Feeds

Neteller founder Lawrence cops a plea

Agrees to forfeit $100m, spill the beans

The Power of One Infographic

The Neteller prosecutions blew open recently with the announcement by the US Attorney's office that founder Stephen Lawrence has agreed to a plea deal, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release, involving "one count of conspiracy to use the wires to transmit in interstate and foreign commerce bets 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."

So, uh, just where is America, again?

The case is noteworthy in that none of the defendants were American, and none of the payments were processed on American soil - at least not those mentioned in the press release. Indeed , the only Americans involved were happy Neteller customers, and the case spotlights the expansive view of American personal jurisdiction over the internet taken by the DOJ. Of course, these guys were dumb enough to be hanging out on American soil, so it's no surprise they got nicked, but clearly anyone heavily involved in the internet gambling business would be wise to avoid even flying over American airspace.

The immediate loser in this deal is the other founder, John Lefebrve, the hippie guitar-strumming former Neteller President who got snatched off the beach in Malibu. Generally in these situations the first one to turn state's evidence gets the better deal, and since he's the only other one being charged, well, do the math. The more significant issue is just how much these guys know about the rest of the payment processing industry, which is probably quite a lot.

The payment processing industry has been the seedy underbelly of the industry for some time, and Uncle Sam would desperately like to get his meaty paws on some more of the players in this shady business. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) - which is about to go into effect - specifically targets this part of the online gambling world, and its role as lifeline to the larger online gambling industry means that the wrath of Uncle Hypocrite will rain down on it for some time to come.

This correspondent had hoped that the Neteller fellows would fight to the end, if for no other reason than existing American law needs some clarity on internet gambling, and the only way for that to happen is through the appellate process. Of course, that's easy advice to give when you're not staring down the barrel of dozens of conspiracy counts and hundreds of potential years in federal prison.

And so, a toast: here's to taking one for the team, John Lefebvre.®

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

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet
Swedish court refuses to withdraw arrest warrant
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.