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Pitbull Poker Owners Arrested

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Oct/01/2009
Pitbull Poker Owners Arrested

If you have been following Gambling911.com over the last 24 hours, you would know that the online poker room Pitbull Poker had shut its doors with what appears to be zero intention of paying either customers or players.

Over the summer, many in the online poker community suspected Pitbull of engaging in "cheating" schemes, accusations the ownership flatly denied.

But a review of who was behind Pitbull seemed to suggest something wasn't quite right with the organization.

In 2000, Federico Schiavio, a high level IT employee of Binions, registered the domain wsop.com and began developing custom poker software to launch a poker site on this domain
 March 23, 2004 Harrahs takes legal action against Mr. Schiavio over the wsop.com domain
 April 19, 2004 Dimensus Ltd, the parent company of Pitbull Poker is formed.
 WSOP.com under Mr. Shiavio announces an arrangement with pitbull poker and launches the software.
 A scam artist named Kevin Baronowsky gets involved.
 He is the registrant of the following domains:
o pherx.com a pherehormone selling site
o pitbullpokr.com(no typo) which redirects to pitbullpoker.com
o xardplayer.com(no typo) also redirects to pitbullpoker.com
o All of these sites are found on the same servers.
 dsscanuck is a screen name it appears he used on a forum that discusses illegally accessing satellite television. In a discussion on that forum it seems that he was busted by a government agency for selling illegal equipment and turned informant against his customers.
 dsscanuck.com is now a blank website that holds banners for pherx.com and eczemaderm.com.
 eczemaderm.com is a site that sells a steroid cream product and happens to be hosted on the pherx.com servers.

According to this Bluff Latino America piece, now former employees of Pitbull Gaming claim Pitbull Poker's owners decided to tell the night shift that they were going to make maintenance to the building. The night shift crew were suspicious about this and decided to stay to see what was really going to happen. The employees saw how a truck started gathering all the office equipment. This is the moment when employees went to the police and explained the situation and went back with the police in order to stop the process. Apparently, there are some arrests and right now the employees are in court explaining the situation to the authorities, to explain that the owners are "flight risk" and should not be allowed out of Costa Rica.

Costa Rican online gambling employees, among the best paid in the country, have witnessed similar situations in the past.

In July of 2006, following the arrest of BetonSports then CEO David Carruthers, that behemoth online sports betting operation shut its doors leaving close to 1500 employees out of work and unpaid.

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher 

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