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FBI Arrests Neteller Execs

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the jig-is-up dept.

The Courts 379

Alcibaides writes "In a follow-up to the 2006 law attacking Internet gambling, the FBI arrested two former Neteller executives in 'connection with the creation and operation of an Internet payment services company that facilitated the transfer of billions of dollars of illegal gambling proceeds.' Apparently, the execs were 'ambushed' as they passed through the U.S. on connecting flights. Consequently, Neteller has dropped all gambling-related activity to U.S. customers, a move not expected for several months."

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first post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17674750)

first post!

Not US Citizens... (5, Interesting)

Sorthum (123064) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674826)

This should be interesting, to see how foreign countries react to the detention of their citizens for something so paltry...

Re:Not US Citizens... (5, Informative)

clark0r (925569) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675250)

They wont do anything. I have a friend who works for a poker book publishing company who have an online poker site. His boss has been warned by other people in the business, not to travel to the US because if they arrested him, there would be no help.

Re:Not US Citizens... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675632)

The British government will do fuck all. We (Brits) can now be extradited to the USA without any evidence of a crime having being committed. At best, if Tony Blair is feeling generous he might send the accused a tube of lube to ease their incarceration.

Re:Not US Citizens... (1)

PurPaBOO (604533) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675706)

Indeedy. When your country is run by gangsters, you can't expect justice.

Re:Not US Citizens... (0)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675726)

So what? Everyone inside the sovereign borders of a country should expect to be subject to its laws whether they agree with them or not. Their citizenship should make no difference for criminal offences. I rarely agree with the US government but this time I think they are acting completely reasonably. Afterall if you think of the reverse surely nobody would have a problem with a US citizen being arrested passing through Europe or Canada if they were guilty of a crime under our laws?

The only wrinkle in this case is that it is my understanding they committed the offense while not in the US. Were the US trying to extradite them from wherever they live for actions which they took outside the US then as non-US citizens I would have a big problem with that but if these idiots are stupid enough to fly to the US by themselves what on earth do they expect to happen?

Re:Not US Citizens... (5, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675808)

The only wrinkle in this case is that it is my understanding they committed the offense while not in the US.

The only wrinkle?! That's the difference between not committing a crime and committing one!

Re:Not US Citizens... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675834)

ok now I am really worried as a Britt living in the US for 7 years. I wanna know what is going to happen to my insurance rates when the police here finally give me all the tickets for driving on the wrong side of the road for 15 years.

WTF? (4, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674838)

FTFA:

NETELLER suspended trading its shares on the London Stock Exchange in light of the detention of founding members Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebvre. Besides owning stock in NETELLER, the two do not hold any positions with the company.
I thought the whole point of being a shareholder was that you couldn't be charged for the wrong doing of the corporation?

Re:WTF? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17674982)

You can be charged with and convicted of whatever the hell the US government wants you to be, no matter who and where you are. Kinda like North Korea.

Re:WTF? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675168)

Not only that, if the linked article is accurate, it doesn't seem that they broke the laws while in the United States. US citizens and banks did. They seem to have simply offered a service online; the service was even based outside the US.

This also serves to point out another problem with US laws--they are so damn imprecise, broad, so encompassing, that it's simply up to the prosecution to pick and choose who they want to send to prison. Prosecutorial discretion, usually leveraged wisely, has now just become another tool to further political goals and new types of discrimination.

This is like an American posting on an internet site hosted in Germany something that flies against hate speech laws in Germany from his home computer. Then, while traveling in Germany on a connecting flight to Italy, getting arrested. Ridiculous...and dangerous--this sets up the possibility of backlash as precedent for US citizens traveling to foreign countries to be arrested for "crimes" that were not illegal and performed in the US but flies in the face of foreign laws.

Re:WTF? (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675832)

it doesn't seem that they broke the laws while in the United States. US citizens and banks did, the service was even based outside the US.

This is the Kazaa defense. The Allofmp3.com defense.

It doesn't matter where the casino is based. It matters that the casino was being marketed to customers in the U.S. It matters that the casino was accepting payments from U.S. accounts.

If you have assets in the states that can be seized, they will be seized. If you have people in the states who can be arrested, they will be arrested.

These are the ground rules when you set up shop off-shore.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675398)

You don't understand. That only applies to corporations that "donate" to the political interests of politicians in power. Like Halliburton. You never hear of a Halliburton exec getting hassled on a U.S. connecting flight. If anything, they get to walk around the contraband detectors so the wads of hundred dollar bills their contractors "earned" in Iraq don't make anyone suspicious. Pay no attention to the executives passing you by. These are not the executives you are looking for.

