June and July 2007
Online poker players finally got some relatively good news in June of 2007. It had been months since two co-founders of Neteller were arrested and the company stopped processing transactions involving U.S. customers. Since that time the company had been reassuring American customers that they were working to devise a plan to make sure all players received the funds that had been frozen by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
In March of 2007, Neteller announced that they would be developing a "Distribution Plan" with the aid of Navigant Consulting, Inc. In June, Neteller released information about the Plan, including how players would be able to access their money and when. The announcement was obviously much anticipated, as players' funds had been in limbo for nearly 6 months at this point.
The Distribution Plan involved Neteller allowing U.S. customers to access their accounts for a limited time. During this time they would be restricted to only making a request for their funds. All other transactions would be voided out. Customers would be allowed to only request full withdrawals, and Neteller would pay these withdrawals either through an electronic transfer, if the customer still had the same pre-approved bank account, or by check, sent directly to the customer. Customers would not be able to access their accounts or request withdrawals after January 26th, 2008.
Neteller Group President and CEO, Ron Martin, said in a statement, "The agreement on the Distribution Plan represents a milestone in our cooperation with the lace U.S. authorities. While we are disappointed not to have been able to return funds to our U.S. customers at this point, we believe that the steps we have made in our discussions are significant and we hope to be able to announce further progress with the USAO by 13 July, 2007."
American customers would have to wait a little longer than expected, though. It was not until 9 a.m. on the morning of July 30th, 2007 that U.S. customers began to gain access to their Neteller accounts and their funds.
It was also about this time that Martin admitted that although they previously stated that the amount of funds frozen was no more than $55 million, the actual figure turned out to be much more, at approximately $94 million.
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