Founders of Neteller Arrested!

winbig

Keep winning this amount.
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Location
Pennsylvania
Then there is Louisiana State, which seems more concerned with going after online gambling company operators than cleaning up the mess left by Hurricane Katrina.

If it wasn't so true, it'd be funny :mad:
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
Nothing in the news or investor sections at Neteller, but they will only be opening for business in the Isle of Man in another couple hours (their time now is GMT 6AM)

Hopefully there will be some sort of statement on this at that time.
 

wangpoker

Full Member
webmeister
PABnononaccred2
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I am speculating about the fates of pokerstars, full tilt poker, betus...
If pokerstars closes its door to USA, partypoker will be the biggest poker room again.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
Neteller statement

Neteller have issued a statement, and Reuters have reported that shares are suspended at request of the company:


STATEMENT REGARDING FORMER DIRECTORS

NETELLER Plc, the leading independent online money transfer business, today issued the following statement regarding the speculation surrounding two of its former directors and founder shareholders, Mr Stephen Lawrence and Mr John Lefebvre.

While travelling separately in the US, Mr Lawrence and Mr Lefebvre, both former directors of the Company, were detained by US authorities on Monday, 15 January 2007.

Other than as shareholders, neither Mr Lawrence nor Mr Lefebvre has any current position with or connection to NETELLER.

The Group has not received any communication or correspondence from any US authority regarding this or any related matter.

Pending clarification of the situation the Board has sought immediate temporary suspension of NETELLER's shares.

Further information will be issued in due course.

Enquiries:
NETELLER
Andrew Gilchrist, VP - Communications + 44 (0) 1293 555 726

Citigate Dewe Rogerson + 44 (0) 207 638 9571
Sarah Gestetner/Sebastian Hoyle/George Cazenove

Further information

Mr Lawrence resigned as a non-executive director of the Company on 13 October 2006 having stepped down as non-executive chairman of the Company on 11 May 2006. Mr Lefebvre resigned as a non-executive director of the Company on 15 December 2005.


Mr Lawrence is the majority beneficial owner of Corvina International Ltd. which holds a total of 7,085,541 ordinary shares representing approximately 5.91% of the issued share capital of the Company. Mr Lefebvre is the beneficial owner of Eagle Medallion Fortress Investment Corporation which holds a total of 6,638,094 ordinary shares representing approximately 5.54% of the issued share capital of the Company.

Notes to Editors

The NETELLER Group
With over 3 million customers in 160 countries, 3,500 merchants, and over
$7 billion in annual transactions, the NETELLER Group operates the largest
independent online money transfer business in the world. The Group specializes in providing innovative and instant payment services where money transfer is difficult or risky due to identity, trust, currency exchange, or distance.

Being independent has allowed the Group to support thousands of retailers
and merchants in many geographies and across multiple industries.

The Group is quoted on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market, with a ticker symbol of NLR. NETELLER UK Limited is authorised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to operate as a regulated e-money issuer. For more information about the Group visit www.netellergroup.com.
 

Chatmaster

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Mar 4, 2004
Location
South Africa
:eek2:

What grounds could the US have to arrest them.

First of all they are just shareholders.
Second of all what do they arrest them for?

Call me thick but the US is getting weirder and weirder by the day!
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
I guess it's dangerous to speculate before all the facts are available, but right now this has the feel of a deliberately intimidatory move by US enforcement officials.

On the positive side, these two guys have the money (and in at least one case the grit) to bring in top legal eagles, so enforcement officials will be taking care to get their procedures and powers right for fear of a major lawsuit being launched against them.

I'm waiting to see what the official US statement has to say.
 

REOdeathwagon

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Location
arizona
I guess it's dangerous to speculate before all the facts are available, but right now this has the feel of a deliberately intimidatory move by US enforcement officials.

That is exactly the way i have intepreted this action also. Seeing how they no longer have an official capacity at the company.

In the Pinnacle press release last week they seemed to also mention this intimidation or fear of the US government. Very scary.


REOdeathwagon
 

dominique

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Location
The Boonies
Peter Dicks, board of directors at sportingbet, arrested just before G2E and CAC, some of the largest industry gatherings. Charged among other things with "promoting gambling", installing fear and putting a crimp into the conferences. Peter is released during the events with no charges pending.

2 Neteller founders, arrested just before ICE and CAPeuro, some of the largest industry gatherings. Charged with nothing so far......

'Tis a chilly wind that blows.....
 

REOdeathwagon

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By Miyoung Kim
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LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. authorities detained two former directors and founding shareholders of NETeller Plc, the UK online money transfer firm said on Tuesday, adding it had requested the suspension of trading in its shares.
ADVERTISEMENT

Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebvre were detained on Monday while traveling separately in the United States, NETeller said, becoming the latest victims of the U.S. crackdown on Internet gaming.

It said neither Lawrence nor Lefebvre had any current connection to the company other than as shareholders.

"The group has not received any communication or correspondence from any U.S. authority regarding this or any related matter," it said. "Pending clarification of the situation the board has sought immediate temporary suspension of NETeller's shares."

Shares in the Isle of Man-based company, which has grown fast with the rapid rise in online gambling, closed at 176 pence on Monday, valuing it at around 211 million pounds ($415.4 million).

The shares have fallen 60 percent since early September, hit by the arrests in the United States of executives from British companies involved in online sports betting and the passage in October of a U.S. law barring banks from transactions involving Internet gambling.