Re:WTF? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675520)

I thought the whole point of being a shareholder was that you couldn't be charged for the wrong doing of the corporation?
I'm curious to see if anybody will provide a straight answer to this, rather than just grumbling.

I don't know the answer, but there must be a lot of caveats for shareholder immunity. Otherwise, instead of hiring a hitman, you'd just buy shares in Hitman, Inc. Anything from funding al-quada to replenishing your online poker account could be handled by "buying shares."

Re:WTF? (1)

shigelojoe (590080) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675550)

NETELLER is based in the Isle of Man, and neither Lawrence nor Lefebvre is a U.S. citizen.


Since Neteller isn't located in the United States, the FBI wouldn't have any jurisdiction to seize their assets or whatnot. Instead, they decided to do the next best thing ('best' being from the FBI's point of view): wait until individuals who either have or have had authority within the company while offenses were being committed travel into their jurisdiction.

Re:WTF? (1)

Deadguy2322 (761832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675798)

They are only based there on paper. The real H.Q. is in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I worked there for a few months, and saw some shady things happen. Getting arrested jetting to the tropics after laying almost the entire company off is cosmic justice for those douchebags.

Re:WTF? (1)

pluther (647209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675664)

I thought the whole point of being a shareholder was that you couldn't be charged for the wrong doing of the corporation?

Not entirely.

If what the corporation was doing was against the law, and you can be proven to have knowledge of it, then you can be held liable.

It's also possible to "pierce the corporate veil" in civil matters, if an officer can be proven to be negligent, though that's really hard to prove and the corporation generally has more money than any of the individuals involved, so usually noboby bothers.

If a prosecutor can show that actions were outside the scope of your employment, you can be held personally liable for wrong-doing, also.

IANAL, but I have set up a few corporations, and have been plaintiff, defendant, or witness in several cases.

Worrying... (4, Insightful)

ZzzzSleep (606571) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674850)

Note to self....
Don't ever take a flight that stops over in the US if I've done something that the US might not like, even if it's perfectly legal in my country.

Re:Worrying... (5, Informative)

gvc (167165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674932)

Not only that, don't fly near US air space in case you are grounded due to an emergency.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=hea lth&res=9B0CE1DE1531F933A25752C0A962958260 [nytimes.com]

Re:Worrying... (0)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675154)

To be fair, stereoids might be controversial (drugs that are arguably good for you outlawed by a bunch of fat people?), but he was wanted for distribution of cocaine as well, which is illegal in almost all industrialized nations. Also, while there are recognized uses to prescribe steroids, he allegedly imported them illegally. He committed the alleged crimes on US soil, so there's not much controversy involved -- just bad luck.

Re:Worrying... (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674984)

Vancouver and Toronto airports are both pretty good.

Can anyone explain under what pretense the US gets to arrest noncitizens for violating US law?

Re:Worrying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675056)

Can anyone explain under what pretense the US gets to arrest noncitizens for violating US law?

Simple. Non-citizens of the US are not protected by the constitution of the US, and thus have no rights in the US. According to the current administration, anyway.

Re:Worrying... (4, Funny)

dorsey (119963) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675058)

Because internet gambling makes the baby Jesus cry.

Seriously, that's all I got...

Re:Worrying... (1)

peepleperson (888013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675838)

Yep, it's in Ephseses... Ephessiaa... effeeasy... Damn it, everything you don't like is in there if you read it hard enough.

Re:Worrying... (1, Informative)

Brightest Light (552357) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675098)

because people who were criminals under US law passed through the United States?

Re:Worrying... (1)

yorktown (947019) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675256)

Vancouver and Toronto airports are both pretty good.

Can anyone explain under what pretense the US gets to arrest noncitizens for violating US law?
Any person that is on U.S. soil is subject to U.S. laws, unless you are lucky enough to have diplomatic immunity. What's unusual with this case is that the acts were allegedly committed by the non-citizens when they were not in the U.S.

This has happened in the past - Colombian drug lords have been extradited to the U.S. even though they had never set foot on American soil.

That said, I wish the federal government would spend more time on crimes with real victims, like identity theft, rather than on victimless crimes like facilitating gambling.

