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NETeller ex exec Lefebvre also pleads guilty

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by Mousey, Jul 10, 2007.

    Jul 10, 2007
  1. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    If this has already been posted somewhere, I apologize...

    UPDATE 2-You must register/login in order to see the link.
    Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:27 PM BST
    Email This Article | Print This Article | RSS [-] Text [+] (Adds byline, details, background)

    By Christine Kearney

    NEW YORK, July 10 (Reuters) - A former president and co-founder of payment processor NETeller Plc (NLR.L: Quote, Profile , Research) pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a conspiracy charge related to handling billions of dollars in illegal gambling proceeds.

    John Lefebvre, 55, entered the plea before U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel during a hearing in Manhattan, just days after co-founder Stephen Lawrence also pleaded guilty in the case.


    Lefebvre, a Canadian Citizen who ran NETeller's business operations, agreed to cooperate with the government as part of a plea deal. He faces up to five years in jail when he is sentenced on Nov. 1.

    During the hearing, Lefebvre admitted promoting Internet gambling. Its legality was ambiguous in the United States for many years, but was effectively banned last October when President George W. Bush signed legislation outlawing gaming financial transactions.

    "I eventually came to see that promoting payment services to online gambling businesses serving customers in the United States was wrong," Lefebvre sa......
     
  2. Jul 11, 2007
  3. EasyRhino

    EasyRhino Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Analyst
    Location:
    San Diego
    Wow, they were both quoted as saying it was "wrong", not "illegal".

    Maybe they should just go sit in the corner?
     
  4. Jul 12, 2007
  5. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    AFX UK Focus) 2007-07-11 18:17 GMT:
    You must register/login in order to see the link. AIM All-Share indices

    Article layout: raw
    LONDON (Thomson Financial) - FTSE said Neteller PLC will be deleted from the FTSE AIM All-Share index, FTSE AIM 100 index and FTSE AIM UK 50 index with effect from July 16 following the continued suspension of trading of its shares on AIM for a period of six months.

    Neteller's shares were suspended on Jan 16 pending clarification after...
     
  6. Jul 12, 2007
  7. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    Nothing up on their plc group site investor's section yet which is a shocker because they must have been informed of this removal before the media got hold of it, and they should therefore have informed investors by mail and a company notice on the site.
     
  8. Jul 12, 2007
  9. EasyRhino

    EasyRhino Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Analyst
    Location:
    San Diego
    Bout damn time they got delisted. Being suspended for six months was ludicrous.
     
  10. Jul 12, 2007
  11. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    I've just checked again on the Neteller plc site and still no mention of the AIM exclusion. Yet they have this up, dated July 12. It's just a rehash of the release they put up when Lawrence pleaded guilty:

    Thursday, 12 July 2007 - NETELLER Plc (LSE: NLR), the independent global online payments business, today issued the following statement regarding the announcement on Tuesday, 10 July 2007 by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (USAO) regarding Mr John Lefebvre, one of the Companys former directors and founder shareholders.

    According to the USAO announcement, Mr Lefebvre has pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy in connection with his role in NETELLERs prior involvement in handling financial transactions between gambling customers in the United States and offshore internet gambling businesses. In relation to this charge, Mr Lefebvre also admitted to allegations requiring him to forfeit at least US$ 100 million jointly with Mr Stephen Lawrence, who pleaded guilty to a similar charge on 29 June 2007.

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

    As stated in the Companys announcement of 2 July 2007, NETELLER is continuing to cooperate with the investigation being conducted by the USAO, under the advice of its legal advisers and in accordance with court orders in the Isle of Man. The Company remains in discussions with the USAO for the purpose of resolving the investigation and has advised the USAO that it will use its best efforts to resolve the investigation on or soon after 13 July 200.

    However, the Company believes that these and other recent developments will likely delay its efforts to resolve the investigation by a short period. A further update will be given on 13 July 2007.

    The Companys ordinary shares will continue to be suspended from trading. Further information will be announced as and when it becomes available.
     
  12. Jul 12, 2007
  13. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    *heavy sigh* These 'short' delays are getting monotonous. And I seem to have forgotten to thank the DoJ for protecting me from losing my money to conniving, greedy, .... oh. wait. oops! I forgot the DoJ already has US customers' monies... my bad...
     
