Feeds

Neteller founder Lawrence cops a plea

Agrees to forfeit $100m, spill the beans

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
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.