Re:Worrying... (1)

JoGlo (1000705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675760)

Can anyone explain under what pretense the US gets to arrest noncitizens for violating US law?
To be fair, the US has been doing that for quite a while now, and to be fair, if the foreign citizens were on US soil, and had broken US law (they weren't just share holders, but ex-executives of netteller), then you will be arrested if they catch you. Where it is very hard to justify is where the arrestees have actually been taken outside of the US, and not in a war zone. A lot of people in Gitmo have come into custody by that route. Probably they deserve to be there, but I still doubt the legality of a lot of the siezures that came out of the Middle East prior to the USA declaring war on anyone other than a fairly nebulous concept of "terrorist groups".

Under that heading are such groups as the IRA, which only a few years ago (and perhaps today - I really have no idea) was raising funds in bars in New York (which has a large Irish descent population). No arrests there, that I know of, but then, the NY constabulary is noted world wide (courtesy of numberous cop shows) as being made up of mainly Irish emigrees. I wonder if there is some connection?

Re:Worrying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675844)

"To be fair, the US has been doing that for quite a while now"


To be fair, EVERY country does this. Violate THEIR laws, suffer THEIR courts laws.

Re:Worrying... (3, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675786)


Can anyone explain under what pretense the US gets to arrest noncitizens for violating US law?

If a person has violated US law and is located in the US, regardless of his citizenship he is certainly subject to arrest and prosecution. This is true the world over. If you are on the soil of country XYZ you are subject to their laws. If I were to break a Canadian law by electronic means (say stealing funds by hacking into a Canadian Bank) from the US, don't you think that I would be arrested by Canadian Police if they later found me travelling in Canada? Of course I would.

Now of course there is a question as to whether these two actually violated US law, but that will be determined in court soon enough. I am sure that the Canadian Ambassador is twisting arms to get to the root of this.

Re:Worrying... (3, Insightful)

moxley (895517) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675836)

I can explain it. It's called the "our-government-passes-vaguely-worded-laws-then-in tperets-them-however-they-like-in-order-to-do-what ever-the-fuck-they-want-to-whoever-whenever" rule; (and they don't let little things like constitutions, sovereign borders, human rights, or rule of law dissuade them). You may not have heard of this rule yet, it was attached as a last minute amendment to a spending bill. (yes, I think it's time to remake that old schoolhouse rock).

Re:Worrying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675184)

Using the American telecommunications infrastructure in a criminal enterprise organized as a corporation in another country may well be legal in another place. It's not legal in the US. An element of the crime, a serious felony, was commited in the US. Their intent was where their crime was. Don't break American laws in America. Where they were sitting at the time their enterprise was commiting crimes in America is irrelevent. Why do so many think they have the right to break American laws in America without fear of reprisal? Seriously, this is why Rome had the right idea on foreign policy. You can't make people love you, and while not as effective and more expensive, fear is more reliable.

Re:Worrying... (1)

madsheep (984404) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675366)

Well depending on what you have done it might not be that simple either. There are various extradition agreements with various countries. So depending on what you have been done you may get the boot over to the U.S. anyway. In the event you are not in a country or locality with an extradition agreement, they may also make a note with INTERPOL and if you ever travel to anywhere that the U.S. does have an agreement with.. chances are you'll be detained. However, I would agree that they probably won't go to such steps for things like this. I fnd this ridiculous.

Re:Worrying... (0)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675510)

Good, stay the fuck out, hippy.

Fun while it lasted. (4, Insightful)

squirrl811 (857882) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674864)

Well, I played too much online poker anyways.

I don't see why the federal government is making such a huge deal out of online gambling, aside from the fact that it is currently not taxed. I don't really think the government deserves any more money, but I'd rather pay a small tax on my gaming than have it outlawed as some mysteriously corrupt moral issue. Other than taxation, how is this any different from the government endorsed lottery or allowed casinos in Atlantic City and Vegas?

Re:Fun while it lasted. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17674934)

You keep saying "other than taxation" like it's a small thing...

Re:Fun while it lasted. (0, Redundant)

complete loony (663508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675348)

And you trust their software to shuffle the cards without bias?

At least in a casino you can see the exact process used to maintain the deck. With software you have no hope.

Re:Fun while it lasted. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675406)

And you trust their software to shuffle the cards without bias?

It would be stupid for them to cheat. All that matters to them is that people are playing. Once they have that it's a license to print money. The real risk of online poker is cheating from other players. And they take that seriously. I've written software for one to help them analyze playing patterns and detect collusion. They *want* the games to be as fair as possible. It's their best strategy.

