KGC Spokesperson Says List of Hamilton Co-Conspirators Will Not Be Released/Leaked

by , Sep 11, 2009 | 6:03 pm

As soon as the Kahnawake Gaming Commission released its final decision in the UltimateBet cheating scandal, the questions started hitting. Most of them concerned the secrecy around the list of 31 names said to be associated with Russ Hamilton. A discussion with Chuck Barnett, member of the Board of Supervisors of Mohawk Internet Technologies, provided his reasons for not releasing that list of names.

Mr. Barnett first told me that implicating Hamilton in the scandal was not a problem, as it was “very clear” that he was directly connected and responsible for the crimes being alleged. The names of the 31 individuals associated were another story, he says. The Commission had lengthy discussions regarding the release of those names and ultimately consulted their legal team and law enforcement officials.

On the legal front, they deemed it a civil liability issue, as the suspects are directly linked to Hamilton or the 117 accounts listed BUT there is the possibility that they had no knowledge of the scheme. If they were accused and found to be completely oblivious to or innocent of the crimes, there would be liability in falsely accusing them. There is also some question as to each person’s level of culpability, which can’t be known until they are questioned by the proper authorities. And per law enforcement, naming the individuals would impede a criminal investigation, as anyone named may be able to flee the country, hide, etc. With all things considered, the KGC made the decision to withhold the names.

When asked about the law enforcement agencies involved, Mr. Barnett wouldn’t say much. Legally, all he said he could say was all information from the KGC investigation was turned over to “law enforcement,” which had expressed a distinct interest in pursuing the case. He could not say, however, whether those were Canadian or U.S. authorities, only that there were discussions with “regional and national” agencies.

If/when indictments are handed down or prosecutions are made, or if some other permission is given by law enforcement, the KGC will make public the names – and be happy to do it. Until then, based on overwhelming advice, the list will remain a mystery.


  • DanM

    Though it does happen, usually organizations don’t decide to “leak” something. Leaks happen because someone within decides to go over the wishes of their colleagues and superiors and share it with someone likely to spread the word in the public.

    So while we can respect his intent, his desires … it makes me question the Kahnawake altogether … and I’m sure THAT’s a key concern, the Kahnawake’s image … which now has me speculating on whether or not someone high and important in their tribe might be part of it.

    i know they like to claim that it’s merely coincidence that the former head of tokwiro is the former grand chief of the tribe … but let’s face it, that’s the same thing the US White House said about Dick Cheney’s connection to Halliburton.

    Law enforcement sources would have no reason not to comment unless they are still conducting an investigation. But, from the sounds of all this, any and all investigation is done.

    So that begs the question: What is the KGC hiding, and Why are they hiding it?

    ***If/when indictments are handed down or prosecutions are made, or if some other permission is given by law enforcement, the KGC will make public the names***

    This is the line that makes me question them most … in America, companies don’t get to make decisions on what information about prosecutions or even indictments is made public. Even law enforcement itself is limited on what they choose to release. If someone is being indicted (formally accused) that is public information so long as they are an adult. The KGC would have no say in the matter.

    The KGC has long butted heads with Canadian authorities over their power to police. So if they have their own police force ready to jail any of the 31 bad guys should they step onto Kahnawake territory … well, no one should be holding their breath.

    And if there are 31 actual bad guys out there — then at least some of the names would come out … because there’s no way 31 people can keep their mouths shut forever.

  • http://pokerati.com/?author=117 California Jen

    I have to disagree with you, Dan. And for once, I see the KGC’s side on this.

    You wrote, “Law enforcement sources would have no reason not to comment unless they are still conducting an investigation. But, from the sounds of all this, any and all investigation is done.”

    The only investigation that is done is the KGC’s. All they did was turn over all of their evidence and documentation to the officials, who will then start their own investigation. If KGC leaks that list, law enforcement’s investigation is stunted right from the start.

    I firmly believe that the KGC is doing the right thing here, regardless of its affiliation with Tokwiro’s owner/Mohawk’s grand chief. Sure, I never had a good feeling about that connection either, but I believe this is far beyond that now. If all lawyers and law enforcement officials (the ones that might prosecute this case) instruct them to keep mum on those names, that’s reason enough to keep mum.

    It’s been so easy to throw rocks at KGC this entire time, and while I’m generally prone to conspiracy theories, I’m going with the facts on this one with the belief that the KGC did everything they could to resolve this scandal, make good with cheated customers, and do better going forward. Call me naive…I know someone will.

  • DanM

    Hey, and I think Barnett is a good guy who wants the best.

    ***All they did was turn over all of their evidence and documentation to the officials, who will then start their own investigation. If KGC leaks that list, law enforcement’s investigation is stunted right from the start.***

    OK, fair enough on not releasing the names. But that carries no weight if they’re not willing to tell us who they turned them over to. Was it the FBI? RCMP? IRS? DOJ? (an important one considering their interest in how online poker payment processing works)

    If the KGC is indeed done with it — done done — there’s nothing jeopardized by telling folks (whether it’s via Pokerati or the Associated Press) that “we have turned all the data from our investigation over to [insert agency here].” Or even just “US Federal Authorities” or “the Quebec business coppers.”

    At that point, we could get off their backs and begin dealing with said agency. Leave it to the new cops to say, “sorry, we’re not going to comment on that.”

    ***I firmly believe that the KGC is doing the right thing here, regardless of its affiliation with Tokwiro’s owner/Mohawk’s grand chief.***

    I will not agree they are doing the “right” thing, but I will contend they are doing the “best” thing … in their interest. And that interest is coming out with as much information as they can in a way that minimizes public heat and improves all their connected entities’ ability to make money, now and in the future. I’m not trying to imply any malfeasance with that … but it does tell me the best they can do is not good enough.

    I’m honestly fine not knowing the names if there’s a legitimate effort to suss out which of those are really bad guys. But so long as up to 31 possible UB cheaters are free, flush with cash, and running around … this report isn’t quite enough to convince me that the Kahnawake are looking out for anyone other than #1.

    .

  • Kevin Mathers

    A few things:

    The list of co-conspirators will be released by someone, it could be another “brainwasheddodo” type who’ll have the honor of naming names.

    Haley Hintze’s next blog on this matter should make for some interesting reading material.

    IIRC, didn’t Mark Seif say there was over $30m that UB had paid back in his interviews this week? It does help explain why he decided to get the AP spin out there this week after years of silence.

    We’ll see how good the internet detectives are in finding some hand histories on a few of these new names.

  • Haley

    I remain very confident that more of this will emerge in the future, for multiple reasons. AP I’m less confident on, but even there a few frayed threads are showing.

  • Brian G.

    Someone is going to sue Russ Hamilton or even Phil Hellmuth and a lot will come out int he civil discovery process. You watch.

  • Kevin Mathers

    ^^^ I guess Mike Matusow’s still working on that civil suit.

  • DanM

    ^^^ ha! kevin, this issue really brings out a cynical side in you!

  • Kevin Mathers

    I have plenty of cynicism to spare.

  • كازينو

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