Tokwiro COO Speaks on Security, Scandals, and Investigations

Paul Leggett Answers Questions about UB, AP, and Russ Hamilton

by , Aug 12, 2008 | 10:52 pm

Some might say that I’ve been a raving lunatic somewhat vocal about my frustrations with the AP and UB scandals. This is true, and thus I attempted to contact UltimateBet once again in July for answers to some of my questions. To my surprise, I was contacted by the Vice President of PR at Tokwiro Enterprises, UB’s parent company, who said she would respond to my inquiries. After two weeks of no such thing, I was on the verge of writing another rant/post here sending a polite follow-up when I received an e-mail asking if I’d like to speak with the Chief Operating Officer of Tokwiro, Paul Leggett. Ummm, yes, please.

I conducted the interview on Friday, Aug. 8, via telephone, and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at Mr. Leggett’s willingness to answer my questions as he was able and be as honest as the corporate attorneys would allow. He has been reaching out to other media outlets lately, having done guest appearances on 2+2 and Pocket 5 podcasts, and I was happy to finally have a door opened and someone coming out to answer questions.

The full interview has been submitted to PokerWorks in a three-part series due to the length of the transcribed interview. The first article is up now, and the others will be posted in subsequent days.

Highlights of the interview included dispelling myths and rumors, speaking of the utmost confidence that the perpetrator(s) will be caught and prosecuted, and giving details about new security procedures and systems to prevent future improprieties.

A few excerpts:

In response to a question about how two companies, AP and UB, could be purchased without any knowledge of cheating going on at the highest levels:

“There definitely was due diligence done at the time of purchase… but this is a very large platform that we purchased. Unfortunately, during this due diligence process, we simply did not discover the code that was put on there…”

Regarding legal actions:

“We are pursuing many, many legal actions right now. I’m confident that a lot of it will become public in the very near future… I cannot confirm or deny anybody that is involved or not involved at this point. There’s nothing that would give me more personal satisfaction than to do that, but unfortunately, our situation is very complicated. But I have a ton of evidence – IP addresses, withdrawal information, transfer information, addresses, names – and I’m confident in my own mind that I know exactly what occurred… I’m very hopeful that we’re going to be receiving a very large sum of money as a result of our legal actions… I’m very committed to doing everything I can to make sure that enough information comes out about this, whether it be through our legal actions or whatever, to make sure that the poker community and the public at large are satisfied at the end of this.”

In response to an inquiry about Russ Hamilton receiving royalty payments from UB:

“Absolutely in no way does Russ Hamilton receive any compensation from us or have any role in this organization.”

Regarding the KGC assignment of independent investigation of Tokwiro:

It was a surprise to me; I only learned about it the day before their public announcement… We welcome it with open arms. I think it’s great for the industry and for us personally.”

To clarify that all victims of the scandal have not been repaid:

“The first statement that we made on May 29th, all of those accounts that we had identified at that point and concluded were for sure involved in the cheating were immediately refunded… As I understand it, it is in the interest of everyone at the KGC, Frank, and us that those additional refunds are completed as soon as possible.”

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