Re:Fun while it lasted. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675432)

Why would an online casino stack the deck? They make money no matter who wins. The more people playing, the more money they make. If players suspected any sort of Tom-foolery they might leave. The casinos have way more to lose than they have to gain by doing it.

Re:Fun while it lasted. (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675600)

I have the same level of trust of online gaming for real money, as I have for proprietary electronic voting machines, and for the same reasons. Only the people who work there know how fair or unfair the dealing is, and if you have gathered enough statistical information to verify the randomness of the shuffling, you're have enough information to cheat anyway.

Off topic, So you modded me down, replied as an AC and modded your own reply up?

Re:Fun while it lasted. (4, Insightful)

Pfhreakaz0id (82141) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675620)

I have a database of 80,000 hands of online poker (which is small potatoes compared to some). Everything is in statitistical line with what it should be (and yes, I've even ran queries of how often I flop a pair, etc.).

The house has no interest in stacking the deck. They are making a crapload. The people who say this are generally people who lost a bunch of money playing online poker, probably because (GASP) they aren't very good.

Re:Fun while it lasted. (4, Interesting)

ttys00 (235472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675518)

The reason the government cares is that half a dozen native Indian tribes, who happen to own casinos, have bought a large bunch of politicians. Jack Abramoff was acting as the router to distribute the cash amongst congressmen. They and their constituents don't care about online gambling - they are just voting on legislation the way their "campaign contributors" tell them to vote.

Also, as you say, tax is part of it. There is a large budget deficit, and outlawing online gambling before raising taxes on casino gambling would go part of the way towards filling the hole in the government's finances.

ummmm. (1)

Pfhreakaz0id (82141) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675652)

you do know you're supposed to pay taxes on it, right? (all gambling winnings). If you are audited you WILL be asked to explain what those deposits are for.

Last Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17674868)

Zeus sucks cock [twofo.co.uk]

Help shut down the illegal filesharing community at Warwick University, United Kingdom

By taking dc++ to hub.twofo.co.uk:4144 and saying "Zeus sucks cocks"

Last post

Those executives should've gotten into warmaking. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17674876)

The warmaking industry is apparently a far safer place for an executive to be. After all, their products are only being used to kill people. It's not like they're offering a completely voluntary service like gambling, which of course is among the most terrible things that can be done. I mean, how dare somebody be given the ability to spend their money as they choose!

US is trying to enforce its law on the whole world (5, Insightful)

viking80 (697716) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674880)

It is worrisome how the US is trying to enforce its law on the whole world.

Many companies/people operate fully within the law of the land they live in. If this is breaking a US law, then the US should work with that government to harmonize the laws.

This is similar to how Muslim courts found danish cartoonist guilty of depicting mohammed, and condemned them to death.

Re:US is trying to enforce its law on the whole wo (-1, Flamebait)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674916)

Well considering we tried to let the world "do it's own thing" and got dragged into TWO FUCKING WORLD WARS, I think we're a little annoyed at the prospect of doing another one.

Re:US is trying to enforce its law on the whole wo (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675024)

> I think we're a little annoyed at the prospect of doing another one.

I think everyone else is a little annoyed at that prospect too. But I don't really see what WW2 has to do with the US arresting noncitizens for violating US law.

Re:US is trying to enforce its law on the whole wo (1)

clark0r (925569) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675412)

You "tried"? What makes you think you have to right to allow people to live their own lives? It wasn't your right to give in the first place. As for being annoyed at the prospect of 'doing another one', maybe you should vote some people into power who are intent on causing another one.

Re:US is trying to enforce its law on the whole wo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675424)

Exactly RIGHT!!!111!!!!

I agree with you 100%!

Its just like our liberation of the Iraqi people -

Re:US is trying to enforce its law on the whole wo (0, Offtopic)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675634)

Pssst. Perhaps we wanted a civil war eh?

The little dickins are doing great killing themselves off that even Iran and Syria are into the fray. Saudia Arabia want to join in too according to recent news. Now with all the Arab nations talking jihad against the USA for the last 25 years, how brilliant would it be to take the lid off a little barbaric inbred state of holy-fuck-ups and let the whole Arab world implode? And to do it with less than 100,000 troops to destabalize the region just long enough before we allow total chaos to take control?

I think that's fucking genius. Scorched earth in reverse. Hey - fuck with us - we'll let you devolve into a civil war that will keep you killing one another for 50-100 years. Fantastic! And best part? We get to watch the whole thing on TV! The broadcast rights alone are worth a fortune!

