Former Neteller Directors Detained by US Authorities

by Lou on January 16, 2007

I awakened this morning to the following story by Jake Pollard in e-Gaming magazine online:

Leading payment processor Neteller has sought the temporary suspension of
its shares after it emerged that two former directors had been arrested in the
US.

Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebvre were detained by the US authorities
while traveling separately. It is believed at least one was arrested in Los
Angeles.

In a statement, Neteller said neither Lawrence or Lefebvre had any
current position within the company. It added: “The group has not received any
communication or correspondence from any US authority regarding this or any
related matter.”

Lebebvre left Neteller in December 2005 while Lawrence left in October
last year, just after the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement
Act. Lebebvre and Lawrence each own approximately 5% of the company’s
capital.

It is not known whether they have been arrested by state or Federal
authorities.

This is a very strange set of circumstances since neither of the two people arrested are current Neteller employees; one left the firm in 2005 while the other departed immediately after passage of UIGEA. Could it be they were arrested simply for being shareholders in the company? If that’s the case, there are thousands of ordinary citizen shareholders in Neteller who are at risk if they set foot in the United States.

I also don’t understand why they (and I, like Jake Pollard, don’t know whether “they” are state authorities or feds) went after these two particular people. My own supposition was that if a crackdown based on UIGEA was to happen, the Feds would arrest high-profile “names” in the online poker world. Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebvre do not qualify as high-profile targets by anyone’s definition.

I’ll report more on this as the story develops and more information comes to light. You can read it online at http://www.egrmagazine.com/item/1530/23/5/3.

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