Canada.
The superuser account that cheated and stole money on Absolute Poker was being operated by Absolute Poker's founder and it also had direct ties to the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and UltimateBet. It was no wonder why Absolute Poker tried to cover up the cheating.

More details on the technical side of the Absolute Poker investigation can be found in the posts made after 10/16/07 in this thread).

For more information about the Absolute Poker scandal please check the links in this section as well as the websites which have been created to discuss this scandal such as,absolutepokercheats.com, and AbsoluteDetectives.com


SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY AT ULTIMATE BET

By January of 2008, many high stakes no limit hold’em players on UltimateBet had become highly suspicious of the playing styles and win rates of some players on the site.

Investigating the hands that these players played showed that they saw as many flops and turns as possible, they called bluffs with incredibly weak holdings, and they seemingly never lost. These players were employing what should be a losing strategy and they were playing in the highest stakes games on UltimateBet, yet they showed the highest win rates of anybody playing any poker game anywhere in the world (other than the Absolute Poker cheaters).

Their abnormal playing style of seeing many flops and turns along with their regularly calling river bets with extremely marginal holdings at an alarming rate of success, indicated a possibility that these players, like the players in the Absolute Poker scandal, had the ability to see their opponents hidden hole cards.

UltimateBet was informed about this problem within twenty-four hours of the creation of the HSNL thread on January 8th, 2008. The Kahnawake gaming Commission was notified soon thereafter.


Collecting the Evidence
After the Absolute Poker scandal it was clear that the poker sites were unwilling to regulate themselves and that the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was also uninterested with protecting the game. Frustrated by what seemed to be another major cheating scandal by a Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG poker site, posters on twoplustwo set out to find the truth.

While reviewing hands that they had played, twoplustwo posters 'trambopoline' and 'dlpnyc21' noticed that they had both lost significant sums of money to the player ”NioNio”. In only 3,000 hands against trambopoline and dlpnyc21 ”NioNio”, had profited an astonishing $300,000.

”NioNio” had an incredibly high VP$IP of approximately 60/40 (meaning that he put money into the pot preflop with 60% of the hands that he was dealt and that he raised preflop with 40% of his hands, abnormally high statistics for a winning player in these games). He cold called 3 bets and 4 bets at an abnormally high frequency and he made very thin value bets and repeatedly made what would otherwise be questionable calls against bluffs. Essentially, his play was consistent of that of a poor poker player, not one who was winning $300,000 in 3,000 hands.

NioNio's play was nearly identical to the play of POTRIPPER with one exception; where POTRIPPER would only raise or fold on the river, NioNio would on occasion call. It would eventually become obvious this served to make his omniscience less obvious.

Concerned about NioNio's play trambopoline turned to www.MyPokerIntel.com, a website which records all high stakes games that are played online, to gather more evidence.

MyPokerIntel.com provides a summary of anyone’s last 14 sessions. In those 14 sessions, NioNio had 13 winning sessions and was up approximately 135k. His one losing session consisted of a mere 2k loss. The stats on MyPokerIntel.com also showed that NioNio had beaten the games at a rate of 114 big blinds per 100 hands over the 8,000 hands that he had played. As a base of comparison, the absolute best players in the world strive to win 15 bb/100.

What was even more incriminating was the fact that the last date he played on that account was September 4th, the same week the AP scandal broke.

Below is a spreadsheet that lists NioNio's profits from each session that he played on UltimateBet;



NioNio had won over 600k in a mere 64 hours of play, a hourly rate of $9,687.96/hr. One of the ‘wow’ figures from this investigation is that the average American works 2088 hours a year, not counting overtime. If NioNio worked for those same 2088 hours he would have an annual salary of $20,209,668.48.

Ulitmatebuddy.com is a website which provides a search feature for UltimateBet players. When trambopoline searched for NioNio on Ultimatebuddy, he found an odd message stating that NioNio's account no longer existed. This meant that his name was either changed or that it had been closed.

In order for an account on UltimateBet to have a user name changed or for an account to be closed the owner of the account must personally contact the company and the security department process the request. This is the first indication that UltimateBet knew about the cheater several months prior to the January 8th post on 2+2.

As many of you know, when you cash out of an online poker site, the cash out must first be cleared through the site's security department. Major withdrawals from new players are examined with additional scrutiny.

It defies reason to believe that a red flag was not raised when a new player began beating the highest stakes games on UltimateBet at a win rate that was ten standard deviations over his expectation. But even if UltimateBet's security department was so incompetent as to not investigate NioNio's account while the cheating was taking place it is virtually impossible that they did not investigate him when he requested to have name changed and cashed out in September 2007 .

It is simply unfathomable that red flag was not raised when NioNio, the most successful Poker player in the history of the world, a guy for whom logging onto UltimateBet was like going to an ATM machine... and stealing the whole thing, abruptly decided a couple days after the Absolute Poker scandal became public that he wanted to close his account. The only rational conclusion is that UltimateBet had full knowledge of the cheating as it was taking place and deliberately allowed it to continue just like at their sister site Absolute Poker where the founder of the company was cheating and orchestrating cover-up.

After 'trambopoline' and 'dlpnyc21' showed beyond any reasonable doubt in the HSNL thread that NioNio was cheating, many more 2+2’ers began compiling their hand histories and searching through www.myPokerintel.com for suspicious accounts.

If it was happening with one account why couldn’t it be happening on others? Within a matter of days, posters on 2+2 identified a number of accounts as having highly suspicious activity. They all played the same 60/40/aggressive style that was shared by NioNio and the superuser at Absolute Poker and all stopped playing around September 07, 2007 when the Absolute Poker scandal broke. They also all had had success at a profit rate of several degrees better than the win rates showed by the best players in the world.

These suspicious accounts were:
Flatbroke33, iLike2win, monizzzle, nionio, nopaddles, nymobser, nvtease, sleeplesss, stoned2nite, utakeit2, and whackme44.

Prior to January 8th, 2008, the day that the allegations were posted on twoplustwo, eight out of the ten accounts had been closed or had their screen name changed. Upon releasing these names in the HSNL thread, which was obvious was being closely watched by UltimateBet, the last 2 accounts were immediately closed or had their account name changed. This is known because within 24 hours they no longer appeared on ultimatebuddy.com when searched for. Just like with Absolute Poker, UltimateBet's management was covering their tracks.

Nat Arem (N82 50 24 on twoplustwo) was able to give trambopoline some further damning information. From the contacts he had from the AP scandal, he was able to confirm 3 things;
  • The NioNio account was changed to nymobser.
  • The Nopaddles account was changed to sleeplesss.
  • The changes were made on the same day.
The operator of these accounts would play high stakes no limit as NioNio. After they cheated someone out of enough money to inspire suspicion, the operator would then switch to the Nopaddles account. After they had exhausted the entire player pool by cheating everyone with both accounts, they again changed screen names and ran the same scam as nymobser and sleepless.