Re:US is trying to enforce its law on the whole wo (0, Flamebait)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674944)

Fine then - Somolia? Go fuck yourselves. We're being told we're the world's fucking policemen. You may now go back to killing off half of your population. Go wild. Don't forget to hatchet the babies. Them toddlers slice up nice for the high-holy days. Could you post it on YouTube too?

Re:US is trying to enforce its law on the whole wo (0, Troll)

clark0r (925569) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675442)

Fine then! Iraq? 300k+ dead in a year? Nice going America! Good job you did there.

Re:US is trying to enforce its law on the whole wo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675542)

Cute lie there. Want to break that out between people the Americans killed and people the Iranian funded terrorists killed. Hell, even the NY Times plainly states that the Iranians are funding terrorists in a BIG WAY. It's not a right wing conspiracy theory. It's a proxy war.

Re:US is trying to enforce its law on the whole wo (0, Troll)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675574)

I see Somalia could use your help - aw darn - your country doesn't give two shits about human life. All talk - and NO FUCKING ACTION. Oh but if someone get's off their asses after getting attacked it's blame the victim time. You must have great rape trials in your turf. "Your honor - the fucking whore asked for it". Oh and your numbers for the Iraqi's is about as accurate as your Holocaust denials.

Great fucking math. Keep it up. Perhaps after you learn to count - you'll be able to do science you religious inbred fucks.

Re:US is trying to enforce its law on the whole wo (1, Insightful)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675078)

"It is worrisome how the US is trying to enforce its law on the whole world."

Respectfully, I have to call bullshit. It's not the US trying to enforce its law on the whole world. Its the US trying to enforce its laws within their borders. Gambling businesses are making money from people living within US borders where that business is illegal. If you violate US law, don't step foot within their borders. They may arrest you. Having said that, the US would do a whole lot better working with these folks for a share of the profits. It certainly is not unreasonable to say, "Give us a share for letting your business be legal in our jurisdiction". Besides, it might subsidize my income tax.

Re:US is trying to enforce its law on the whole wo (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675310)

Respectfully, I have to call bullshit. It's not the US trying to enforce its law on the whole world. Its the US trying to enforce its laws within their borders. Gambling businesses are making money from people living within US borders where that business is illegal. If you violate US law, don't step foot within their borders.

Why doesn't the US just be a bit more honest with its citizens and setup a Chinese style firewall around the entire country?

Much more honest for Americans to see a "The Bush administration is preventing you from gambling for your own good" page then to have the US attempting to enforce it's laws across the entire internet.

Re:US is trying to enforce its law on the whole wo (1)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675394)

"Why doesn't the US just be a bit more honest with its citizens and setup a Chinese style firewall around the entire country?

Much more honest for Americans to see a "The Bush administration is preventing you from gambling for your own good" page then to have the US attempting to enforce it's laws across the entire internet."

I can't argue with that in the least. But, everyone knows the US government is not exactly honest with their citizens, much less the world.

Re:US is trying to enforce its law on the whole wo (4, Insightful)

viking80 (697716) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675402)

What you are suggesting is very dangerous. If I put up a web page, it should sufficethat I comply with all local laws.

If I have to consider the laws of all nations in the world, I pretty much have to hire attorneys from each of the contries to review my website.
And I can not:
1. Enjoy fredom of expression (Illegal all over, including china)
2. Critizise leaders (putin, il-jung-sum, most communists and others)
3. Advertize alcoholic beverages (Illegal in many arab countires)
4. Have any sexual material (again illegal in many countires)
5. Have any religious material worshipping any other gods than allah
6. Have any religious material worshipping any other gods than jhave
7. Have any religious material worshipping any other gods than
8. Download music(illegal in USA)

An in many cases illegal means "To be stoned to death"

Is this what you advocate?

Re:US is trying to enforce its law on the whole wo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675850)

On behalf of Grammar Nazis everywhere, I say that with spelling and capitalization like that, it's probably best if you don't put up a web site.

Isn't a policy restricting what US banks do nicer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675864)

If you set up a site you better comply with the local laws where you have a business relationship with customers. For instance you can't sell morphine to anyone for any reason anywhere in the world from a Liberian internet cafe and DHL then when you're arrested say, but I just set up a website and there's no law to speak of in Liberia.

This was an illegal business, an organized criminal enterprise really, in America. All they had to do, not do business over the American telecommunications infrastructure. But they wanted the money. So now they get the hammer too. Good. Respect our laws and we'll respect you. Don't, what happens in federal pound me in the ass prison stays there, unless it's aids, herpies, or hepititis c.

