FBI freeze funds of NETeller
In a shock move the FBI have frozen the funds held in US customer accounts at NETeller, the online payment processing company specialising in funding online gambling activities.
The funds have been frozen to provide evidence against the two founders of NETeller, Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebvre, who were arrested last month and charged with money laundering.
It is not known how much those accounts totalled, although over a six-month period last year, the firm processed transactions over £2.6 billion, with 85 percent of that figure down to US customers.
As a result, NETeller released a statement on their website explaining the situation to their customers in an attempt as reassurance.
“As a top priority, we are working to resolve all withdrawal issues but in the meantime we continue to maintain these funds in trust on your behalf,” NETeller said in the statement.
The charge thrown at NETeller is money laundering relating to its involvement in providing a method for US customers to fund their online casino and gambling activities. However, although that was the predominant use of NETeller, there still remain plenty of accounts held there that do not relate to gambling. It is currently unclear whether the FBI will distinguish between to two types of accounts or simply treat all the funds as proceeds of illegal gambling.
NETeller has told it's US customers that it can no longer accept their custom, funds or transfer existing money to online gambling websites
If found guilty, Lawrence and Lefebvre both face up to 20 years in jail.
Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2007-02-06 11:54:59