NETeller strikes deal; will return U.S. money

18 July 2007

Financial payment process NETeller will pay $136 million to the U.S. government and admit criminal wrongdoing in the processing American gambling transactions as part of deal reached with U.S. prosecutors, the company announced today.

The company will also begin the process of returning money to U.S. customers no later than July 30. All U.S. accounts were frozen in January following the arrests of NETeller co-founder John Lefebvre and Stephen Lawrence.

In similar guilty pleas earlier this month, both Lefebvre and Lawrence admitted that they knowingly violated the law by processing gambling transactions for Americans. The two will be sentenced this fall and face maximum sentences of five years.

If NETeller fulfills all the terms of its agreements, which also includes implementing procedures to prevent U.S. customers from using the service for online gambling, all criminal charges will be dismissed, the company said in a statement.

The $136 million NETeller now owes the U.S. government already includes $60 million that was seized by the Department of Justice in January as part of its investigation into the popular e-wallet.

Vin Narayanan

Articles by Vin Narayanan is the former managing editor at Casino City and has been involved in the gaming industry for over a decade Vin is currently based in Hong Kong, where he runs his own consultant group and works as head of gaming and public relations for Mega Digital Entertainment Group.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for, USA WEEKEND and CNN.