To recap. Listing Nazi war booty on eBay should be legal everywhere but probably Germany and France. So Germans and the French shouldn't be able to list items on American eBay, but that's a job for their local authorities since it is legal to list those items in the US. But an American listing a similar item on American ebay isn't breaking a law anywhere. Actually selling Nazi war booty, well you're probably better off not dealing with people from Germany and France. So if they win an auction, it might be better to think before one finishes the transaction.

Likewise a website selling Christian/Hindu/Jewish anything probably isn't very smart doing business in Iran or Saudi Arabia (not that your customers won't end up dead shortly anyway). So check the addresses on those CC numbers. But a christian/hindu/jewish anything that simply gives whatever away like candy in a dish, doesn't have a relationship with it's users that can constitute intent to commit a crime. Don't sell illegal services where they are illegal. There's a lot of precidence under US to back this up.

Re:US is trying to enforce its law on the whole wo (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675666)

The issue isn't the US enforcing its laws within its own border.

The real issue is the US enforcing laws made after the act.
Arresting someone for something that was legal at the time it was done is not reasonable.

Re:US is trying to enforce its law on the whole wo (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675874)

Its the US trying to enforce its laws within their borders.

In case you didn't notice, the site's based outside of the US, which means the crime's not being committed within the US.

Re:US is trying to enforce its law on the whole wo (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675880)

It is worrisome how the US is trying to enforce its law on the whole world.

Not in this case. The violations in US law are alleged to have occurred within the US. I am afraid that if you are going to do business with people living in the US you are subject to US law. If you do this business illegally from a foriegn country and then travel to the US you are subject to prosecution within the US.

The US is not telling the Canadian government or Canadian citizens how to act in Canada. In fact all this protest is due to Canadians trying to export their laws and operating practices to the US. Not the other way around.

Though it won't help them now... (3, Informative)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674884)

...the solution for these people who want to run a business like this is to never go to or trade within America. Ever.

What a sad state of affairs.

Stupidity or Ignorance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17674892)

That's the only question. Why, after the US has more or less declared you (your business, etc) an outlaw, would you choose to travel through it? In this day and age of 'save the children from the terrorists', when anal probes and 'passenger watchlists' are the norm in airports, what could you be thinking?

Oh well, I have to leave now. The lottery has gotten pretty big, and I need to go buy as many tickets as I can with my welfare checks. Big monnnnneeyy! Here I come! Maybe on the way to the store, I'll stop at the local indian casino for a few rounds of blackjack. On the way back, there's always the horses too!

Re:Stupidity or Ignorance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675304)

Please keep what you do with horses to yourself. That too is illegal here.

Tourist Mecca (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674898)

Not only will you be fingerprinted when you get here, there is a high chance of a search as well. Oh, and if you've broken any laws we don't like, even if you weren't in the US, we may just arrest you as you pass through. I'd say we are developing some isolationist policies, but then we are invading other countries at the same time, so I can't find any consistency within our foreign policy. Like the forgive illegal aliens push, while building a fence to prevent more...

Re:Tourist Mecca (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675578)

Oh, and if you've broken any laws we don't like, even if you weren't in the US

Well, you can rant all you want, but the whole point is that these guys are the primary money behind a company that was doing financial business in the US contrary to US law. It's not exactly a mystery.

Out of Curiosity... (4, Interesting)

Sorthum (123064) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674902)

...are they being charged with violating this new law, or with other laws that are already on the books? Since they haven't done anything but own stock in the company since 2005, one would think that they couldn't be accused of crimes they committed before they were classed as illegal...

Re:Out of Curiosity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675756)

Wouldn't that have a sobering effect on big business though, if shareholders had to accept their percentage of the blame for everything the company does, not just take the interest?

FTA (1)

lorcha (464930) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675758)

They are charged with money laundering, not the UIGEA. That seems to be a bit of a stretch, but what do I know?

Just too strange for words (5, Insightful)

Tet (2721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674914)

the FBI arrested two former Neteller executives in 'connection with the creation and operation of an Internet payment services company that facilitated the transfer of billions of dollars of illegal gambling proceeds.'

Leaving aside for a moment the ridiculous two faced nature of American anti-gambling laws, this is just beyond a joke. As I understand it, the two former execs in question had left the company before the SAFE Port Act was passed. So they've been arrested for setting up a company that is 100% legal in their country of origin, and was legal at the time in the USA as well (in fact, it's still legal for non-gambling related payments), and they no longer have anything to do with the company in question, aside from still holding shares.

