Neteller Two Hearing Postponed Until April; Angry Customer Coalition Threatens Legal Action

by Lou on March 17, 2007

Neteller Case Rescheduled for April 16
The March 16, 2007 hearing for two former Neteller Board members, Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebre, was postponed until April 16, according to an announcement by Rebekah Carmichael, Information Officer for the United States Attorney, Southern District of New York. This hearing deals with arrests of Neteller co-founders Stephen Lawrence and John LeFebvre, who were charged with conspiracy to transfer funds with the intent to promote illegal gambling.

Rumors circulated all last week that the case could be dropped and that this delay may be a response to recent activity from lobbyists.

No Release of Funds on the Horizon
The continuance has a dark side too. It prevents the release of evidence, including funds now frozen, from US customers.

Neteller Customers Form Coalition and Contemplate Legal Action
More than 250 frustrated Neteller customers organized into a group called the Neteller Customer Coalition. Members of that group are furious over Neteller’s decision to deny US customers access to their funds.

According to the group’s Eric Goldstein, “more and more people are losing patience every day, and these people better hear some good news from Neteller very soon.” The group is been considering initiating legal action against Neteller as early as March 19.According to Goldstein, the group has grown quickly since its inception back in late February, with an average of 30-40 new members daily.

Some members of the group only have a couple hundred dollars at Neteller, while others have tens of thousands. “The injustice of this whole debacle is much larger than just dollar amounts,” says one member who is due $800.

Another member has $84,000 frozen by Neteller, funds he earned legitimately as a site affiliate — not by gambling. And yet another victim was cut off from the $35,000 he was paid as a writer for various poker publications.

In total the group’s members have over $750,000 frozen by Neteller, and more than a dozen individuals have more than $20,000 frozen.

PokerPages quoted coalition founder Goldstein as saying that, “These are the kinds of figures that can keep a killer legal team motivated.” He also said that “There are still thousands of other Neteller customers who don’t know about us.” Despite a lack of presence in the media, word of mouth is brining in about 30 – 40 new members daily.

Goldstein is angered by both the Government’s stance and Neteller’s passivity. PokerNews quoted Goldstein as saying, “Between Neteller and the DOJ, thousands of citizens who have done nothing wrong have millions of dollars being confiscated without any real explanation or means of resolution.”

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