The passage of the U.S. law has led most operators to withdraw from the U.S. Internet gaming market.

"Today's news will obviously dent sector sentiment, however given that NETeller was the only company continuing to transact in the United States we think that any selloff in Playtech or 888.com shares could offer an excellent buying opportunity," Numis Securities said in a note.

Shares in online gaming group 888 Plc dropped 2.9 percent to 125 pence by 1015 GMT and gambling software maker Playtech were down 0.7 percent to 277p.

Lawrence resigned as a non-executive director of NETeller in October 2006, having stepped down as non-executive chairman in May, while Lefebvre resigned as a non-executive director in December 2005.

Lawrence holds a 5.91 percent stake of NETeller through his vehicle Corvina, while Lefebvre holds 5.54 percent of the company via Eagle Medallion Fortress.


REOdeathwagon
 

Chatmaster

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Location
South Africa
but right now this has the feel of a deliberately intimidatory move by US enforcement officials.

I believe you and dominique are spot on. I have to add though that I can't help but to think there is more at play here... Going through this much trouble to enforce a law on people that are not directly involved in Neteller anymore? One thing I hope is that this actually results into a lawsuit of some sorts as that will challenge a law that imo is very weak especially in the US courts.

I am sure we all get angry at the deliberate attack on the freedom of the US citizens, but I feel the back of my head go cold every time I hear stuff like this!
 

dominique

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Location
The Boonies
"chilling" is a tactic employed when there is no actual way to enforce something except by creating an athmosphere of fear.

I doubt there will be a trial.

The "chilling" of the industry has worked like a charm for the US so far.

Of course I have been wrong with these things before and there is much we don't know about the two arrested folks...
 

REOdeathwagon

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Location
arizona
From the Jan 12th, EOG interview with Pinnacles 'main man'.

He started to reflect at this point:

"When the U.S. focuses on something and says 'enough,' and when they go to 'war,' no individual company can possibly win in a fight of this nature."

"Since the Internet Gambling Bill went into effect, we have lost the ability to do business with many quality banks."

"Fortunately, 35-40% of our current gambling business is non US driven, and perhaps more importantly, we are experiencing stronger growth in Europe and Asia, than we are in the United States."

"So why live in fear?"


The threat of US DOJ intimidation seemed to be successful in this case.


REOdeathwagon
 

soflat

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Location
Florida
Holy cow. That is the end for me gambling if Neteller has to pull out.

The two individuals might not be involved with Neteller now, but that would not excuse them in any way for whatever charges are being cooked up.

Things are moving fast now and they are going after the big players. Last week it was Pinnacle and now Neteller.

I fear for my money and privacy.
 

Pinababy69

RIP Lisa
Joined
Oct 15, 2004
Location
Toronto, Ontario - Canada
Money Laundering? Unbelievable!!

Jan. 16, 2007, 1:08PM

Neteller Execs Charged in Gambling Case


By LARRY NEUMEISTER Associated Press Writer
2007 The Associated Press

NEW YORK Two founders of a company which processes Internet gambling transactions were arrested and charged with laundering billions of dollars in gambling proceeds, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.

The charges against the former Neteller PLC directors, John David Lefebvre, 55, and Stephen Eric Lawrence, 46, both Canadian citizens, were contained in two criminal complaints unsealed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Monday, U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said in a statement.

The prosecutor said the men knew when they took their company public that its activities were illegal.

"Blatant violations of U.S. law are not a mere `risk' to be disclosed to prospective investors," Garcia said. "Criminal prosecutions related to online gambling will be pursued even in cases where assets and defendants are positioned outside of the United States."

FBI Assistant Director Mark J. Mershon said the multibillion-dollar online gambling industry was "a colossal criminal enterprise masquerading as legitimate business."

Lefebvre and Lawrence were charged in connection with the creation and operation of an Internet payment services company that facilitated the transfer to billions of dollars of illegal gambling proceeds from U.S. citizens to the owners of overseas Internet gambling companies.

Lefebvre was arrested Monday in Malibu, Calif and was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles Tuesday. Lawrence, who resides in Paradise Island, Bahamas, was arrested Monday in the U.S. Virgin Islands and will appear in federal court on Wednesday.

In 1999, the men founded Neteller, which is based in the Isle of Man and is publically traded in the United Kingdom.

The company began processing Internet gambling transactions in approximately July 2000, allowing companies to transfer money from U.S. customers to bank accounts overseas.

Prosecutors cited Neteller's 2005 annual report in saying that Lawrence and Lefebvre enabled the company to provide payment services to more than 80 percent of worldwide gaming merchants.

Lawrence left the company's board of directors in October while Lefebvre left in December 2005, prosecutors said. Together, the men owned as much as 35 percent of the company's outstanding shares.

Garcia noted that the company acknowledged when it went public that U.S. law prohibited people from promoting certain forms of gambling, including Internet gambling and transmmitting funds that are known to have been derived from criminal activity.

Lefebvre and Lawrence also conceded in the company's offering documents that they were risking prosecution by the U.S. government, he said.

Prosecutors said Neteller in 2005 alone processed more than $7.3 billion in financial transactions, 95 percent of which was derived from money transfers involving Internet gambling.

Lawrence and Lefebvre, both charged with conspiring to transfer funds with the intent to promote illegal gambling, could face a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted.
 
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