The Potripper scandal was at Absolute Poker, but now Ultimate and Absolute have merged, so you can have double the cheating for the price of one! If you do use Google to investigate this, keep in mind that so many people have posted false information (knowingly and unknowingly), you can only get the real story from reputable sources. Anything you read on a poker forum
(just like in this thread) probably contains errors of fact.
Having stated that, I will post a bit of what I know from the Potripper scandal, but again, if you want the whole truth, I recommend the 60 minutes or Washington Post stories on the scandal.
Many years ago, when AP was first set up, super-user accounts (capable of seeing ALL cards of EVERY player at the table) were set up to test the reliability of the software. These accounts were only able to be used in play chip games, and were rendered useless (but not erased) once the software had been tested.
Several years later, AP decided to revamp its software. At this time, someone within the company who new about the accounts (or a rogue programmer hired for the revamp) found them and tweaked them to function in real money games. The dormant accounts were re-activated.
Later, someone (probably within the company) found several accounts that had not been used in some time (they did not create new accts, probably to avoid suspicion). One of these accounts was Potripper, but there were others. It seems implausible that this was done by someone outside the company, as the email addresses were changed on all the accts so the "mystery man" could use them to "play" poker. Later investigation showed no connection among the original users whose accounts had been stolen and used to cheat.
Once this thief (or these thieves) had their super-account + the accounts they had swiped form idle users, the cheating began. Someone outside of Costa Rica would log on with one of the 5 stolen accounts, while the super account would sit at their table as an observer. As the game was played, our super-account observer would tell his stolen-account-playing buddy exactly what everyone's hole cards were.
Over several months, some player started to notice that this guy (Potripper) never seemed to lose. Speculation about cheating was posted on several well-known forums where the regulars blasted them and told them to put on their tinfoil hats, much like what happens here at CC whenever anyone even hints about cheating in online poker.
Some players wrote AP about their concerns who promised to investigate. A few weeks later, AP claimed to have carried out an investigation into the tournament and found a little evidence of chip dumping, but absolutely no evidence of big time cheating, much less evidence of a player able to see hole cards. (Later we will see that this is a bald face lie from AP. Either they carried out no investigation at all, and said that they had; or they discovered the cheating and lied about (possibly because the company was involved).
Undaunted, one player decided to investigate further after AP held its largest payout tournament in its history. Potripper won this tourney, and interestingly enough, called our player's all-in bluff (and won) with 10 high!
Fuming in anger, our player requested a hand history of the tournament. It was this request that soon blew the scandal wide open. Somebody within the company either screwed up bigtime, or knew what was going on and wanted to blow the whistle. He sent our player not a hand history, but a spreadsheet with ALL the data from the tournament, including everyone's hole cards for every hand, and even everyone's IP address that they had played from.
Examination of the data proved beyond any doubt that the player indeed could see hole cards (despite AP's denial and "investigation"). One mathmetician even stated that a person was more likely to win 6 state lotteries buying one ticket in each of 6 states, than to have the "good fortune" that Potripper enjoyed (and AP's investigation found only evidence of chip dumping????). You decide for yourself, here is a link to a re-creation of the first part of the tournament. Watch for yourself.....
YouTube - Absolute Poker Superuser "POTRIPPER" Cheating (Part 1 of 4)
Our sleuths noticed that one "observer" had followed Potripper throughout the tournment. Every time Potripper changed tables, our "observer" followed him (the super-acct). But the spreadsheet included the IP addresses of ALL players including observers. A check of the IP address showed that the account was being played from a computer inside AP's headquarters in Costa Rica! (that sound like a rogue programmer to you??)
Confronted with overwhelming evidence that cheating had in fact occurred, AP refunded everyone's money form this tournament. As far as I know, only part of the other money that these scammers had won was ever returned. AP finally accepted responsibility, investigated the scam, supposedly identified the culprit, but to this day still refuses to say who it was. (that sound like a rogue programmer to you??)