Is Russ Hamilton about to Get Al Capwned?

IRS wants a word with excommunicated UB leader, too

by , Feb 9, 2009 | 5:31 pm

This is more than just Rumorati … it’s based on actual purported facts and second-hand semi-verified info:

Word is that the IRS has been in direct contact with at least two important and well-informed online pokerers who may or may not have important data on Russ Hamilton and the money stolen via Ultimate Bet. And this is not just some computer in Washington DC sending out form letters — there’s apparently a special agent in Nevada currently investigating the case.

What they’re interested in is 20 million untaxed dollars. And as is starting to get revealed since RawVegas went commando with their cameras, there is clearly more to this case than just an online poker cheating scandal and subsequent tax evasion … there could be some money laundering involved … which is kinda funny (not funny ha ha) because money laundering was one of the primary reasons given for the UIGEA … and now we have an example of how the law to prevent it may indeed have facilitated it.

I don’t know enough about how IRS investigations work to know what kind of teeth this thing really has — but I’d like to think that so long as the Feds keep an eye out for one-way tickets to Costa Rica by any R. Hamilton’s … in the end, one way or another, his fate is not going to be left in the hands of the Kahnawake.


  • Kevin Mathers

    So does this mean Russ screws the entire online poker community when those pro-UIGEA folks say this as the proof that all online gambling is part of some money-laundering scheme?

  • I’m not sure yet. I don’t have a clear enough understanding of what’s really shaking out.

    I don’t think there’s a direct connection to the UIGEA, other than that these sorts of shenanigans could be properly — or at least more easily — dealt with in a legal, regulated environment.

    But indeed, I would suspect our opposition on this legal/political matter will try to use this against us.

  • BJ Nemeth

    Now *this* is newsworthy! 🙂

  • I dunno, BJ. “News” would require someone to actually check and verify things … and I suspect the IRS isn’t hot on giving comment about this kinda thing, nor should they be.

    I just wanted to pass on some of the word on the street that does seem to have an element of legitimacy to it so people knew that gated golf course communities aren’t necessarily guaranteed the same protections as North American Indian nations.

  • jeff

    Let me tell u from experience dealing with the IRS……They dont let go…. remeber Al Capone? only one who could get him….IRS.Believe me, if this is true Big Russ is in for it

  • mike eakin

    i know russ and can offer only one piece of advice call rick wright the best lawter in usa bar none

  • BJ Nemeth

    “Let me tell u from experience dealing with the IRS……They dont let go…. remeber Al Capone? only one who could get him….IRS.Believe me, if this is true Big Russ is in for it”

    Eliot Ness (the guy who tenaciously went after and caught Capone) didn’t work for the IRS; he worked for the Bureau of Prohibition (though they both fall under the Treasury Department).

    Once Capone was in custody and facing trial, the prosecutor used existing tax law to convict him. Capone’s violations against the Volstead Act were held back from that first court case, in case Capone got to the judge or jury and was able to beat the rap. If he did, they would have tried him again for breaking the Volstead Act.

    With that minutiae out of the way, hopefully the Feds can legally charge this guy with something and make it stick. We all know he’s dirty, but proving it in a court of law is another matter entirely.

  • If you got scammed by a US American for $20M and had no legal recourse, you would be an idiot NOT to go tell the IRS about it. If he is a US American he needs to pay US American taxes and the US IRS will love to get their piece of the pie. And sadly that’s the only way you get him.

    Now I have to comment about the other long-ass discussion about this whole episode:

    @Tom: You have people you know who took out loans against their homes so they could pay back someone who loaned them money to play heads-up poker online in an unregulated environment? I have a bridge I’d like to sell those folks. Seriously? WTF were they thinking.

    @BJ: Nevada is a party state. Nuff said.

    @DanM & BJ: It is newsworthy because it’s evidence. It gives you witnesses to question (like Layne and whoever else was there with him). It tells you what club he plays at and you can question everyone at the club to see if he ever said a word about it. It lets forensic evidence scientists like Joe Navarro analyze his non-verbal reaction and get a read on him. It shows that he is still wearing UBT gear and can hint at the fact that he is still affiliated with the site somehow. It opens up a lot of investigative avenues. For the IRS. To get him. And that is newsworthy.

    @Everyone: You are a bunch of hypocrites. Raise your hand if you still play on UB/AP/Cerreus, subscribe to PXF (who’s pro are/were sponsored pros AFTER the scandal broke), watch poker on TV, read Bluff Magazine or any other poker publication, use ThePokerDB, blog about people assocaited with UB/AP/Cerreus and give them any mention or coverage (like Annie DUke on The Celebrity Apprentice), etc. All of these sell ad space and airtime to UB/AP/Cerreus. So you are participating and indirectly paying them. Ok, you can all lower your hands in shame now.

    @Pros: You are a bunch of fame-whores and guilty by association. Do you associate with Hellmuth or Layne? Well guess what – you support this fraud. And I bet you make more money from other poker-related sources than the actual poker table. So your success depends on this industry thriving and getting mentioned.

    So everyone is to blame. If the poker community was truly incensed about this scam, UB would cease to exist. But it is still going strong. And the poor schmucks who got scammed are the only ones feeling the pain. Because they collectively gave a crook $20M in an unregulated poker game. Well guess what? The internet is the new wild west and you just got scammed. Happens all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I feel your pain, but you should have known better.

    And since you have nothing you can do about it, give the IRS a call and tell them how much you lost. Unless your win rate covers that loss and then I guess maybe you shouldn’t make the call. Whatever. Me and my 4 cents on FTP are safe.

  • BJ Nemeth

    “@DanM & BJ: It is newsworthy because it’s evidence. It gives you witnesses to question (like Layne and whoever else was there with him). It tells you what club he plays at and you can question everyone at the club to see if he ever said a word about it. It lets forensic evidence scientists like Joe Navarro analyze his non-verbal reaction and get a read on him. It shows that he is still wearing UBT gear and can hint at the fact that he is still affiliated with the site somehow. It opens up a lot of investigative avenues. For the IRS. To get him. And that is newsworthy.”

    Your concept of evidence is laughable. Show your “evidence” to a trial lawyer, and see how far that gets you.

    I’ve been known to wear a Full Tilt hat, so perhaps Clonie will name me as a defendant the next time she revises her lawsuit. And then they’ll interview everyone at my local grocery store to see if I talked about it. And analyze the security footage to see if I’m concealing something while I buy my Cap’n Crunch.

  • BJ, I am appalled. Cap’n Crunch is made by General Foods. General Foods buys wheat from Brazil. Brazil grows Brazil nuts. Brazil nuts shells are made into automobile polish. In a recent interview, Phil Hellmuth confessed to owning an automobile. He has been seen taking that auto to a car wash that uses Brazil nut based polish, well you see where this is going.

    I once dated a woman, who’s mother’s sister’s brother was an oral surgeon, he later… well nevermind.

  • SCOOBYJSP

    Some unstable individual that has lost their life on online poker will hunt this big fat turd bitch down and kill him and his family. and if he’s stupid enough to show up at the 2009 WSOP he will have a big bullseye and his big fat sorry ass!