"Land of the free", huh? I'm lost for words. The American legal system is just a joke.

Re:Just too strange for words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675410)

"Land of the free", huh? I'm lost for words.

It's free as in beer, not as in freedom.

The American legal system is just a joke.

No, jokes are funny. See above.

I find this slightly flawed (1)

thedarknite (1031380) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674936)

"connection with the creation and operation of an Internet payment services company that facilitated the transfer of billions of dollars of illegal gambling proceeds from United States citizens to the owners of various Internet gambling companies located overseas," Especially since according to the article they are not involved in the operation of Neteller and when the company was formed this law didn't exist.

Alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17674956)

As a U.S. citizen this pisses me off.

I currently have funds in an online casino and now I'm not sure how to withdraw.

Anyone have any advice on the next best alternative to get funds out?

Re:Alternative? (2, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674980)

Anyone have any advice on the next best alternative to get funds out?

All of it. On Red. Repeat until there isn't any more there.

Re:Alternative? (1)

PreacherTom (1000306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675234)

I believe that e-passporte is still valid for US customers. I also believe that some sites will mail checks to the US.

Free Trade means Me Trade (5, Informative)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675022)

The U.S. Internet Gambling laws were only passed because British companies were dominating the market. If it the law was passed for moral reasons as its proponents (and much of the press) reported, then why not shut down Las Vegas too?

It shows how one sided the U.S. is when it comes to trade. Britain is a loyal (sickeningly loyal) friend of the U.S., and look how they get treated. With friends and enemies alike, the U.S. like thugs and wonders why it's become so unpopular.

BTW U.S. = government and big business. Not talking about your average Joe, who is as much a victim as everyone else.

Re:Free Trade means Me Trade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675500)

No it means the USA is a country found by Puritains.
It is illegel to gamble by wire here. You can only gamble in person where it is permitted.
If they were involved in illegal gambling they are idiots for passing through here.
The Ex CEO of Symbol Corp is wanted here. I am sure he has a list of every country that might extrdite him if he passes through. The played the game and lost. Irony.

Re:Free Trade means Me Trade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675688)

found by Puritains

The founders were all long dead by the time this law was passed.

dangerous world (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675052)

As a former employee of Neteller, I've got to say that this is a pretty scary situation.

Neteller wasn't a sketchy operation being run in some warehouse. It employed over 500 people in Canada and paid taxes to the government here.

The company had a lot of dealings with various state governments in the US and had agreed to several restrictions long before the recent bill passed that made online gambling in the US completely illegal.

The firm employed nearly 100 software developers, many were consultants and contractors that were flown in from california. I'm sure that I'm not the only ex-employee now concerned about having to deal with the US government in the future.

Usual knee-jerk reactions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675120)

The whole issue could have been avoided if NetTeller had made a reasonable attempt to comply with U.S. regulations since they are offering services to U.S. residents. Usually an online business is in compliance if they make an effort at screening their custoners. NetTeller chose not to do so. E*Trade has to comply with French laws. GE has to comply with Australian laws if they wish to do business in Australia. There's a cost associated but it's SOP in the business world.

That said, Vegas, Atlantic City & the State Lotteries don't like competition.

Why all gambling is illegal? (3, Interesting)

zoftie (195518) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675164)

Because all gambling isn't illegal means US government is protecting someone else's interests and its own profits -> tax revenue. Because there is alot of money going across the board, and taxes aren't paid. And none of these people are friends of Bush family. If there were, this little problem would silently go away. All in all, liberty in america it has become is for those who are with a largest pocketbook. It is pretty bad, but not as bad in some other places.

Though the fact that executive staff were not employed by the company anymore. What can they do? Put them into a jail? I smell political agenda there, not justice for preservation of liberty and freedom of the peoples of the country.
2c

That can't be it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675332)

If the US government cared about "its own profits" it would do something about the Billions that flow illegally to south of its border. A big fence would be a start.

Passing through. (2, Insightful)

gnomeza (649598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675238)

So *this* is the reason there's no such thing as sterile transit through US airports. gfd.

As regards Internet gambling in general (3, Funny)

troll -1 (956834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675264)

I think Jon Stewart [youtube.com] sums it up pretty well. Some things are so absurd they're actually funny.