It should again be pointed out that it is standard procedure for an account asking to change its screen name to be scrutinized by a poker site’s security team. Looking at a single session that NioNio or Nopaddles played would be enough to show an almost imperceptibly small chance that the accounts were not cheating. It is simply beyond the realm of possibility that several insiders did not realize that these accounts were cheating when these accounts were investigated after requesting a name change in the middle of 2007. Instead of stopping the theft UltimateBet allowed them to change screen names and in doing so facilitated the cheating.

If you have a gmail account, you will be able to access this spreadsheet containing the playing statistics from all of the accounts in question. This is an incredibly damning piece of evidence;
Spreadsheet with the playing data from the cheaters at UltimateBet.

The detailed hand logs in that spreadsheet contain of all data from each session played by the cheating accounts. One can see the exact time each account played each session, how much was won and other pertinent info.

Looking at the times that the cheating accounts played one can observe instance after instance where one account would sign in, play a short session against a particular player, then sign onto a new screen name and play another session against the same player, making huge profits on each account. This was done in order to minimize the amount of hands that each account played against each high stakes player in hopes that the lack of data would keep the cheating under the radar. Once the two accounts had played all of the regular high stakes players they would be closed and two more accounts would be opened and the process repeated.

Here is a screen shot with some specific stats from these players:

.
The date next to their name indicates the last date they played on UltimateBet;

Flatbroke33 = 8/11, 65.5 PTbb/100 over 3753 hands- deleted or name changed.
iLike2win = 6/22, 37.34 PTbb/100 over 5545 hands - deleted or name changed.
Nionio = 9/4, 57.3 PTbb/100 over 8100 hands - name changed to nymobser.
Nopaddles = 8/31, 89.6 PTbb/100 over 1508 hands - name changed to sleepless.
Nymobser = 9/26, 46.7 PTbb/100 over 899 hands - now deleted or name changed. This name was still active when it was first mentioned in the HSNL thread, but within 24 hours of it being identified in the thread the account was closed.
Monizzle = 11/20, 38.51PTbb/100 over 2265 hands - deleted or name changed.
Sleeplesss = 9/22, 98.87 PTbb/100 over 1561 hands - now deleted or name changed. This name was still active when it was first mentioned in the HSNL thread, but within 24 hours of it being identified in the thread the account was closed.
stoned2nite = 6/30, 129.2 PTbb/100 over 777 hands - deleted or name changed.
Utakeit2 = 8/29, 45.41 PTbb/100 over 8046 hands - deleted or name changed.
Whackme44 = 8/20, 47.73 PTbb/100 over 946 hands - deleted or name changed.

For the 7 accounts out of 10 that we received detailed records on, their total take was over $1.5 million. It is still unknown how much the other 3 accounts stole.

Other than their one press release stating that a three month extensive investigation revealed that NioNio had "abnormally high winning statistics" (something that was proven three lines into the first post in the HSNL thread) UltimateBet has not made any public comments about these findings. UltimateBet has also largely refused to discuss this scandal with its players other than to say that their investigation is ongoing. UltimateBet has not acknowledged their involvement in the cheating.

To this date the perpetrators of the Absolute Poker scandal have not been charged with any crimes. It is unknown if UltimateBet has filed charges against the people responsible for this multi million dollar theft or crimes related to the cover-up of these crimes.


CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

Out of the hundreds of online poker sites, the only two sites to ever be caught exploiting a superuser account to steal from its customers are both owned by Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG and licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.

The players on UltimateBet were victims of a serious crime: grand larceny facilitated by a company that operates virtually outside the law. I hope that the efforts spent investigating and publicizing this story will help the victims of these crimes find restitution. I hope that this story will also highlight the need for independent regulation in the online poker industry.

Please use this thread to discuss the the best way to convince UltimateBet to come clean about their involvement in this theft and to provide restitution for these crimes. Please also use this thread to discuss the best ways to ensure that a scandal such as this one does not taint the game of poker occur ever again.

Steven Ware
Cornell Fiji



I hereby grant the right for anyone, including all members of the media to take excerpts from this summary and/or to republish it in part or in whole as long as the work is properly cited and credited to its author.




Next, here's UB issuing a press release on May 29, regarding "unfair play"

http://www.ultimatebet.com/poker-new...ionio-findings

Quote:
ULTIMATEBET ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING UNFAIR PLAY



MONTREAL, CANADA (MAY 29, 2008) --- Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG ("Tokwiro"), proprietors of UltimateBet.com ("UltimateBet"), one of the world's largest online card rooms, today announced the results of its lengthy investigation into allegations of unfair play, which was triggered by concerns about an account named 'NioNio'. Tokwiro has worked diligently in cooperation with its regulatory body, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission ("KGC"), and with independent third-party experts to conduct a thorough investigation that included a comprehensive review of hand histories and game data, thorough analyses of software and network security, and audits of its security practices and procedures.

The investigation has concluded that certain player accounts did in fact have an unfair advantage, and that these accounts targeted the highest limit games on the site. The individuals responsible were found to have worked for the previous ownership of UltimateBet prior to the sale of the business to Tokwiro in October 2006. Tokwiro is taking full responsibility for this situation and will immediately begin refunding UltimateBet customers for any losses that were incurred as a result of unfair play.

The fraudulent activity was enabled by unauthorized software code that allowed the perpetrators to obtain hole card information during live play. The existence of this vulnerability was unknown to Tokwiro until February 2008 and existed prior to UltimateBet's acquisition by Tokwiro in October 2006. Our investigation has confirmed that the code was part of a legacy auditing system that was manipulated by the perpetrators. Gaming Associates, independent auditors hired by the KGC, have confirmed that the software code that provided the unfair advantage has been permanently removed.
Throughout the investigation of this incident, Tokwiro's consistent priorities have been:

1. To permanently remove the ability to engage in unfair play;
2. To complete its investigation and come to a full understanding of what occurred;
3. To refund the affected customers; and
4. To implement measures that prevents future incidents.

The Company said, "We would like to thank our customers for their patience, loyalty and support, as well as for their understanding that we are doing everything we can to correct this situation. The staff and management of UltimateBet are fully committed to providing a safe and secure environment for our players, and we want to assure customers of our unwavering resolve to monitor site security with every resource at our disposal."

Investigation Timeline
These are the key events in the course of the incident.

* January 2008: UltimateBet is alerted to suspicions of unfair play on the part of the account "NioNio". Within 24 hours, UltimateBet contacts the KGC to provide formal notice that UltimateBet has initiated an investigation of the incident. UltimateBet subsequently forwarded a copy of all related data to the KGC.

* January 2008: The "NioNio" account and related accounts are suspended pending further investigation.

