Neteller Rolls over

I can’t say I’m very surprised to hear it, but today it became official. Neteller is rolling over to save itself from the headache and expense of a fight with the DOJ. Neteller [1] issued a press release today. The lowlights are the following:

The discussions between [Neteller’s] legal advisers and the USAO are ongoing. [Neteller] is, under advice of its legal advisers, commencing production of documents and intends to cooperate with the USAO in its investigation.

I can only assume that “commencing production of documents” is a slight euphemism for “showing the USAO all of our books.” From this point forward, if you are an American who has used Neteller, I think you can assume that the Feds know exactly how much you’ve transferred to and from Neteller, and they know what your balance has been at all times.

That fact, of course, has tax implications. There are two major ones. First, if you have ever had at any time an aggregate of $10,000 in an offshore account (and I would assume Neteller qualifies), you must [2] disclose that fact to the Treasury Department. If you have had $10,000 in the account, and you haven’t disclosed it, bad stuff can happen to you.

Second, of course, is that the Feds can now cross reference Neteller activity with tax returns and look for discrepancies. Audits are, no doubt, forthcoming.

Neteller’s second bombshell is that the Feds have currently seized some funds that were in transit between Neteller and US banks. But don’t sweat it, the guys at Neteller assure us that

To the best of [Neteller’s] knowledge, it believes that the amount of funds seized by the USAO or otherwise restricted by third parties does not exceed US$ 55 million.

Don’t worry. It’s only 55 bills. Plus the however much other money that hasn’t been seized, but has been instead frozen. It’s a big win for the Feds however you slice it.

Anyway, who knows what’s going to happen. The bottom line is that the Feds have snagged the biggest fish in the pond. The fish is going down without a fight. They are handing over their records and negotiating for return of the seized funds. I would guess that some funds will remain seized, and some funds will be released. And that the Feds will start going after some of the “high volume” players.

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