  14. Jul 12, 2007
  15. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    USAO release on Lefebvre plea

    United States Attorney
    Southern District of New York

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: U.S. ATTORNEYS OFFICE

    July 10, 2007 YUSILL SCRIBNER,

    REBEKAH CARMICHAEL
    PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
    (212) 637-2600

    NETELLER FOUNDER PLEADS GUILTY TO
    CONSPIRING TO PROMOTE ILLEGAL
    INTERNET GAMBLING BUSINESSES

    MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the
    Southern District of New York, announced that JOHN DAVID
    LEFEBVRE, a founder and former President of the NETeller Group,
    pleaded guilty today to charges that he conspired with others to
    promote illegal gambling by providing payment services in the
    United States to offshore internet gambling businesses.

    According to the documents filed and LEFEBVREs plea allocution
    in Manhattan federal court:

    In 1999, LEFEBVRE, together with STEPHEN ERIC LAWRENCE,
    founded the NETeller Group, a group of companies that provided
    online payment services to internet gambling companies. In July
    2000, LEFEBVRE and LAWRENCE began providing payment services
    through NETeller Inc., a Canadian company based in Calgary,
    Alberta. In 2004, LEFEBVRE and LAWRENCE began providing payment
    services through NETeller PLC, a public company based in the Isle
    of Man. The NETeller Group provided those services to internet
    gambling businesses located outside the United States, so those
    businesses could take bets from gamblers in the United States,
    where such betting is illegal. In April 2004, NETeller PLC went
    public on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London
    Stock Exchange.

    In addition to founding the NETeller Group, LEFEBVRE
    served those companies in senior management positions, including
    as President of NETeller, Inc. from 2000 to 2002 and as a Nonexecutive
    Director of Neteller PLC upon its admission to AIM on
    April 14, 2004.

    LEFEBVRE pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to
    use the wires to transmit in interstate and foreign commerce bets
    -2-

    and wagering information; to conduct illegal gambling businesses;
    to engage in international financial transactions for the purpose
    of promoting illegal gambling; and to operate an unlicensed money
    transmitting business. During the course of the plea allocution,
    LEFEBVRE admitted that, during the time he operated the NETeller
    Group, he learned that laws in the United States prohibited
    certain funds transfers for the purpose of promoting gambling,
    and as a result, he knew his conduct was wrong. LEFEBVRE, 55,
    faces a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a fine of
    $250 thousand, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense,
    when he is sentenced before United States District Judge P. KEVIN
    CASTEL on October 29, 2007. LAWRENCE also admitted to forfeiture
    allegations requiring him to forfeit $100 million.

    In a related case, former NETeller President and Board of Directors member
    STEPHEN ERIC LAWRENCE pleaded guilty on June 29, 2007 to
    participating in the same conspiracy and also admitted to a
    forfeiture allegation of $100 million for which he is jointly
    responsible with LEFEBVRE.

    Mr. GARCIA praised the investigative efforts of the
    Federal Bureau of Investigation.
    Assistant United States Attorneys TIMOTHY J. TREANOR,
    CHRISTOPHER P. CONNIFF, and SHARON COHEN LEVIN are in charge of
    the prosecution.
    07-175 ###

    BTW Sentencing on both Lawrence and Lefebvre is scheduled for October 29 2007.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. Jul 12, 2007
  17. Stanford

    Stanford Dormant account

    Location:
    USA
    Does anyone here have any contacts that they might shed a little light on what's going on? Neteller used to post here. Have we lost all contact?

    I am amazed that there doesn't seem to be any comments for unnamed Neteller contacts on any of the boards after this legnth of time. You would think someone would get some information.

    Stanford.
     
  18. Jul 12, 2007
  19. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    It's very frustrating trying to get anything out of Neteller, indeed it's an achievement even getting an acknowledgement of a media enquiry from both the company and its PR agency.

    Whilst one can understand that being a public company it is under some constraints on what it can say, my perception is that it has become even harder to elicit a response at all since January when all this nonsense started.

    The new debit card they've been promising everyone is a case in point - a professional organisation should be trying to reassure clients and keep them advised with progress reports, yet we hear very little from them and their members are in many cases sitting with monies still tied up.
     
    2 people like this.
  20. Jul 12, 2007
  21. Addisyn

    Addisyn Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Underground Sewer Access
    So when does the DOJ release our funds since they have concluded their investigation and public lynching?

    Of course, the U.S. Attorney General is as dirty as they come. Do you think they might just keep it for themselves?

    After the pardon of Lewis Scooter Libby I don't put anything past this administration. Does Neteller have any say in reimbursing us? Or is it entirely up the Feds?
     