* February 2008: Preliminary findings indicate abnormally high winning statistics for the suspect accounts. After discussions with the KGC, UltimateBet engages third-party gaming experts to assist with the analysis.

* February 2008: Investigators confirm that the suspect accounts are associated with individuals who had worked for UltimateBet under the previous ownership.

* February 2008: UltimateBet discovers the unauthorized code that allowed the perpetrators to obtain hole card information during live play. The code was part of a legacy auditing system that was manipulated by the perpetrators of the fraud.

* February 2008: UltimateBet immediately removes the unauthorized code and works with the KGC and with third-party auditors to verify that the security hole has been eliminated.

* March 2008: Six player accounts are confirmed to have participated in this scheme. No accounts were deleted at any point, although some account names were changed multiple times. The following account names are known to have been used in the fraudulent activity: NioNio, Sleepless, NoPaddles, nvtease, flatbroke33, ilike2win, UtakeIt2, FlipFlop2, erick456, WhackMe44, RockStarLA, stoned2nite, monizzle, FireNTexas, HeadKase01, LetsPatttty, NYMobser, and WhoWhereWhen.

* May 2008: The investigation confirms that the fraudulent activity took place from March 7, 2006 to December 3, 2007.

* May 2008: Gaming Associates certifies that the software code that enabled unfair play was removed from UltimateBet servers in February of 2008.

* May 2008: Customers affected by this incident are identified, and plans for corrective action are reviewed with the KGC.

Corrective Actions Taken
The following actions have been taken or are currently underway as a direct result of this investigation.

* The security hole identified in UltimateBet's investigation has been permanently eliminated.

* UltimateBet is establishing a state-of-the-art software Security Center that consolidates and greatly enhances existing security capabilities. The first release of the new Security Center focuses solely on the immediate detection of abnormal winnings. Gaming mathematicians, poker professionals, and security software developers have all contributed to the specifications for the new Security Center.

* UltimateBet customers are no longer permitted to change account names unless they have suffered abuse in chat rooms. Requests for changes must be supported by proof of abuse and must be approved by the Chief Compliance Officer.

* In addition to its existing security department, UltimateBet has established a new specialized Poker Security team of professionals dedicated to fraud prevention.

* The refund process will begin immediately. The accounts associated with fraudulent activity did not use an unfair advantage in all play sessions. Regardless, UltimateBet is refunding all losses to these accounts.

* Accounts related to the fraudulent activity have been disabled, and the individuals associated with those accounts permanently banned from the site.

* UltimateBet has worked closely and transparently with its governing body, the KGC and its designated expert auditors, to determine exactly what happened, how it happened, and who was involved, and has taken action to prevent any possibility of this situation recurring.

* Tokwiro is pursuing its legal options in regard to this incident.

For further inquiries please contract press@ultimatebet.com

Last edited by Kevmath; 07-17-2008 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:46 PM   #2
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Re: Working on a UB sticky (requesting links)

NoLimitLeagues cliffnotes post from July 9 covering Brainwashdodo's posted transaction log.

The connection between Russ Hamilton and certain UB superusers from July 12 (posts 1-41 to start).
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:36 PM   #3
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Re: Working on a UB scandal sticky (requesting links)

Interviews/podcasts regarding the UB scandal:

2+2 Pokercast with Paul Leggett, COO of Tokwiro Enterprises, owner of Ultimate Bet (June 2)
Pokernews interview with Annie Duke (June 29)
PokerRoad Radio interview with Annie Duke (July 10)
Big Poker Sundays interview with Nat Arem (July 13)
2+2 Pokercast with Serge "Adanthar" Ravitch, discussing the scandal (July 16)

Last edited by Kevmath; 10-05-2010 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:03 PM   #4
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Re: Working on a UB scandal sticky (requesting links)

Site that includes some of what's posted above, along with other information from various UB threads

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Old 07-17-2008, 10:53 AM   #5
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Re: Working on a UB scandal sticky (requesting links)

Cornell Fiji's retraction post
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:05 PM   #6
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Re: Working on a UB scandal sticky (requesting links)

A post from the 2+2 pokercast forum a former UB prop:

Quote:
I need help! My name is Lisa, and I used to be the host (prop) manager of Ultimate Bet. I answered to Monsour Matloubi and Russ Hamilton. I repeatedly felt cheated in the upper limit limit ring games and heads up tables. Russ would tell me invariably that there were no evidence of cheating and he looked over the hand histories personally. I was not satisfied and asked for the session hand histories with cards shown for every player in the pot. To which I was told that it was a violation of those players privacy. While I can understand that, I only asked for the hands specific to my suspicions.

The last letter I wrote to Monsour (Shah) was this one:

-----Original Message-----
From: hosts <email addess deleted>
Sent: Friday, February 18, 2005 9:21 AM
To: 'hosts'; 'Shah'
Subject: sessions request



Dear Mansour,

I need the hand histories for session number:

255008-19350 – 19915

Last set of hand histories I was sent didn’t even show my door cards.

I played as gotzillion in the session. I understand privacy issues, but there is mass piracy going on at ultimatebet, and I want to see all the cards.

The cheaters are going to kill ulimatebet unless something is done to stop them.

The list is so long that I can’t start to rattle the names off.

I have prohibited the hosts from playing 30/60, 80/160 and 150/300. I wanted to protect my hosts from being cheated against as I have been night after night.

Although they bring in much rake right now, they will ultimately bust the site. As winning players win at lower limits at ub and then move up; they’ll go bust. Word on the street is that ub doesn’t care if there are colluders in the game and they allow cheats. Well, I guess you do.


To immediately curb this problem,

* I want all 30/60 and higher tables immediately closed. God help the honest nl players.

* I want an immediate suspension in name changes across the board …say the system is under repair at the time and name changes cannot be done.

* I want sessions reviewed in detail (I can provide these); I want to review them. These guys have stolen thousands and thousands of dollars from me as well as other hosts and customers.

* I want UB to have the cheaters produce valid IDs to memberservices to prove that they are who they say they are.

* When enough evidence is mounted against these guys; I want their accounts frozen immediately. I want the money distributed in an equitable manner to those that have been robbed.

* I want their computers to be unable to open a new account.

* I will fly to vegas to meet with Russ if need be to explain the patterns that I’ve seen, but it would be impossible if we didn’t have a whole day to do it.

Get rid of the cheaters; the site might take a hit game wise, but I am not even liking playing in the 10/20 and 15/30 games...

I’ll start them and play heads up, but if I’ll just leave the table when I see a couple of them. This is very bad for ub, online poker and poker in general.

I need help,

Thanks,

Lisa


I received an answer such to effect that I was paranoid, and maybe just not good enough to play in those games. I never got my hand histories and I never got to talk to Russ.

I resigned as manager, and my account was closed.

