The alert came in an email message this morning, then later in the day the story broke across mainstream news-media. The U.S. Gov. held a press conference in London to make the announcement that the 2 founders of Neteller both Canadian citizens had been arrested and charged with money-laundering.
This is going to severally effect the on-line gaming industry, as Neteller was responsible in 2005 for clearing credit cards for over $7B of the gaming industries funds, to and from players, 80% of whom were American citizens.
Here’s an excerpt from the indictment:
Records describe, among other things, the history and development of the Neteller Group and the services that it provides. For example, in the prospectus from Neteller PLC’s initial public offering on the AIM (the “Neteller IPO Prospectus”), the Board of Directors of Neteller PLC, including STEPHEN ERIC LAWRENCE, the defendant, collectively states that Neteller Inc., a Canadian corporation, was founded in 1999 by LAWRENCE and CC#1; that on January 1, 2004, the Neteller Group began doing business as Neteller PLC, a corporation based in Isle of Man; that Neteller PLC specializes in providing online payment processing services to online merchants and customers; that Neteller PLC, and previously Neteller Inc., offers services through Neteller.com; that the primary service provided by Neteller PLC, and previously by Neteller Inc., is a “virtual wallet” account that enables customers to deposit, withdraw, or transfer funds with any merchant that supports the Neteller online payments system; that Neteller PLC generates its revenues on a fee-for-service basis for any transfer of money between any combination of members or merchants; and that Neteller Inc. began processing transactions in July 2000.
Neteller PLC’s 2005 annual report states that, in 2005, Neteller PLC processed over $7.3 billion in financial transactions; Neteller PLC provides gambling customers with access to more than 80 percent of worldwide gaming merchants; and in 2005, Neteller PLC had $172.1 million in revenues and $91.5 million in net profit.
Here’s an excerpt from the Globe & Mail:
Uncle Sam nabs Net millionaires
The Globe and Mail Wed, 17 Jan 2007
In the past couple of years, John Lefebvre has helped found the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, thrown his support behind David Suzuki, and donated more than $1-million to the fine arts program at his alma mater, the University of Calgary.