Illegally “seizing” Fantasy Football Funds?

A class action lawsuit led by Chris Moneymaker, 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event champion, was filed Thursday against PayPal. It comes after many private leagues noticed that their entry fees were frozen or seized entirely by the payment service after the fantasy football season. Moneymaker is now urging others to join the PayPal case.

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court, Northern District of California, states, “This action stems from (PayPal)’s widespread business practices of unilaterally seizing funds from its customers’ financial accounts, without cause and without any fair or equitable process.”

PayPal’s terms and conditions state, unless a gaming merchant has been approved by PayPal, “Account holders may not use PayPal to send or receive payments for any gaming activity, including but not limited to payments for bets, game debts and game winnings.”

However, the plaintiffs in the PayPal case argue that while it may be within its terms to ban users from their app / website, “PayPal’s user agreement and acceptable usage policy cannot be used as a ‘license to steal’. There is no fair or legal argument. , which tolerates theft. “

More emails sent by The lines to PayPal Media Relations, which asked for clarity so that others in fantasy sports leagues do not get their money frozen or seized, was not answered. If that changes, we’ll update this article.

Chris Moneymaker advises on PayPal litigation

So how did the 2003 WSOP champion get involved in this lawsuit against PayPal? Moneymaker played in a 12-team fantasy football league with his friends with entry fees of $ 1,000 each. PayPal froze the money. All entry fees are worth $ 12,000.

Moneymaker told The lines PayPal has since returned his $ 12,000, but others have not been so lucky. Since his money was returned, he is no longer a plaintiff in the PayPal case, but he has become an advisor to The Bensamochan Law Firm Inc., the attorneys who filed the complaint.

“They returned my money after I threatened a class action lawsuit and it got steam,” he said.

Moneymaker on Thursday night announced a way to join the class action lawsuit for anyone who has experienced a similar situation with PayPal or Venmo, which is owned by PayPal.

The law firm Bensamochan would like to hear from any other person who has had money confiscated by @PayPal for an alleged breach of its user agreement or acceptable use policy, “Moneymaker tweeted. “Please use the following email address: [email protected]”

Social media lights up with similar PayPal horror stories

Fantasy Football Twitter turned on about a week ago with others sharing stories that PayPal should freeze or seize money. Many responded to Scott Fish, the creator of the popular charity league called the Scott Fish Bowl, which raises money each year primarily to get holiday gifts for kids around the country who otherwise would not get any.

“PayPal froze my account for 180 days. A month later, they seized the $ 1,660 balance and claimed it was for compensation because an owner had written fantasy football in the comments. one person tweeted in a reply to Fish. “Venmo is now owned by PayPal and has the same terms of service that prohibit fantasy sports. Beware!”

“They seized thousands, not hundreds,” another person posted. “PLEASE DO NOT USE PAYPAL, even if your state-approved sports bet is still a violation I have learned.”

Advice for Fantasy Football, March Madness Pools, etc.

Let’s be honest here. Asking people to stop playing in private fantasy football leagues, March Madness pools, etc. is probably not a realistic solution. So what should fantasy sports fans who still want to play do?

Fish’s advice is to stop using PayPal or Venmo immediately as an almost bank account for access fees.

“The old way of leaving comments blank or putting something like ‘Happy Birthday’ no longer cheats PayPal and they find out in other ways,” Fish said..

Authorized options like LeagueSafe are available for a small fee and offer full transparency to all members of your league or pool.

Chris Moneymakers advice after helping file the PayPal lawsuit?

“Learn how to use crypto.”

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