When trying to get security to help me a month ago, they told me all accounts were already paid. Closed accounts were closed accounts. No one at UB seems interested in talking to me.

So, if any of you have any ideas of how to pursue this, or names of people I should talk to or a phone number I should call, I would greatly appreciate it.
Link
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:55 AM   #7
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Re: Working on a UB scandal sticky (requesting links)

PPA statement regarding UB

Statement from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission regarding Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:26 AM   #8
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Re: UB scandal sticky (requesting links)

Complete compilation of statements made by AP/UB/Tokwiro/KGC from Semptember 2007 through July 2008

Paul Leggett interview on Pocket Fives podcast 7/31/08

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Old 08-06-2008, 11:53 AM   #9
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Re: UB scandal sticky (requesting links)

Mookman5 has done a couple of timelines for both AP and UB:


Absolute Poker timeline
Ultimate Bet timeline

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Old 08-14-2008, 12:33 PM   #10
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UltimateBet Ownership Timeline, Cheating Questions Still Remain

The time line starts in 1999/2000 when ielogic, the original software provider for Ultimatebet forms. Annie Duke gets a job there in 2000. UB is licensed and owned by E-World Holdings. May 2001, real money play begins on UB. 2004 Excapsa Software, out of Toronto, buys ielogic, ielogic get rich, gets to keep non poker stuff, starts an internet security company called Iovation (Phil Hellmuth Owns Stock in Iovation). Iovation and Ielogic are both owned by CEO Greg Pierson, Oregon. Excapsa goes public in 2005 in London, cheating begins.

1. Who Founded /owns / invests / works for e-world holdings? Annie Duke has said that this compnany basically does nothing but hold the gaming license. She also says this is where the cheating started in 2005, stating motive could be that Excapsa going public shut of the revenue stream to E-World Holdings.

2..Who Founded/Owns Excapsa software from the start in Toronto, Canada until it goes public and Jim Ryan becomes CEO in 2005? Who are the 3 individuals the the family trust that are primary owners until Excapsa goes public? In a hearing it was said that about 6% of Excapsa was owned by Canadians, the remaining shares were owned by The holders of the Founders' Shares consist of three individuals and one family trust.

3. Who are the cheaters? Annie Says they are from E-World. Paul Legget says the are part of former owners ship or ex-employees. What are all 88 usernames? Many more, please help in bringing more questions.

Excapsa software is removed as a publicly traded company on the AIM in London days before UIGEA is signed. It is sold to a company called Blast Off Limited. The legality of the sale is in question, primarily due to the deferred payments involved.

3. Who founded / owns / invests in Blast Off Ltd?
4. Is the sale legal, if those receiving deferred payments, are U.S. residents, could an U.S. citizens get in trouble for the Ownership structure.?

Here is a Timeline of UltimateBet ownership.

1999Greg Pierson Helps Form ieLogic, First Software Provider for UltimateBet
Greg Pierson - CEO – IELOGIC
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/5/b19/662
(Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Information Technology and Services industry)
1999 — 2004
ieLogic provided a shared technical infrastructure to support MMOG (Massively Multi-player Online Gaming) environments. The company was sold in 2004 to Excapsa Software and went public on the London Stock Exchange shortly thereafter.

http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/sh...&postcount=932
“Greg Pierson started UB with his partner and Russ. And yes, Greg runs a software company that deals in internet security (Iovation)”
http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/sh...postcount=1092
“ once ieLogic is severed, the cash cow for some of these people is dead. they might have received Excapasa stock; they might not have. motivation?” Annie Duke Would late say the same thing about E-world holdings in an interview on 7-10-08

1999E-World Holdings Owns & Operates UB; E-World Licenses Poker Software From ieLogic
http://www.totalgambler.com/pokerlif..._timeline.html
“At the end of 2000 the next of the big names made its debut. UltimateBet was set up jointly by software firm ieLogic (founded by tech geeks Greg Pierson and Jon Karl) and some secretive high stakes poker players (believed to include a former WSOP Main Event winner).”

10-2001 - Jack Bates Hired for Sr. Software Engineer Ielogic
http://www.tiltedplacitan.net/jack_resume_current.html
Sr. Software Engineer
October 2001-December 2003

”Server Security and Performance
ieLogic, Inc., software provider to UltimateBet.com, Portland, OR, USA
Virtually all technical aspects of analysis, design, implementation and maintenance of performance-sensitive servers responsible for providing and securing soft-realtime multiplayer online games. Secure and reliable processing of financial microtransactions and user authentication. Implementor, overseer and filer for patent-pending "association tarpit" fraud prevention technology, brand-named ieSnare, which saved UltimateBet's business by rooting out organized credit card fraud rings.
Invention, development and statistical validation of the Hardware Random Number Generator "cooker" and software shuffling algorithms used to fairly deal hands in high stakes card games. Performed second-tier investigations of all manner of attempted fraud and abuse of our systems and assets. Governmental and financial authorities are not keen on helping us - self-reliance is mandatory here. Absolute honesty and integrity are non-optional for this job. Insomnia helps too.”

Jack Bates Response on 2p2 poker forum 7-9-2008

http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/sh...&postcount=380
“In my experience, there are some very good people involved in the online poker business. I remain friends with quite a number of them. These people understand that reputation is their largest asset, and they guard their reputations by having the discipline and policies in place to avoid stupid screwups. Screwups like the one being discussed here.”
“Unfortunately, there are also some marginal types. I will not discuss details, but these people definitely do exist. Again, think for yourself: perhaps there are good reasons when a talented engineer leaves one company and joins another. There usually are. It happens all the time. I think you'd be foolish to paint the management of the poker sites I've worked for with the same brush.”

April 2004 - Excapsa Was Incorporated in 2004 Under Canada Law
Excapsa was incorporated under the laws of British Columbia on April 28, 2004, and continued under the Canada Business Corporation Act on February 28, 2005. The head office of Excapsa is located in Toronto, Ontario.

Spring of 2004 - ieLogic Is Sold To Canadian Company (Excapsa), What Remains Is Now Iovation
http://portland.bizjournals.com/port...17/story8.html
“Last spring, the principals of software developer IeLogic sold its multiplayer online games applications to a Canadian company but IeLogic was allowed to keep clients of its non-poker technology What remained of the old company -- a system for predicting online fraud, 30 employees and a sublease covering a little less than half the 10th floor of the U.S. Bancorp Tower -- became Iovation Inc. Now, Iovation is taking over the 43-story tower's entire 32nd floor. The company signed a seven-year lease with U.S. Bancorp Tower's Seattle-based owner, Unico Corp., for space vacated last winter.”

