Chris Moneymaker to sue PayPal for $12,000 in seized funds

Chris Moneymaker to sue PayPal for $12,000 in seized funds
Poker writer Geoff Fisk profile photo
Geoff Fisk
Posted on: May 27, 2021 06:12 PDT

Press release from Bensamocahn Law Firm announces intent to file the lawsuit on Moneymaker's behalf

Americas Cardroom Team Pro Chris Moneymaker lost $12,000 in confiscated funds to PayPal last month, and he’s hired a legal team to sue the payment processing giant.

The Bensamocahn Law Firm announced the intended legal action in a Thursday press release. Moneymaker saw $12,000 in PayPal funds frozen for months, before getting a message from PayPal that it would seize those funds permanently.

The funds in question appear to be related to a fantasy football league Moneymaker participated in last season. PayPal's argument seems to be that Moneymaker violated their terms of service by using the site for gambling-related purposes. What's not clear is how the payments processor thinks they're entitled to claim the poker player's money, rather than simply kicking him off the site.

This does not appear to be the first time PayPal has confiscated funds from users. It's unclear at this time exactly how much money the payments giant has claimed as its own in cases like this, but Moneymaker's legal action looks like it has the potential to turn into quite a large class action suit.

The entire press release is presented below. Note that the one mention of "$12,0000" is almost certainly a typo.


Poker Hall of Famer invites others to join him in class action suitto stand up to the “payments bully”

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – MAY 27, 2021—Renowned poker player Chris Moneymaker plans to file legal action against PayPal, after the global payment processing company froze $12,000 of funds in his account for more than six months, before seizing the funds this month without any justification.

Moneymaker, who is one of the world’s best-known poker players, has retained Bensamochan Law Firm to file an action against PayPal Holdings Inc. in Federal Court for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and bad faith, among other causes of action.

“I’ll leave to my lawyers to determine what the law says, but I think this is straight-up theft and Paypal is a payments bully,” said Moneymaker, who is a member of the Poker Hall of Fame and is credited with igniting the online poker phenomenon after he won $2.5 million at the World Series of Poker in 2003. “This is less about the money – though $12,0000 is a lot of money – it’s about the principle of stealing other people’s money and hiding behind thousands of words of legal mumbo jumbo that no one reads.”

Bensamochan says the facts are as simple as they are shocking: Moneymaker and 11 friends entered into a Fantasy Sports league for the 2020 NFL season. Each participant paid $1,000 to be in the league. Moneymaker agreed to hold the funds in his PayPal account. In November 2020, PayPal emailed Moneymaker that his account had been “limited” due to a violation of its User Agreement – a 62-page document that refers to a separate Acceptable Use Policy.

In May 2021, Moneymaker says that rather than unwind the transactions by returning the funds to each of the individuals, PayPal informed him that it was confiscating the entire $12,000. In an email to Moneymaker, PayPal offered no justification for its confiscation of his funds. PayPal is a publicly traded American company based in San Jose, CA.

Since highlighting the incident on Twitter, Moneymaker as been contacted by many other poker players and consumers who say PayPal has confiscated their funds. “Somebody has to stand up to these guys,” Moneymaker said. “I’m going to continue to use my status and my social media channels to expose these immoral and illegal practices and ask others to join my lawsuit against PayPal.”

The Bensamochan Law Firm would like to hear from any other individual who have had money confiscated by PayPal for an alleged violation of its User Agreement or Acceptable Use Policy. Please use the following email address:

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Media inquiries

Eric Bensamochan

(818) 574-5740