Feeds

Neteller to pay up as feds ease up

Hippie founders not quite off the hook

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

In more good news for the online gambling industry, Neteller today announced that it has reached an agreement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to return funds belonging to American players that had been frozen at the DOJ's request .

Neteller, the online ewallet company that at one time provided payment processing services for over 85 per cent of the online gambling industry, has been in legal limbo since the DOJ arrested two former executives on conpiracy and money laundering charges back in January. Neteller became the primary funding source for the online companies that continued to service the American market after the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) drove the American credit card industry out of the market.

According to draconian American asset forfeiture laws, under which authorities can quickly seize property suspected of use in criminal activity and make it almost impossible for the owner to get it back, the feds could well have just kept the $55m. However, the move to return the money, combined with the ongoing delay in formally charging the two with anything, seems to indicate that the DOJ might be rethinking its hardline approach to the online gambling industry.

The press release notes that Neteller has signed agreements with the DOJ and the forensic auditing group Navigant. The agreement provides a 75-day timeline under which Neteller will work out a plan to return funds in an orderly manner to its one-time US customers. That's great news for Neteller's customers, but the agreement also could well be calculated to provide the DOJ with a very detailed understanding of the payment processing industry as whole, a kind of window onto a world that the DOJ considers of paramount importance in this post-9/11 society.

The arrests of neteller founders John Lefevbre and Stephen Lawrence seem to be turning into a fishing expedition, in line with the subpoenas handed out not long afterward to various European financial institutions a few weeks back. Although a big bust is usually how a US Attorney gets ahead in his or her career - oh, the lights and cameras at those big press conferences! - the bust needs to be followed by an actual conviction.

In its whirlwind attack on the international internet gambling business, the DOJ might finally have bitten off more than it can chew.®

Burke Hansen, attorney at large, heads a San Francisco law office

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.