  22. Jul 12, 2007
  23. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    This is my personal opinion, and it is opinion only: I think it's all in the Feds' hands, now. And as both former NETeller directors have plead guilty to conspiracy and are 'cooperating' with the Feds... I think the DoJ and FBI are going to use that guilty plea, the frozen funds, and whatever info they get out of the 'cooperation' of the NETeller Two to continue with their original goal --to take NETeller down and wipe it out, kill it completely.

    And while I'm ranting... If the NETeller Two are guilty of conspiracy to process payments to online gaming.... Ummmm... big deal?? (I would have loved for this to have gone to trial....) They're legal in their country, and USA is not the only source of their clientle, and I still don't know exactly what law they have 'broken' as they do not operate a casino. I don't doubt that half the banks and credit card companies in this country have sent money to an online casino on behalf of players.

    And I still don't understand why the DoJ and FBI are so rabid about online gambling and NETeller... Maybe because they knew the UIGEA was full of holes, unenforceable, and would go nowhere? But since guidelines have still not been put in place, the Feds attempt to enforce an outdated sports gambling law, and a toothless law (UIGEA) by intimidation, coercion and extortion. And so far, it's working.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2007
    1 person likes this.
  24. Jul 13, 2007
  25. Stanford

    Stanford Dormant account

    Location:
    USA
    It makes me think they are up to no good.

    I wonder if they are waiting to see what the penalty assessment is going to be before deciding to *really* pay back the money. I have seen on other sites that Neteller says it can't discuss further the status of US funds - without saying why. Someone else said the DOJ said the Judge wouldn't let them say if they were holding player's money.

    I think *can't* for Neteller, just means they won't for strategy purposes. I think the DOJ response is a bald face lie. I don't believe a judge would issue an order to hold US Customer Funds and another order not to tell the customer.

    US players should be ringing Neteller and DOJ and Congress phones every day till they release the hostage funds. I don't have any money tied up, but I would be willing to do a bit of debt collection on behalf of my fellow players.

    BTW - the US Government does other crazy stuff as well. A player carrying his bankroll got stopped by TSA while boarding his plane and asked to explain his large amount of cash. At the other end, DEA took it from him. Get this - he has to prove the cash was not obtained illegally to get it back. It's just crazy.

    In some states, you can't drive through with your bankroll. If you do and get stopped the local cops are liable to seize it just like DEA.

    Stanford.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2007
  26. Jul 13, 2007
  27. Addisyn

    Addisyn Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Underground Sewer Access
    I totally agree Neteller is no worse than Visa, EcoCard, and all the ewallets out there. I think it was because Neteller had such a huge slice of the pie. They were the perfect target to line the money bags of this administration.

    What I don't get is why the Neteller owners returned to the US. They had to know they were targets.

    It boggles the mind DoJ is getting away with this nonsense. Write to your US House and Senate representatives today!

    I have $940.00 collecting interest. Or at least it better be collecting interest!

     
  28. Jul 13, 2007
  29. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    There will be no interest paid - Neteller has already stated that baldly and without justifying their decision.

    Now that the two founders (who I understand actually had homes in the US as well as Canada and the Bahamas) have pleaded guilty there should be more information available from the DoJ and Neteller but thus far that does not appear to be the case.

    Sentencing of Lawrence and Lefebvre is not scheduled until October 29, so it's going to take a while before these two know what folding their hands is going to cost them.

    I wonder if there wasn't some behind-the-scenes bargaining where this has already been decided and accepted? Figures running into tens of millions are possible.

    Due to the lack of communication noone seems to know what Neteller will do next, but it looks as if they've paved the way to go over their July 13 target date. The board of directors must be seriously concerned about the future of the company because its actions and apparent refusal to face up to the 'foreign' onslaught from US authorities has pissed off large numbers of both clients and investors - and the latest stock exchange moves won't have helped.

    I think there's a possibility this company may be on an accelerating downward spiral which is their own fault and will suit the DoJ perfectly. As someone else has already said here, as the biggest processor in online gambling they were the perfect (from a DoJ p.o.v.) target, and the US enforcement guys must be surprised only by the ease with which this e-wallet surrendered.
     
  30. Jul 13, 2007
  31. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    That's scary stuff when the style of government lends itself to excesses by enforcement officials and privacy goes out the window entirely.

    Judging by press reports on various issues it does not appear that the current administration is prepared to listen to anyone about its decisions, so it's a good thing that the constitution insists on regular elections where changes are possible.

