Class Action Lawsuit against NETeller?


Ueber Meister Mouse
Sep 12, 2004
Came across this while doing a news search for NETeller:

Neteller, once the friend of online poker players everywhere, is now facing a class action lawsuit from a group of poker players who are owed money by the online money managing company. Neteller recently suffered a number of blows delivered by the US Government when its founders were arrested and accused of money laundering, and millions of dollars in assets were seized. One player, Isaac Haxton, is looking for $800k that he had deposited in his Neteller account after a 2nd place finish in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure tournament. Haxton will not be joining the class action suit, but he does have an attorney looking after his issue.

Keep in mind that I don't know anything about lawsuits and such.... But why sue NETeller when it's the DoJ that has US customers' monies (and, evidently, copies of all our transactions)?

Mind you, I (and probably 99.9% of US players) had absolutely no problems getting any money out of NETeller till the DoJ and the UIGEA stepped in to 'protect' me by freezing all NETeller's US$ funds. My primary problem with NETeller is that they appear to have rolled over without even a whimper and handed everything requested over to the DOJ and FBI. I feel that's a violation of almost any and all privacy acts, especially when most NETeller users have broken no laws. And when reading the recent news about the FBI abuse of the Patriot Act (well... duh!) it kind of makes me wonder if all the subpoenas and threats to NETeller were done legally.

I think they have grounds to sue because Neteller announced they initially took the actions VOLUNTARILY. They also VOLUNTARILY frustrated attempts by players who had found short term work arounds that could release funds already trapped in the system. It was only later that the DoJ got hold of the funds and records, which might not have been there to get at had Neteller allowed US players time to move the funds out, or at least some of them.

Isaac Haxton has a different case altogether. His funds have nothing to do with online gambling, but were won at a proper poker tournament. As such, he could obtain a court order requiring Neteller to release the funds attributable to activities unrelated to online gambling. If the DoJ intervene, they will effectively be attempting to rule that gambling at a B & M based event offshore is the equivalent of money laundering. I am not aware of any US law that has attempted to ban this type of gambling. The only law that would affect this $800K is the need to declare it for tax purposes. With $800K at stake, he can afford to pursue this individually. The result of his case could also influence the outcome of any class action.
Neteller themselves, in defending against the class action, could call in the DoJ as co-defendant - now THAT would be fun to see from the outside of all this:) (Admittedly, less fun for those with money tied up who need a positive outcome, rather than just see the DoJ and Neteller on the rack)

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