Lawrence released on bail in Neteller case

by Lou on January 19, 2007

On Wednesday I reported that Neteller co-founder John Lefebvre posted bail in the amount of $5 million and was released.

Yesterday Neteller co-founder (and John Lefebvre’s co-defendant) Steven Lawrence was released on $5m bail into the custody of the FBI, following a hearing in the US Virgin Islands, where he had been detained. Some reports had him entering the court in ankle chains but I have no confirmation of that.

Under the terms of his release, Lawrence boarded a flight to New York accompanied by an FBI agent, and surrendered his passport.

He is set to appear in court in New York on January 26.

OK, the arrests were made, Lawrence and Lefebvre are sort of free on bail — they’re not in the slammer but they really can’t go anywhere either — and court appearances have been set. The Feds have had their day in the sun, news stories, press conferences, posturing, essentially shouting to anyone who would listen, “I’m a B-A-A-A-A-D man.”

We’ll see what comes of this case when it comes to trial. But there is an abundantly clear object lesson. Anyone who is involved in online gaming, particularly sports betting because that’s clearly subject to the Wire Act, or anyone who is moving money in a manner that violates UIGEA ought to tame their hubris and refrain from setting foot on these shores. Landing at an airport and showing your passport can be dangerous to your freedom; you might be on a list you don’t know about.

If you must come to the USA, do it the old fashioned way. Walk across the virtually unguarded Canadian border and have someone pick you up in a car, or come in at night, to some isolated cove, on a speedboat — the way smugglers do it. And when you’re here, be sure to hit up an undocumented alien for advice on how to pickup a fake driver’s license. Or just get in the Tardis and land here with Dr. Who.

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