The ongoing lawsuit filed against PayPal by multiple plaintiffs over the alleged illegal confiscation of funds connected to various forms of gambling has moved into court-ordered arbitration after the California-based online payment processor successfully had the case combined with a similar case against the company in which arbitration had previous been granted.
The case, which originally featured 2003 WSOP Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker as its would-be lead plaintiff, now features Poker League of Nations founder Lena Evans in that lead-plaintiff role. PayPal quickly refunded money seized from Moneymaker in 2021, after Moneymaker vowed to sue over funds that were seized from his account that represented funds deposited into a daily fantasy sports (DFS) league that he ran. PayPal’s attempt to defuse the planned lawsuit and short-circuit negative press coverage by returning Moneymaker’s funds went awry, however, when Moneymaker’s attorney, Eric Bensamochan, sought out additional plaintiffs, including Evans, and began laying the groundwork for a planned class-action suit that was filed in January.
In response to numerous lawsuits alleging arbitrary and illegal account seizures, PayPal retained London, England-based Dentons, which bills itself as the “world’s largest law firm.” Dentons attorneys filed a motion in the California-based federal court that is hearing the Evans case, to have the matter moved into arbitration, and on June 2, 2022, that motion was granted.
‘Legal theft’ by PayPal, says Bensamochan
Bensamochan’s work on the case on behalf of his clients will continue despite the recent roadblocks thrown their way by PayPal and its counsel. Bensamochan is a poker player himself, and he recently spoke with Poker.org about the latest developments in the case while playing in the WSOP’s Mini Main event.
“My firm and the Shriver firm are extremely grateful for being chosen by, originally, Chris Moneymaker, and then Lena Evans and the rest of the community that supported us,” he told Poker.org. “We’re not giving up on any of the players or any of the community. We want everybody to get their money back in full.
“Pay Pal is literally committing their version of legal theft. The legal term for it is called conversion, but the bottom line is they cannot simply just keep everybody’s money. They can ban users, they can limit their accounts, they can forbid them from using the platform again, but PayPal can’t just keep people’s hard-earned money. They just can’t do it. And we’re going to keep fighting so they get people get their money back.
Featured image source: Haley Hintze