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Founders of online payment company Neteller charged in online gambling
Brett_Tabke




msg:3222062
 11:18 am on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

[iht.com...]

Lefebvre and Lawrence were charged in connection with the creation and operation of an Internet payment services company that facilitated the transfer to billions of dollars of illegal gambling proceeds from U.S. citizens to the owners of overseas Internet gambling companies.

In 1999, the men founded Neteller, which is based in the Isle of Man and is publically traded in the United Kingdom.

The company began processing Internet gambling transactions in approximately July 2000, allowing companies to transfer money from U.S. customers to bank accounts overseas.


 

madmatt69




msg:3222564
 6:19 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yeah no denying that - If I were them I wouldn't have even risked going to the US.

I don't think a huge percentage of pubcon attendees are into casino affiliate marketing, but there are almost always a few sponsoring or exhibiting.

plumsauce




msg:3222589
 6:33 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)


Further to the Royal Bank of Canada, not only will they not open an account for people who are citizens of certain countries, they will also refuse to open account for former citizens of certain countries. At the behest of the US Treasury, to open an account a US Dollar account you must provide proof of citizenship. Given the choice the other day, I refused to do so. Glad the news hit the fan last night. What a crock!

Further to Cuba, the story made the news last year that Canadian companies operating in Cuba were having a hard time maintaining their Canadian bank accounts with Canadian banks because of letters coming from the US Treasury. Meanwhile, US companies were being routinely granted certificates of exemption. Again, a crock of steamy smelly stuff!

search on ""american exceptionalism"

Brett_Tabke




msg:3222609
 6:58 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

> put in their disclosures that they were violating
> US law and risking prosecution,

Bingo. They knew they were not in compliance and did not take the opportunity to rectify it. There seems like there is more to this case than the face value.

Manga




msg:3222632
 7:16 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

not in compliance

They are not American. Why do they need to comply with US law? Just because Americans use their sercvice? If an American goes to another country and gambles, is that brick and mortar casino breaking US law? If an American uses an offshore website, is that website breaking US law?

Or even better, if a Chinese citizen goes to a US website about the massacre at Tianamen Square, is that website breaking Chinese law? Is that website bound by Chinese law just because a Chinese citizen visits it?

The legal question really is, which jurisdiction is the website located in? Where the server is located? Where the company is registered? Where the company's offices are? Or is the website located in the jurisdiction where the surfer is? If it is the latter (as the US wants everyone to believe) then that is a major problem for all webmasters.

incrediBILL




msg:3222634
 7:19 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Why do they need to comply with US law?

They don't unless they intend to go into the US, which they did, and are now in jail.

Manga




msg:3222655
 7:39 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

They don't unless they intend to go into the US, which they did, and are now in jail.

So are you saying that Neteller is governed by US law because US citizens have used it? Does the surfer's location determine jurisdiction?

walkman




msg:3222664
 7:47 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

>> So are you saying that Neteller is governed by US law because US citizens have used it? Does the surfer's location determine jurisdiction?

apparently they are. They can ty this defense during the trial and see how far they go.

Frank_Rizzo




msg:3222666
 7:52 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

This has seriously prevented me from visiting the states in the future.

My main site is connected with UK gambling. It does not take bets - it provides stats.

Now I'm concerned that whilst in the US the feds will kick the door to my hotel room down and seize my laptop.

Not joking. It's a serious issue. Whether my business is exempt or not, I do not know. But the fear of being arrested / questioned / having my equipment seized is preventing me from visiting the land of the free.

The US have lost themselves a customer.

[edited by: Frank_Rizzo at 7:52 pm (utc) on Jan. 17, 2007]

woop01




msg:3222669
 7:55 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

For those saying this is to protect the real casinos, check the voting record. If anybody is in the back pocket of the casinos, it's the congressmen from Nevada. Essentially all of them opposed this.

