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NETeller hopes to resolve debacle by July 13
At the eleventh hour, troubled online payment processor NETeller has released a plan to cash out up to $60 million of its customer funds frozen by the U.S. government in February.
After promising to release a plan and date for the "orderly return of funds" to its customers by June 4, the e-wallet today announced how the process would go down.
U.S. customers will be able to make a request for funds using their NETeller accounts during a designated timeframe. The entire account balance will then be transferred electronically to the bank account on record with the company, or by way of a check sent to the client's mailing address.
For those customers who have existing bank accounts registered with NETeller, the return of funds will take place once the company has confirmed that the account is still open.
No interest will be paid on the frozen money, the company warns, but adds it won't charge fees for processing the request. The NETeller account can't be used by U.S. customers for any purpose other than reclaiming funds.
The e-wallet plans to announce further progress with the U.S. Attorney's Office by July 13, NETeller CEO Ron Martin said in the release.
"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," he said.
More information about when, specifically, players can access their funds will be provided by the firm through e-mail to its customers and via press releases and its
Web site when the distribution plan is finalized, the release said.
The news may come as some consolation to professional poker players such as Isaac Haxton, whose nearly $900,000 in tournament winnings from the PokerStars.com Caribbean Adventure is frozen in his NETeller account.
In the meantime, NETeller is working on a report of its current financial status. Right now the company estimates up to $60 million was seized by the Attorney's Office or restricted by third parties.
NETeller co-founders Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebvre are expected to go to trial sometime this month, after they were arrested in the U.S. in January and charged with conspiring to promote illegal gambling.
Their arrests triggered NETeller's withdrawal from the American market and subsequent freezing of U.S. player accounts.