June 14, 2004Greg Pierson of Iovation Files Patent for (iesnare?) Network Security & Fraud Detection System and Method
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...&RS=PN/7272728
“A system and method to detect and prevent fraud in a system is provided. The system may uniquely identify physical devices connecting to a network, register unique devices, track end-user logins, associate end-user accounts with specific devices, and share information with multiple network service providers is described. “
In summary
“The system is an advanced fraud detection and prevention tool that can significantly reduce the risk of Internet transaction and identity fraud since the system allows a business to avoid "problem customers" identified by other participating businesses before they start creating problems for that business, and it eases the process of identifying potential repeat offenders before they create more problems.”
Inventors: Pierson; Greg (Gresham, OR), DeHaan; Jason (Chicago, IL)
Assignee: Iovation, Inc. (Portland, OR)
Appl. No.: 10/867,871 Filed: June 14, 2004

11-7-04Phil Hellmuth Invests in Iovation
http://www.philhellmuth.com/articles.html?id=48
“Greg Pierson is the man! No, you haven't heard of him yet, but mark my words: GP's new company, IoVation'an internet security company--will have a billion dollar valuation by 2008. Considering how much respect I have for Greg, and considering the fact that I'm lucky enough to be an investor in IoVation, I vowed to Greg that he could get some private lessons from me anytime.”

Late 2004 – Early 2005 - Iovation Using IESNARE At Ultimatebet to Combat Fraud
http://www.judyb.com/Iovationiesnarefinal.pdf

January 2005 Jim Ryan is CEO of Excapsa
http://investing.businessweek.com/bu...Software%20Inc.
“James A. (Jim) Ryan, CA is a Founder of Excapsa Software Inc. and has been its President and Chief Executive Officer since January 2005. Mr. Ryan served as Chief Financial Officer of CryptoLogic Limited since January 22, 2002. Prior to CryptoLogic, he served as Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of Procuron Inc., an Internet business-to-business marketplace company, from November 2000 to December 2002”

“Excapsa Software, Inc. engages in developing, marketing, and licensing online gaming software applications, as well as in managing Excapsa poker network. It markets multiplayer, real time Internet-enabled poker software. The company’s Excapsa poker network includes UltimatePoker.com, and others. Excapsa Software was incorporated in 2004 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.” http://investing.businessweek.com/re...p?symbol=ECSWF

http://investing.businessweek.com/bu...ymbol=ECSWF.PK
“Year over year, Excapsa Software Inc. has been able to grow revenues from $5.9M to $49.1M. Most impressively, the company has been able to reduce the percentage of sales devoted to selling, general and administrative costs from 28.11% to 9.81%. This was a driver that led to a bottom line growth from a loss of $646.5K to a gain of $9.1M.”

7-28-05 - Game Theory Limited, a subsidiary of the Company, purchased the poker room
http://www.excapsa.com/media/Excapsa...rimResults.pdf
software and residual licensing rights from Ecom Arts Limited in exchange for $2,500,000. The software has been recorded within intangible assets and is being amortised over 5 years.

9-7-2005Excapsa, UB, Phil Hellmuth, and Russ Hamilton Join Forces
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...7/ai_n15347094
“ TORONTO -- Leading online poker software developer, Excapsa Software, their network's primary licensee, UltimateBet.com, and Phil Hellmuth announced today that three fundraising poker tournaments will be held on UltimateBet.com to benefit the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, beginning September 8th.
“In addition, both Excapsa Software and UltimateBet.com have pledged to match 100% of all funds raised up to $25,000 each and poker pros, Phil Hellmuth Jr. and Russ Hamilton have challenged the poker network by adding $10,000 each.”

11-7-2005 - Leading Online Gaming Companies, Such as Absolute Poker & Nine.com, Choose iovation to Decrease Fraud. http://www.businesswire.com/portal/s...48&newsLang=en
“Leading Online Gaming Companies Choose iovation to Decrease Fraud and Increase Operational Value; Absolute Poker, Bodog, PointBet and Nine.com Join Growing Roster of Gaming Companies Combating Online Fraud”

NICE, France--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 7, 2005--iovation, the first online fraud detection solution that tracks the reputation of devices, announced it is providing fraud management solutions to leading online gaming sites worldwide – effectively minimizing their risk of fraud and increasing the value of their operations. iovation inc. has signed Absolute Poker, Bodog, PointBet and Nine.com -- four progressive online gambling Web sites -- each with millions of transactions a year.
Absolute Poker
A stallion of online poker, Absolute Poker, chose iovation to help enrich its current offering to players and to provide them with a safer place to play poker. While Absolute Poker has successfully managed fraud and client account security with effective tools that are currently in place, they believe that iovation's product will act as an even stronger complement to its existing practices. "While fraudsters continue to evolve and devise new ways to exploit our competitors, it is our belief that by continuously improving our 'fraud tool kit' that we can provide the safest place to play poker online," said Brent Beckley, director of client services at Absolute Poker.
Nine.com
An 8-year-old Costa Rica-based online sportsbook, casino and poker Web site, was invited to view an iovation demo while in Costa Rica. Nine.com is presently using Las Vegas From Home's poker software, protected by the ieSnare system, and wanted to expand its fraud protection across its other networks. With many years of experience in the gaming industry, Nine.com, and its sister companies Betcom.com and Mybookie.com, decided to extend its security to the sportsbook and the casino channels. "We wanted to provide a safe environment for our other popular sites," said AJ Green, VP of operations at Nine.com. "iovation has a proven record of decreasing fraud and stopping crime rings from forming and coming back resulting in a much more secure environment for ourselves and our clients"
About Iovation. Iovation, based in Portland, Oregon, develops fraud-management systems for companies besieged by significant online fraud issues, particularly stolen credit cards, chargebacks and cyber-crime rings.

12-31-05Excapsa Issues Promissory note for $500,000 to E-World Holdings
http://www.excapsa.com/media/Excapsa...rimResults.pdf
“On 31 December 2005, the Company issued a promissory note to a member of the eWorld Group amounting to $500,000. As at 30 June 2006, the Company has repaid the full amount.”

12-31-05 - Game Theory Limited entered into revised licensing arrangements with eWorld Holdings Inc.
http://www.excapsa.com/media/Excapsa...rimResults.pdf
“Setting out the terms under which Game Theory Limited had licensed software to eWorld Holdings Inc. since28 July 2005.”
“Under these arrangements Game Theory Limited agreed to pay eWorld Holdings Inc. $5,500,000 on or before 2 January 2006; and issued a promissory note in the principal amount of $17,500,000 in favour of eWorld Holdings Inc. that was due and payable upon the earlier of: 60 days following Excapsa’s flotation; 60 days following a private placement of $5,000,000 or more; or 1 January 2007. The $5,500,000 was paid in December 2005, and the promissory note of $17,500,000 was paid in full from the proceeds of the initial public offering which occurred in February 2006.
“In exchange for the payments described above, Game Theory Limited received more favourable licensing royalties fees; the minimum term of the software licence was extended to 20 years; Game Theory Limited acquires assignment rights over eWorld Holdings Inc’s customer data relating to its online poker operations upon termination of the software licence agreement; and Game Theory Limited has the right to acquire eWorld Holdings Inc.’s customer support division and/or payment processing division in exchange for a payment equal to the net book value of these divisions.”