Real casinos WANT online gambling because they want to take part in the industry that has taken so much of their revenue.

cabbie




msg:3222683
 8:09 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

The US is a law unto itself.
Its only a matter of time before it goes from the top of the pops to the bottom of the pile.
History is full of stories of countries with a big bullying attitude that end up with egg and excrement all over their face.

blaze




msg:3222690
 8:11 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

oh COME ON every public company risks prosecution. Ever heard of SarBox?

This is pure and simple a case of

a) the US government needs to make an example of a payment transaction system
b) NETTeller was the big game to hunt

That's all reasonable, totally, you do the crime then you do the time.

What is not reasonable is that this is a criminal offense and not a civil one! In reality, this is purely a free trade issue. You are allowed to gamble domestically in local casinos, but if you facilitate it internationally over phone wires you go to jail.

That's a total crock. Sure, go ahead and seize funds and real estate and sue the hell out of these guys, but arrest them for breaking the law? That's freaking insane..

Doesn't the US have some kind of constitutional protection for this, that you can't arrest someone which is otherwise completely legal?

I can totally accept a civil seisure of assets, even a conviction of the corporation, but of the people? This is hyprocicy and makes a complete mockery of the FBI and the american prosecution system.

Learning Curve




msg:3222719
 8:36 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

These internet gambling types are dumber than a box of rocks.

All they had to do to live rich was to stay out of the United States.

How hard can that be?

Apparently it's impossible for these Einsteins.

It tells you something about the personality types of internet gambling moguls.

Apparently they think they are above the law... an attitude that led to their success but also an attitude that leads to arrogance and being arrested.

[edited by: Learning_Curve at 8:41 pm (utc) on Jan. 17, 2007]

nzmatt




msg:3222778
 9:19 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yeah - another example of the USA (Govt) winning friends and influencing non-US citizens.

Itís bigoted, itís corrupt and itís sickening!

Rugles




msg:3222785
 9:28 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

It seems to me they made a choice, to violate US laws and live large and never visit Disneyworld again.

Stupidly, they assumed they could just slip into the US without anyone noticing. I am sure the Customs agents eyes lit up when he swiped their passports.

I am no fan of the law. But they got what was coming to them by thinking they were above the law.

<i have never seen so much politics on this board>

nzmatt




msg:3222822
 10:04 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

There are a lot of crazy laws in all sorts of ding pot countries around the world.

I guess on this precedent some Muslim countries can cut off the hands of visiting American travellers who have stolen something in the past.

It is simply illogical and against basic human rights for one country to arrest people who have broken that countries law in another country.

This should only be done by multilateral agreement or the UN etc...particularly when the crimes are white collar, and only exist in one country in the world, while accepted in most, if not all others.

nzmatt




msg:3222840
 10:17 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Why do they need to comply with US law?

They don't unless they intend to go into the US, which they did, and are now in jail.

See above.

vincevincevince




msg:3222975
 12:03 am on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

The US has it 100% wrong here. Neteller was providing a service which was legal under UK laws. US citizens were breaking US law and using the service.

Who should be arrested and charged? The one who broke the law - the end customer.

Unfortunately, the end customer means a US voter and they'd not want to risk offending them. It's a disgusting affair and I hope that the embassy staff can pull something off to get this trumped up charge quietly dropped.

walkman




msg:3222997
 12:20 am on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

>> It is simply illogical and against basic human rights for one country to arrest people who have broken that countries law in another country.

Not all laws are logical or fair.
IIRC, both US and England have laws that govern the behaviour of its citizens ANYWHERE in the world. For example, if a U.S. citizen has consentual sex with a 17-year-old in a country where the consent age is 16, they are still guilty of a sex crime here in US, even though that country may be 10,000 miles away.

vincevincevince




msg:3223011
 12:43 am on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I cannot see how the USA can do this unless the founders were undertaking Neteller business whilst in the US.

