Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Thursday, February 08, 2007

What this Neteller BS means - I think

So I saw the press release from Neteller today telling us all that our great government seized nearly $55 million in US customers' funds that were in the process of being transferred out of Neteller. I feel bad for all of you who got fucked in this way, because I believe your money is gone, daddy, gone.

You see, our government has a tendency to sieze property and money that it thinks is acquired via illegal means. Couple that with the fact that our government has decided that gambling online is illegal, and it equals fucked. Now I'm sure a bunch of people are out cavorting with the illusion that the 270-day window of enforcement for the UIGEA hasn't closed yet, but you're wrong.

There was never a window. There was never a loophole. The minute the law was signed into effect, it became illegal to do the things that the law says are illegal. The 270-day time frame was for the Treasury department to figure out how to enforce the law. And it never said anything about not enforcing the law until 270 days were up, it merely told banks that it may take that long to figure out what they were going to have to do as a result of the law.

So if you were playing poker on the internet after the passage of the UIGEA, you were putting yourself voluntarily at risk. We were putting ourselves voluntarily at risk, because I am certainly one of the group I am addressing. If you were a financial institution transferring money to online gambling sites after the passage of the UIGEA, you were breaking the law.

So the Department of Justice saw a run on the bank after the arrests of the Neteller Two, and saw a bunch of money that they could latch onto. And they did. And there are enough murky legalities about whether or not we were all breaking the law to allow them to hold onto your money indefinitely.

Oh yeah, and since they're bringing in a team of forensic accountants (why do I get visions of Quincy with a green eyeshade?) to go over the Neteller books, they'll also likely be preparing a report to the IRS on everyone in Neteller's logs, not just the folks that have had their money seized. So if you think you dodged the bullet, don't count on it. The taxman is probably the next knock you'll hear on the door.

Sorry if I don't sound too optomistic or sympathetic, but we all knew better. I feel bad for my friends that have lost money in this debacle, especially folks that were paid via Neteller for other work that wasn't gambling, but we all shoulda seen the writing on the wall. I feel very, very lucky that I got my money out the day before they cut off Neteller cards.

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2 comments:

BadBlood said...

I agree with just about everything, except the IRS involvement. I just don't see how they can assume those transactions equate to income. But again, that's just my opinion, who the hell knows what other form of shit will hit the fan.

Grinder said...

Other work from Neteller that is not gambling??

I feel the IRS wil go after the big dogs but honestly - the IRS BECAUSE WE ARE AT WAR is SO SO understaffed and over budget that they can not possibly go after the little guys!

If you were makign a quartermil and not paying taxs - you ass is grass but unless you lhd more then $10K I'm thinking we're save.

But then again I never in a million years thought this would go this far.

Free Country MY ASS!