Did anyone else mistake that as Nutella? (1)

KingKaneOfNod (583208) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675342)

I thought maybe the US was trying to cut down on its chocolate intake. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutella [wikipedia.org]

The Why of this (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675346)

Internet gambling from the US results in (a) no taxes, (b) no regulation and (c) no oversight. Gambling in the US is one of the most regulated and watched industries there is. The assumption seems to be in the US that any sort of gambling is operated by organized crime and has the objective of cheating people. Why is this assumption here? Because it is true in the US. Las Vegas was controlled completely by the mob.

So, a large part of this is the assumption that people are being cheated because there is no oversight to prove otherwise. I don't know why they don't take that approach - lots of public service announcements about how all Internet gambling is cheating. The problem is that it may not be true - irrelevent to the US mindset.

Taxation is another aspect that isn't all that easy to fix. Again, without overside it would be impossible to assess taxes. Of course, the assumption by anyone in the gsming business in the US is that the casino is cheating on the taxes as well. Why? History in the US.

frrost pi5t!? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675378)

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Send the message (3, Interesting)

Lothsahn (221388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675386)

If you live in the US, send this message to the president. Let's make it clear what the people of the United States want.

The president's email address is: comments@whitehouse.gov

Subject: Release Neteller Execs

Two former NETELLER executives were detained while traveling separately through the United States yesterday (Jan. 15) in "connection with the creation and operation of an Internet payment services company that facilitated the transfer of billions of dollars of illegal gambling proceeds from United States citizens to the owners of various Internet gambling companies located overseas," according to the U.S. Attorney General's office of Southern New York.

The two executives are: Stephen Eric Lawrence and John David Lefebvre.

I don't know all the facts yet about these men--the full story will come out in time, but arrests like these men, Maher Arar, and Sklyarov make the United States look VERY bad. This is hurting our economy, our public image, and our relations with the rest of the world. This is encouraging (although not the cause of) people to oppose the United States on many levels, and I believe it is making the current terrorist situation worse.

These two men are Canadian citizens, and they have been arrested for performing an activity against a law which was not passed at that time, for a company which perfomed a legitimate service which was and still is legal under Canadian law. It is not the US's prerogative to enforce our view of the law against people in other nations.

Canada is one of our closest allies. By alienating them we are hurting ourselves.

We have to stop arresting businessmen who are traveling through the United States and performing legal legitimate services in other countries -- as long as they are not threatening our national security. It is an offense to those other countries' law and it will damage our Economy and public image. I only want what is best for the United States and Justice. I want to see the freedom for all that you so often preach.

I call for a quick release of all facts, and if necessary a presidential pardon of the two people involved. Show the world that the United States truly is the home of the free.

Re:Send the message (1)

Mogster (459037) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675622)

And if you live outside the US then perhaps send a similar message to your Foreign Minister (or local equiv) alerting them to the situation and request that they lobby the US to not interfere with legitimate business affairs in a Sovereign State.

Tit for Tat (2, Interesting)

PhyrricVictory (773671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675438)

Arrest US software execs when they go abroad. Nazi memorabilia found using your search-engine/auction/etc, goto French jail. And so on. Raising the cost of stupidity is the only way to show some regimes.

Folding Your Opponent's Hand (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675474)

The offline casinos, not just in the US, must love this action. I wonder how much they paid for it?

John Lefebvre is a philanthopist (2, Informative)

bigjarom (950328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675538)

Seriously, Lefebvre is known here in Calgary (where he is from) for donating lots of money to various social causes and institutions. Now all he'll be donating is a lot of spare time to the US 'PMITA' system. What a shame that those backwards Americans are so high and mighty with their 'morals' and 'values' and what not. It's not like gambling is a huge crime either. Can't someone enjoy a night of online gambling in the privacy of their own home without big brother poking around? Where's the harm? If Lefebvre had been arrested here in Canada he would have got house arrest at the most. I'm sure he'll do some jail time in the states though. Sorry, it's not very often that Canada is good for too much. I have to flaunt it a bit.

won't someone please, please arrest the US Gov't? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675556)

Seriously. We need protection from these guys.

Similar topic: helping censored people abroad. (1)

Lethyos (408045) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675680)

I want to set up a proxy for people in China to use so they can avoid censorship. If I did this, and I ever visited China (which I hope to do some day), is there a chance I would be arrested if the Chinese government became aware of this hypothetical service and my identity? My assumption would be an affirmative “yes”, but what do any of you think? I am sure there are some international travelers on Slashdot who may do something similar.

Is it time to change the name of the country (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675872)

from "United States of America" to "Police State of America"?
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