The correct way to deal with this awful crime is to pass on their information to the police in the Isle of Man / UK and work together to charge them under the locally applicable law.

If there is no locally applicable law which they are in breach of then the next stage is to start asking for one to be considered, just like everyone else who wants a new law - apart from being overseas and non-citizens the USA's views on local law should have no weight.

IIRC, both US and England have laws that govern the behaviour of its citizens ANYWHERE in the world.

In this case, it is the laws of the home country which restrict the behaviour ANYWHERE in the world. It does not work the other way around in which the laws of a foreign country restrict the behaviour of non-citizens ANYWHERE in the world.

Olney




msg:3223064
 2:13 am on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

As a US citizen working in another country this is really scary. Let's say you are part of a creation of a service that is 100% legal & legit in the country you reside in, then go home & get arrested. These guys weren't even US citizens & got arrested.

walkman




msg:3223118
 3:52 am on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

vincevincevince,
I was merely pointing out an example of what i think it's a stupid and illogical law, not comparing them.

Here's another example: Spain and a few other countries also have laws that can prosecute ANYONE who has committed certain crimes (like against humanity) ANYWHERE in the world--regardless of citizenship.

Why do they pass those laws? Welcome to politics...

tqatsju




msg:3223128
 4:14 am on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

the problem with companies like neteller is that say you use them to deposit money to casino x and casino x rips you off, then the U.S. banks have to repay you the money you lost because casino x and neteller don't give two you know whats about the fraud. This is a little discussed fact, but it makes sense because they are in Jabuti and what are you going to do to them if you get money stolen out of your account, take them to the Jabuti judges? Oh and btw the capital of Jabuti is Jabuti

Harry




msg:3223152
 4:52 am on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

The irony in this is Netteler really is a Canadian company operating in Canada. I mean, the Island of Man?

Shetty




msg:3223159
 5:05 am on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Guess they forgot to make the standard political deduction before transferring the money

jtara




msg:3223257
 7:02 am on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

This case is FULL of irony...

One of the ironies is that this company would be out of business if the U.S. legalized Internet gambling. There would be no need for the service, as most users would just use credit cards.

And that is the crux of the matter. The business exists ONLY to facilitate the violation of U.S. law. It's much more than a casual violation that represents a small percentage of the company's business. (As when, say, a "coffee house" in Amsterdam sells marijuana to an American.)

I suspect that in many countries, this in itself (setting up a company specifically to facilitate violations of another country's laws) would be a violation of domestic law - it's just not good international politics to domicile companies whose purpose is to thwart the laws of other countries.

But the Isle of Man has a rather unique and intriguing status.

Another irony is that they just couldn't stay out of the U.S., when that is all they had to do to live happily ever after. Bash the U.S. all you want. But these guys apparently think it's a pretty OK place to be, given that they risked (and lost) their freedom in order to be here.

(I'd lay odds, though, that they WERE here to do business. Which, I think, lays the arguments against the arrests to rest.)

atlrus




msg:3223287
 7:36 am on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

One of the ironies is that this company would be out of business if the U.S. legalized Internet gambling. There would be no need for the service, as most users would just use credit cards.

Not true at all. It's clear you are not in the dirty gambling business, but I have a couple of sites about online gambling, and I will tell you why you are wrong - because of the fraud charges - Neteller lets you take money from you bank account, wait for the transfer to clear and then you can deposit at the casino. And dont cry to them about fraud, they will not hear about it. Where with a credit card you can lose $2000 today, call your bank tomorrow and report it as a fraud - and automatically get your money back :) Netller is doing great in EU countries with legal online gambling, for the same reason.

As far as the arrests - US accomplished what they were after, and Neteller no longer processes gambling transactions for US citizen. Why they caved in - because they are publicly traded and their stock, just like any other, moves by rumors, fears and speculations.

