Shooting the Messenger?
August 21, 2008 (InfoPowa News) – Reports on the lavish spending and personal appearance of ex-Absolute Poker consultant Allan Grimard, and news of an indictment against the father of Absolute Poker founder Scott Tom yesterday on the gambling information portal 911 have ignited legal threats from the troubled poker room's owners, Tokwiro Enterprises.
Interest in the Tokwiro subsidiaries Absolute Poker and UltimateBet continues as a result of unanswered questions concerning the multi-million dollar "hole card" cheating allegations which have swirled around the companies for months.
Tokwiro needs to be sure of its ground, as 911 has prevailed in other legal struggles and as we went to press was showing no signs of taking the offending article down, instead insisting that its report was based on verifiable fact.
The gambling information portal's relationship with Absolute Poker has clearly deteriorated, with founder-editor Chris Costigan reporting that his website had been threatened with legal action by Absolute Poker's Joann Priam.
Priam, whose official designation in not known, apparently demanded that the offending article be removed from the Gambling911.com website, saying: "Our legal counsel is requesting that this be pulled by 6:00 PM EST today or they feel it necessary to issue you a formal letter. This type of situation certainly doesn't lend itself to a mutually beneficial and rewarding business partnership moving forward."
The article in question reported that the father of an Absolute Poker founder is under sealed indictment in the US.
The threat seems to have triggered further disclosures, with 911 claiming that it had tracked down one Allan Grimard and Scott Tom in Los Suenos, Costa Rica, while conducting an undercover investigative report.
"Grimard is alleged to have been involved in a massive "insider cheating scandal" at Absolute Poker," the new disclosures report. "He has apparently used that money to purchase a brand new yacht, SUV and is in the process of building a mansion along with Absolute co-founder Scott Tom. Grimard and Tom were both observed laughing about the Absolute Poker scandal."
And providing the promise of more fireworks, 911 reminds readers that the CBS news magazine, 60 Minutes, has been following developments in this matter.
The information portal emphasises that although the Kahnawake Gaming Commission oversees Absolute Poker, it is unclear if they would be party to any legal battle that might ensue.
In another story on the site, the threat by Absolute Poker is described as denying the validity and truth of the story on Grimard. The story goes on to describe observations on Grimard by a 911 source, and reports that Grimard was overheard bragging about his new vehicle and the millions of dollars he has in the bank, "all from his days at Absolute Poker."
"A low-level supervisor at both Nine.com and Absolute Poker does not make millions of dollars," the article notes. Grimard was also reported as "living it up on his brand new yacht," and "joking about the Absolute Poker scandal."
911 also claims that Absolute Poker founder Scott Tom is a partner in Grimard's new real estate venture at Los Suenos – an upmarket suburb in Costa Rica.
"Absolute Poker has done absolutely nothing to explain why both Scott Tom and Allan Grimard left the company so abruptly and why certain individuals involved with the online poker room seem so intent on discrediting the factual information provided by Gambling911 related to Grimard's whereabouts," the portal observes in an editorial comment.
The portal counterattacks the allegations that its reportage lacks validity and reveals that it has been meeting with trusted industry colleagues this week to determine if Absolute Poker is still associating with Grimard and other suspects in the cheating scandal who are yet to be held accountable for their participation.
"Certain unnamed individuals with involvement at Absolute Poker have expressed disgust over how the company has refused to hold "persons of interest" accountable for their roles in the said cheating scandal," the editorial concludes.