Neteller used to provide payment services to online gambling Web sites. I used the company to transfer money in and out of online poker rooms. After the American government cracked down on online poker and Neteller’s two founders were arrested, Neteller stopped dealing with online poker rooms. They also froze the deposits of American players, which meant that they had about $300 of my hard-earned money. And I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see this money again.
Today I found out two interesting things about Neteller.
First, Stephen Lawrence, one of the co-founders of the company, pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy. And he agreed that he is partly responsible for the 100 million dollars that the goverment is seeking in restitution. [I’m not sure what this restitution is for.] It’s not clear whether he will serve any time in jail.
Second, there is some reason to believe that I will eventually be able to withdraw MY money from Neteller. Neteller says that it has developed a distribution plan to return US member’s money. It is not decided when this distribution plan will be implemented. But according to Neteller’s website, it may occur no later than July 13th. When it does occur there will be 180 day period for poker players to make their request for the return of funds.
I feel sorry for what happened to Lawrence. I think he’s gotten a raw deal. Neteller wasn’t placing any bets. They were just being middlemen for something that should be legal. I’m hopeful that I’ll see my money again.