January 2006Excapsa Allowed to be Publicly Traded on AIM According to Canadian Ruling
http://www.osc.gov.on.ca/Regulation/...sasoftware.jsp
“The local securities regulatory authority or regulator (the Decision Maker) in each of the Jurisdictions has received an application from Excapsa Software, Inc. (the Filer) for a decision under the securities legislation of the Jurisdictions (the Legislation) exempting the Filer from the prospectus requirements contained in the Legislation in connection with the first trades of Canadian Offering Shares (as defined below) of the Filer acquired by certain persons pursuant to applicable private placement exemptions from the dealer registration and prospectus requirements contained in the Legislation (the Requested Relief), subject to certain terms and conditions.”

1. The Filer was incorporated under the laws of British Columbia on April 28, 2004, and continued under the Canada Business Corporation Act on February 28, 2005. The head office of the Filer is located in Toronto, Ontario.

2. The authorized capital of the Filer consists of an unlimited number of common shares, of which 169,235,424 common shares (the Shares) were issued and outstanding as of December 22, 2005.

4. As of December 22, 2005, an aggregate of 10,103,384 Shares (5.97% of the outstanding Shares), are held by residents of Canada (the Founders' Shares). The holders of the Founders' Shares consist of three individuals and one family trust.

5. Three individuals acquired an aggregate of 1,783,384 Founders' Shares in private placements exempt from registration when such individuals were domiciled in the United States. All three individuals only became residents of Canada after initially acquiring their Founders' Shares.

6. A family trust domiciled in Canada acquired 8,320,000 Founders' Shares in a private placement. The settler of such trust is the Chief Executive Officer who is the founder of the Filer, and the settler was the sole shareholder of the Filer at the time the family trust initially acquired its Founders' Shares.

7. While the exact number of common shares to be issued has not yet been determined, the Filer proposes to conduct an initial public offering (the Offering) of its common shares outside of Canada, which will include, as part of the Offering, a private placement of common shares to investors in the Jurisdictions (the Canadian Investors) in reliance on dealer registration and prospectus exemptions contained in National Instrument 45-106 -- Prospectus and Registration Exemptions (the Canadian Offering Shares).

“The Decision of the Decision Makers under the Legislation is that the Requested Relief is granted provided that: i) at the date of the trade, the Filer is not a reporting issuer in any jurisdiction of Canada where that concept exists; and ii) the trade is executed through the facilities of AIM or on another exchange or market outside Canada or to a person or company outside of Canada.”

February 2006 - The Group successfully floated on to AIM
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...3/ai_n26849218
Excapsa (AIM:XCP) is a leading online gaming software developer headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. The Group successfully floated on to AIM in February 2006 in conjunction with a placing of 51,087,374 Common Shares at a Placing Price of 110p per share, market capitalisation of GBP 214.2 million. Excapsa develops, maintains and markets multi-player, real time, Internet enables poker software and manages the Excapsa Poker Network. Licensee brands include DevilfishPoker.com, UltimateBet.com, UltimatePoker.com, CardPlayerPoker.com, MagicPalacePoker.com, DV8Poker.com and NationalLampoonPoker.com among others.
During the first half of 2006 the Excapsa Gaming Network signed three new licensees bringing the total number of licensees in the Network to nine.

June 2006Excapsa Releases 2006 Quarter 1 Interim Results http://www.excapsa.com/media/Excapsa...rimResults.pdf
“97% of revenue in the Network continues to be generated from the Network’s largest licensee, UltimateBet. The 20 year license agreement with eWorld Holdings Limited, the operator of UltimateBet.com, mitigates against risks associated with loss of this significant revenue stream as a result of margin erosion or the loss of the
customer base, a unique position in the industry. Furthermore, a strong, debt free balance sheet with a cash and working capital position of $46.5million and $37.5million respectively allows the Company to continue to focus on product development and acquisitions to meet strategic goals.”
Proforma results have been prepared on the basis that the 28 July 2005 purchase of intellectual property and the terms of the 29 July 2005 re-negotiated eWorld license agreement had occurred on 1 January 2004.
For the six months ended 30 June 2006
1. Company and principal activities Excapsa Software Inc. (the “Company”) is incorporated under the laws of Canada. The Company, through its Maltese operations, develops, maintains, and licenses online gaming software applications. The financial statements contained within this report are presented in US dollars because that is the principal currency that the Company uses to conduct business.
2 Significant accounting policies The principal accounting policies adopted in the preparation of the financial statements are set out below:
a) Basis of presentation
The total assets, liabilities, and equity of the Company as at 30 June 2006 were $77,925,000, $379,320,000, and ($301,395,000), respectively (31 December 2005 were $37,128,000; $28,298,000; and $8,830,000,respectively).
b) Basis of consolidation
During February 2006, Excapsa Software Inc. entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement with Excapsa Services Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary, whereby certain assets and liabilities were assumed by Excapsa Services Inc. The transaction has no impact on the consolidated results and account balances of the Company. During February 2006, Game Theory Holdings Limited established a new wholly-owned subsidiary undertaking in
Malta, Game Theory Services Limited. Game Theory Limited and Game Theory Services Limited are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Game Theory Holdings Limited. Game Theory Holdings Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company. The financial results of Excapsa Services Inc., Game Theory Limited, Game Theory Services Limited, and Game
Theory Holdings Limited have been consolidated with those of the Company for the six months ended 30 June 2006. All intra-company transactions and balances are eliminated on consolidation.
c) Revenue recognition
Royalty revenues are generated based on gaming revenue generated through licensees and are recognised in the accounting period in which the gaming transaction occurs. Royalty revenues are stated after deduction of certain bonuses, incentives, and commissions granted. Software development revenue recognized during the six months ended 30 June 2006 is based on a fixed fee contract whereby software development revenue is recognized using the percentage-of-completion method. The percentage-of-completion is based on the ratio of total labour hours incurred to date to total estimated labour hours. Changes in job performance, job conditions, estimated profitability and final contract settlement may result in revisions to contract costs and income, and are recognized in the period in which the revisions are determined.

7-21-06 - Iovation Inc. is now attempting a leap to the online banking industry
http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/...24/focus2.html
From a firm foothold in the online gambling industry, security software company Iovation Inc. is now attempting a leap to the online banking industry. Iovation, started up less than three years ago when a large company bought Iovation's Portland parent, Ielogic Inc., has already grown tremendously in its original market.

10-2-06- Stock Value of Excapsa Drops As UIGEA Set to Pass
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=a6BTLrSohXn0
“Excapsa Software Inc., a Toronto-based maker of software for gambling Web sites, slid 71 percent to 13 pence in London.”

