Chris Moneymaker wants to stop PayPal’s alleged “immoral and illegal” practices and he’s urging other poker players to join his fight. The online payments giant has become the subject of Moneymaker’s recent rants on social media after it confiscated $12,000 from his online account.
The 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion is now planning to sue PayPal, and has hired Eric Bensamochan to represent him in the legal battle.
Bensamochan earlier successfully defended Todd Witteless, owner of the PokerFraudAlert online forum, in his legal fight against Mike Postle, leaving the alleged poker cheat on the hook for nearly $27,000 in attorney’s fees.
A press release issued by the Bensamochan Law Firm on Thursday, May 27, stated that Moneymaker intends to take legal action against the payments processing giant for “breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and bad faith”, arising from the company’s confiscation of $12,000 from his online account.
The amount in question was related to a fantasy sports league that Moneymaker and 11 friends previously participated in. Each of the participant paid $1,000, with the American poker pro agreeing to hold the funds in his PayPal account. In November 2020, Moneymaker received an email from the e-commerce giant, notifying him that his account had been frozen due to a breach of its User Agreement.
But six months later, PayPal seized the entire $12,000 from Moneymaker’s account without any justification.
Confiscation of Funds Not Stated in PayPal’s User Agreement
PayPal generally prohibits its account holders from making transactions for gambling activities, especially in jurisdictions where gambling is illegal. The company does not allow sending or receiving payments for gambling-related activities, including payments for wagers, gambling winnings, and gambling debts regardless of how they are conducted.
Moneymaker’s activity was essentially in breach of that policy, and so PayPal has all the right to terminate his account. But the company’s act of seizing his funds is completely unjustified, and this is what Moneymaker and his legal team will contest in court.
Moneymaker’s Legal Fight Could Become Class Action Suit
In his latest tweet, Chris Moneymaker is urging fellow players whose funds may have been unreasonably confiscated by PayPal to reach out to him or his lawyers so they could launch a class action suit.
This isn’t the first time that PayPal has banned accounts for gambling-related activities. In fact, many users have reported having their accounts closed for a similar violation. But the online payments company usually returns any remaining funds to the account holder.
The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) requires banks and other financial institutions to report transactions exceeding $10,000, as part of government efforts to fight money-laundering. But the bureau does not authorize the reporting institutions to seize funds, similar to what PayPal did to Moneymaker.
Moneymaker, who currently serves as brand ambassador for US-facing online poker site Americas Cardroom, is among poker’s most recognizable names. He is a widely respected poker pro credited for the online poker boom of the 2000s. His win during the 2003 WSOP Main Event against poker veteran Sam Farha is considered one of the most remarkable victories in poker history.
Given his massive influence in the world of poker, many players who may have had similar experiences with PayPal could be motivated to join his fight against the online payments company.
PayPal originally operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay before becoming a publicly traded company in 2014. Gamblers used to fund online sites through PayPal, but following its spinoff from eBay, it has since adopted a strict stance against gambling, going as far as refusing to process transactions even for jurisdictions where online gambling is legal.
That went on for several years, until the company finally agreed to reconnect with in 2015 and become one of the site’s online payment methods. That move wasn’t very much publicized though, and did not have much of an impact on PayPal’s tough anti-gambling stance.

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