    In the meantime, US members can make their views on the Frank proposal and the UIGEA known to their political reporesentatives as recommended by Frank and various anti-UIGEA organisations and I think that is worth doing - if enough pressure builds politicians can suddenly become more attentive to specific issues!
     
  32. Jul 13, 2007
  33. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    Congress contacts LINKY

    I keep 'losing' that link and keep having to track it down. LOL I thought maybe if I posted it, I could find it again more easily.
    :D
     
  34. Jul 13, 2007
  35. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    Neteller says chairman Herman resigns

    (AFX UK Focus) 2007-07-13 17:34 GMT:
    You must register/login in order to see the link.; names Johnson non-executive chairman

    Article layout: raw
    LONDON (Thomson Financial) - Neteller PLC said its executive chairman Gord Herman has resigned to concentrate on personal matters, adding it has named non-executive director Dale Johnson as non-executive chairman, both with immediate effect.

    Neteller also said it believes it is making significant progress towards resolving the US Attorney's Office probe into the alleged violation of US web-based gambling laws by its former directors.

    The online money transfer company said it hopes to make an announcement regarding this "within a number of days".

    Neteller said the restoration of trading of its shares on AIM will depend on the resolution of the investigation within a short time frame and finalisation and publication of its audited annual accounts for 2006.

    The company intends to implement its plan of distributing funds to its US customers upon the resolution of the investigation.


    ******
    NETeller PR, which doesn't tell us any more than in the statement above and isn't much of an update at all:

    Press Release
    You must register/login in order to see the link.



    Friday, 13 July 2007 - NETELLER Plc (LSE: NLR), the independent global online payments business, today issued the following statement regarding its progress in resolving the investigation by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (USAO) into the Company.

    As stated in the Companys announcement of 12 July 2007, NETELLER stated that it had advised the USAO that it will use its best efforts to resolve the investigation on or soon after 13 July 2007. The Company believes that it is making significant progress towards achieving a resolution and hopes to be able to announce this within a number of days.

    As announced on 4 June 2007, the Company has agreed to a plan for the distribution of funds to its US customers and anticipates implementing the plan upon the resolution of the investigation. The agreed distribution plan details the process and mechanisms by which US customers will be able to initiate the return of their funds after the plan is implemented. Further information will be communicated to NETELLERs US customers via email, through our website and through a press release once the date for implementation of the plan is finalised.

    The Company continues to make progress regarding the ongoing suspension of the Companys ordinary shares from trading. The restoration of trading in the Companys ordinary shares will depend on resolution of the investigation within a short time frame and finalisation and publication of the Companys audited annual accounts for 2006. Further information will be announced as and when it becomes available.

    The Company also today confirms that earlier today, the Board accepted the resignation of Gord Herman as Executive Chairman and Director of the Company. Mr Herman has indicated that he wishes to concentrate on personal matters. Dale Johnson, non-executive director, will assume the role of non-executive Chairman. Both of these changes will take place with immediate effect.


    About the NETELLER Group
    Trusted by millions of consumers in over 160 countries to ......
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2007
    1 person likes this.
  36. Jul 13, 2007
  37. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    This is bad news, as Gord Herman was a smart exec - looks as if things are starting to unravel.

    Here's a little more news - sounds as if they are trying to do some damage control on the Herman departure by hinting at movement on the payouts and DoJ problems - but that comment about restoration of trading is a little worrying in its vagueness.

    Neteller PLC said its executive chairman Gord Herman has resigned to concentrate on personal matters, adding it has named non-executive director Dale Johnson as non-executive chairman, both with immediate effect.

    Neteller also said it believes it is making significant progress towards resolving the US Attorney's Office probe into the alleged violation of US web-based gambling laws by its former directors.

    The online money transfer company said it hopes to make an announcement regarding this "within a number of days".

    Neteller said the restoration of trading of its shares on AIM will depend on the resolution of the investigation within a short time frame and finalisation and publication of its audited annual accounts for 2006.

    The company intends to implement its plan of distributing funds to its US customers upon the resolution of the investigation.
     
  38. Jul 14, 2007
  39. sdaddy

    sdaddy Meister Member

    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Arizona
    Meanwhile, patience is wearing very thin over at the Neteller Customer Coalition after this latest missed "deadline" for resolution of the frozen US customers' funds.

    Many members are now discussing taking legal action against Neteller.
     

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