The charges are bogus, and the laws of one country do not apply to the rest of the world. Do you think that if a Dutch "coffee" shop owner from Amsterdam visits in the US - he will be arrested because he was breaking an US law? And American tourists were getting high in his shop? Or should I get a speeding ticket for going to Germany and doing over 70 on the Autobahn?

Gimme a break, I cannot remember the last time I could honestly say I was living in a free country...rich country, yes, but free - not so much. It saddens me it's been going down the hill for the past 5-6 years, and I dont see anything positive done.

And another thing - as the DA mentions - US is prepared to persue prosecution of people in other countries which break this law.

Do you get this? No matter where you live - you have to go by local AND U.S. laws.

So when you guys work on your websites - make sure you check in with the USDOJ first, to be sure it's legal in the USA :)

activeco




msg:3223385
 10:08 am on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

...creation and operation of an Internet payment services company that facilitated the transfer to billions of dollars of illegal gambling proceeds from U.S. citizens to the owners of overseas Internet gambling companies.

Typical NWO bs.
What about Western Union or any bank "facilitating transfer of funds to overseas entities" for any reason? A portion of it is used for something illegal for sure.
What about the foreign banks allowing overseas citizens to open their bank accounts there, while citizens' home countries forbidding that?
Arresting bank owners and managers?

Vincevincevince put it rightly:
Neteller was providing a service which was legal under UK laws. US citizens were breaking US law and using the service.

But this is not an isolated case, there are even more bizare ones:
Netherlands' gambling monopolist De Lotto have been fully protected by Dutch Supreme Court in a case against Ladbrokes, an internet gambling company from UK (thus legally the memeber of EU!).
The court recognized the exclusive right of the Dutch betting operator De Lotto!
The court says that no gambling provider may offer services to Dutch residents without a Dutch license, and Ladbrokes has been ordered to implement geolocation systems and other measures to insure that its Web site cannot be accessed by Dutch residents.

So, this is another similar stupidity where a provider of the services have to implement systems to reject residents of another country, because the provider have no licence for that country!
Expect Netherlands soon invading USA because it allows Dutch citizens gambling in Las Vegas casino's.

7_Driver




msg:3223491
 1:11 pm on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

All they had to do to live rich was to stay out of the United States.

How hard can that be?

Apparently it's impossible for these Einsteins.

You reckon that would do it? Google "NatWest 3"

- if you're in the UK, the UK govt just hand you over on request - no questions asked. The US govt won't hand it's citizens over to the UK without much more evidence. So they wouldn't have been safe here either...

Scared yet? Perhaps you should be - unless you're totally confident that your website doesn't break any law, anywhere, in any country of the world...

Rugles




msg:3223986
 6:47 pm on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I remember a few years ago there was this Canadian businessman who was doing business in Cuba for an American company. Which is illegal according to the American government.

Anyways.... there was a warrant for his arrest if he ever set foot in the US. Which he avoided doing. It was the trade off he made .... do business with Cuba and make lots of money, stay out of the US forever.

So he was on a plane flying from Canada to an island in the Caribean, the plane had trouble in the air and had to make an emergency landing in the US. He was arrested and did a couple years in jail.

All because he was the front man for a US company that wanted to do business in Cuba .... like Coca Cola does.

<love to see them arrest the CEO of Coke, because the trade embago would cease>

vincevincevince




msg:3224544
 5:28 am on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

the plane had trouble in the air and had to make an emergency landing in the US. He was arrested and did a couple years in jail.

I find that a bit hard to believe, unless he left the airport. Until you pass customs you have not legally not entered the country.

This is mostly established for when a passengers need to transfer to another plane in a country where they would otherwise need a Visa or would be refused entry. It's also the reason why duty free shops can exist on that side of the barrier - it is not legally part of the country.

phranque




msg:3224559
 5:49 am on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

that was pre U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act.
Maher Arar's case made a lot of noise on September 18, 2006 when the report was released regarding his detention at jfk in transit from egypt to canada.

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