10-12-06Excapsa Sold To Blast Off Limited Day Before UIGEA Signed
http://www.investegate.co.uk/Article...0121740204111K

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 2006

Excapsa Software Inc. (AIM: XCP) announces that in response to the pending legal developments in the United States the Board has concluded that the sale of the Company's operating assets consisting of its software, gaming network and related intellectual property is the best course of action to maximize shareholder value. As such, Excapsa announces that it has sold all of the shares of its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Excapsa Services Inc. and Game Theory Holdings Limited, to Blast Off Limited, a privately owned company based in Malta and a current licensee of the Excapsa Gaming Network. The transaction is effective 12 October 2006 but remains subject to final ratification by the Company's shareholders and certain contingencies including the pending legal developments in the United States.
The sale represents the disposition of all operating assets of the Company. Under the terms of the agreement, Excapsa will be paid US$130 million comprising of an initial consideration of US$10 million in cash and a promissory note, secured against the shares and assets sold, for US$120 million paid by scheduled payments over the course of the next five and a half years with monthly instalme nts of US$1 million per month for the first year and US$2 million per month thereafter.
Following ratification by the Company's shareholders, it is anticipated that all cash currently held on the balance sheet, being approximately US$47 million, and the funds received from the sale of the subsidiaries, less closure costs and contingencies, will be distributed to the Company's shareholders as soon as practicable with periodic distributions following in due course. Complete details of the transaction will be set forth in the information circular for the shareholders' meeting which will be posted to shareholders within the next two weeks.
As a result of the transaction, the Company has sold materially all of its trading business and assets. The Excapsa group had net income for the six months ended 30 June 2006 of US$15.1 million. It is currently proposed that the Company will make an application to cancel its quotation on AIM which would also require the approval of shareholders. Following the cancellation, Excapsa would proceed to close its remaining business in an orderly manner.

10-12-06 Excapsa to Sell Assets, Scrap Listing on U.S. Gaming Crackdown By Keith Campbell
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=aFZdS8n5Ejbs
Oct. 12, 2006 (Bloomberg) -- Excapsa Software Inc., whose products run gambling Web sites, said it will sell its operating assets, becoming the latest company to withdraw from U.S. online gaming after Congress cracked down on the industry.
The Toronto-based company said it will receive $130 million from the sale of its Excapsa Services and Game Theory Holdings units to privately held Blast Off Ltd. of Malta. Excapsa also plans to withdraw its shares from London's Alternative Investment Market, it said.
The sale was ``the best course of action to maximize shareholder value,'' Excapsa said in a Regulatory News Service statement today. ``The sale represents the disposition of all operating assets of the company.''
Excapsa will receive an initial $10 million in cash and the remaining $120 million in scheduled payments over the next five and a half years. It will distribute its $47 million in cash to shareholders.
The company sold shares on AIM in February at 110 pence, in a sale led by Canaccord Capital Inc., a Vancouver-based investment bank. The shares were unchanged for a sixth day at 16.75 pence today and have tumbled more than 60 percent this month.
Internet gambling shares plunged across Europe last week after the Senate unexpectedly approved a measure on Sept. 30 to shut down the industry in the U.S., which accounts for about half of the $12 billion Internet gambling market. More than 20 companies related to Web betting trade in London.
Fairground Gaming Holdings Plc, FireOne Group Plc and Leisure & Gaming Plc all announced plans to withdraw from the U.S. on Oct. 10. by closing or selling assets. PartyGaming Plc, the world's biggest Internet poker company, said Oct. 2 that it would stop taking wagers from U.S. players.

10-14-06Excapsa Software Sale to Blast Off Ltd., Possibly Illegal
http://kickasspoker.blogspot.com/200...brands-to.html
http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/sh...76&postcount=1
“Excapsa Software, Inc., the parent company of Excapsa Services, Game Theory Holdings and the Ultimate Bet online poker brand, sold the Excapsa Services & Game Theory Holdimgs units essentially, the software and development networks behind the UltimateBet name, to a privately-held company, Malta-based Blast Off Limited.”
“The selling price was listed as $130 million dollars, of which only $10 million was paid immediately into the Excapsa coffers; the remaining $120 million is to be distributed in deferred payments to Excapsa over the next five years.” However, Excapsa also announced that it was immediately pulling its listing from the London AIM (Alternative Investment Market), and distributing its current net assets, some $47 million, to the current shareholders. According to an Excapsa release, the sale was the "best course of action to maximize shareholder value." The release continued by stating that, "The sale represents the disposition of all operating assets of the company."
According to the London Times Online, the deferred portion of the sale makes the divesture almost certainly illegal. Per the piece:
“However, legal sources immediately claimed that the deal, a response to the impending US ban on internet gambling, was almost certainly illegal because $120 million of the price will be deferred until after the law takes effect today.”
“A source said that plans by Leisure & Gaming, a quoted internet gambling operator, to sell its US-facing business appeared to have foundered over the same issue. The source said: "Because of the deferred consideration this deal will open Excapsa to conspiracy and aiding-and-abetting charges charges under the new law. They would be making money out of an illegal operation."
The deferred portion of the sale raises another question, too, one not hat may not sit well with current shareholders. If the company's shares are being privatized through the sale to Blast Off Limited, and $47 million is being distributed to those owners, then to whom, exactly, is that additional $120 million being paid? It's probably not anyone connected with Pokershare, the company that sued Excapsa in 2005 for $100 million after its early market successes threatened parent brand Ultimate Bet's market domination; Excapsa first banned Pokershare from its network, then later terminated Pokershare's agreement altogether.
“So who is Excapsa, exactly? Well, while the exact financial details aren't public knowledge, the driving poker figure behind Excapsa is widely rumored to be Russ Hamilton, the larger-than-life 1994 WSOP Main Event champion. Yes, Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke may also own pieces”
“There's certainly no doubt that all publicly-traded gaming companies were up against a Friday deadline to make something happen, to restructure in a way that would shield them from the U.S. Justice Department. Whether or not the Excapsa path will work out, or whether it turns out to be totally legitmate, is beyond the scope of your blogger's legal expertise. Nonetheless, it's become public knowledge, so it's in play as a topic.”

3-21-08 Greg Pierson Looking To Sell Iovation?
http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/...31/story3.html
“Iovation's software allows customers such as online gaming companies or financial firms to track the reputations of computers coming to their Web sites, and determine whether they've previously been associated with online fraud or abuse.”
“Iovation's sales have grown quickly since Pierson and his partners started the company in 2004. Company revenue this year is projected to more than double last year's $8.6 million.”
“New investors European Founders, a venture capital firm started by three German brothers, and SAP Ventures, the investing arm of $10.2 billion German software company SAP AG, have each put $2 million into Iovation. Company co-founders Greg Pierson, Jon Karl and Molly O'Hearn invested another $1 million between them.
“CEO Pierson didn't seek out his two new investors just to fill out a $15 million funding round, Iovation's first-ever infusion of outside investment. Intel Capital had already given Iovation $10 million last fall, and was good for the next $5 million.
But Pierson was interested in bringing in at least one, and maybe two, active strategic investors who could help Iovation widen the market for its security software.”
“Pierson is confident it won't take long to get all his investors a big return. A sale is more likely than an IPO, as all three outside investors have a history of successful portfolio company sales.The purchaser could even be SAP, which two years ago purchased one of its venture arm's investments, Virsa Systems, after tripling its sales.”

6-2-08 Paul Leggett Answer About Previous Ownership Before Tokwiro
http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/sh...08&postcount=4
Question #3
Poker Cast – Ok. One of the questions that I think a lot of people are a little confused with is a lot of the talk about previous ownership vs. current ownership. I was wondering if and the assertion in the press release is that the wrongdoing was done by employees of the previous ownership. Is it completely different people that own and rn the company compared to pre-2006? Is / Are the people that owned before are no longer involved with UltimateBet in anyway and it is totally different people? Or is it just a new company name sorta paperwise that owns it, but there’s a lot of the same people running the company now and involved in the decision making that were involved prior to the change of ownership? What is the old ownership versus new ownership situation?

Paul Leggett – Well the old ownership of UB, I believe the company name is E-World Holdings which is a private company. I belive by… I am not sure, I am not an expert on the previous ownership. Then the software service was provided by Excapsa Software Services which is a publicly traded company. None of these people have any involvement with business or Tokwiro anymore, um so it is completely different people, completely different ownership.

Question #3
Poker Cast – Ok. One of the questions that I think a lot of people are a little confused with is a lot of the talk about previous ownership vs. current ownership. I was wondering if and the assertion in the press release is that the wrongdoing was done by employees of the previous ownership. Is it completely different people that own and rn the company compared to pre-2006? Is / Are the people that owned before are no longer involved with UltimateBet in anyway and it is totally different people? Or is it just a new company name sorta paperwise that owns it, but there’s a lot of the same people running the company now and involved in the decision making that were involved prior to the change of ownership? What is the old ownership versus new ownership situation?

Paul Leggett – Well the old ownership of UB, I believe the company name is E-World Holdings which is a private company. I belive by… I am not sure, I am not an expert on the previous ownership. Then the software service was provided by Excapsa Software Services which is a publicly traded company. None of these people have any involvement with business or Tokwiro anymore, um so it is completely different people, completely different ownership.

7-1-08Phil Hellmuth Promises Next Bracelet To Greg Pierson
http://www.pocketfives.com/poker-for..._3F00_-3032404
"The bracelet itself, if I can win it, has been promised to my close friend Greg Pierson who is the CEO of Iovation." – Phil Hellmuth Blog

7-10-08Annie Duke Interview on Poker Road Radio
http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/sh...08&postcount=4
“Let me explain how this works. There was a person associated with…When UltimateBet first formed there was a software company (ielogic?) that developed the software and did all of the marketing for the company. Now because of the way the laws of the United States work, you need to form a company to hold the Brand and the Gaming License. That company reall doesn’t do anything, right? It holds the gaming license basically. That company was called E-World Holdings. Somebody associated with E-World figured out that there was a tool that you used on UB, the tool itself didn’t let you see the hole cards, but they figured out if you developed piece of software , that you could kind of attach this “tool” that it would allow you to get in a datastream that had the hole cards as well. Let me explain this as well. The way the administrative part of the site works, if you are an administrator and you log in to retrieve Hand Histories, you can’t do that until the hand is over right? So the hole card data exists somewhere but it is not viewable by anybody until it gets like “thrown over a fence” until the hand is done it gets “thrown over the fence” and you can access hole card data in the form of HH’s, ok? The thing is that the datastream does exist somewhere. It exists on ALL sites, it has to right? What this person figured out is that they could use, they could develop this piece of software that basically would allow them to get a view into that datastream. OK? Again, this is not the software developer associated with the company developing the software, this is somebody who is associated with another company that figured out that they could develop this piece of software right? Now basically, my understanding is that there is somebody that has to install the software on the server. Now that just sits there, not used at all. OK? Now what happens is, flash forward a couple years, now UltimateBet is going to go public. UB is going to go public and what happens is that to go public they now sorta need to wrap everything together, because a public company has to own the bran and the gaming license, so they buy-out E-World Holdings, So E-World is now completely bought out. The people associated with E-World no longer have a revenue stream, they don’t own anything anymore, OK? Now when that happened this piece of software starts getting exploited.”

8-10-08 -Interesting Point Brought Up During A Conversation On The Topic of Iovation
”In addition, there is a guy in Chicago by the name of Jason Dehaan who was granted the patent for this technology along with Greg Pierson. Pierson is not an engineer; so it seems clear Dehaan was the actual brains behind the software, yet he is not employed by either company.”
“Either they implemented the change (most likely since they were the ones operating the software development) or they allowed others to implement the change (there is no logical way they would not have seen a code change implemented). Once you realize the above, then its clear they were either doing the cheating or were aware of it and for some reason decided to cause the iovation antifraud software to look the other way.”
At the very least they have proven that they are willing to compromise their own technology for whatever reason. Imagine a company being asked to entrust all of their client's information to such an agency. At the very worst, they actually employed criminal behavior in order to create a product vehicle to sell-off. Moreover, if the technology is really everything they suggest and as instrumental as they imply, why would they already be seeking to sell the company before they even get it to first mover status. Surely this concept is going to be worth billions to Internet companies everywhere?”
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...&RS=PN/7272728
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:58 AM   #11
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Re: UB scandal sticky

MSN article from Sept. 18 regarding UB/AP scandal
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:06 PM   #12
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Re: UB scandal sticky

Kahnawake Gaming Commission Press release from Sept. 29 announcing sanctions.
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:30 AM   #13
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Re: UB scandal sticky

Coverage of the UB scandal on Slashdot

Australian article, detailing Michael Josem's work in breaking the scandal.

RGP thread from Greg Pierson regarding UB-2 affiliate program

Pierson's patent for "Network security and fraud detection system and method"

Last edited by Kevmath; 10-05-2008 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 10-05-2008, 01:33 PM   #14
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Re: UB scandal sticky

Card Player article which appears to tie Greg Pierson, founder of Iovation, to being a founding member of Ultimate Bet.

Hat tip to the person who PM'd the link.
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Old 11-05-2008, 08:22 PM   #15
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Re: UB scandal sticky

Various documents regarding the liquidation of Excapsa Software

Announcement of $15m settlement to Tokwiro from Excapsa liqudiation.
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