January 14, 2022Jon Sofen
Chris Moneymaker isn’t a plaintiff in a lawsuit against PayPal, but he could play a key role in assisting Poker League of Nations (PLON) founder Lena Evans in retrieving nearly $27,000 in confiscated funds from the online payment processing giant.
The 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion’s PayPal account was frozen and then terminated due to User Agreement (also referred to as Terms of Service) violations back in May 2021. He had over $12,000 in his account balance at the time, money that was initially confiscated by PayPal.
Moneymaker threatened a lawsuit and, to avoid public scrutiny, PayPal decided to return the funds to the Americas Cardroom ambassador. Per the company’s TOS, customers aren’t permitted to use a PayPal account for accepting and making gambling-related payments. The former world champion had received some payments for a fantasy sports league he runs, which was deemed a TOS violation.
But many argue that even if a user violates TOS, PayPal shouldn’t have a right to keep the funds remaining in the account, and this is where the outcome of a pending lawsuit will depend on how the case is presented by both sides.
Evans Seeks Legal Action
Evans and two other plaintiffs have filed a class action lawsuit against PayPal in the United States District Court Northern District of California, hoping to retrieve confiscated account balances and other damages. The 37-page document filed January 13 by the Bensamochan Law Firm explains the case against the Defendant (PayPal).
Evans told PokerNews her account was initially frozen in May 2021 for, as she was informed via an email, violating Terms of Service. In November 2021, PayPal sent her another email advising her that her account was terminated and that the remaining balance, over $26,000, would be confiscated.
She said she wasn’t given much of an explanation. When asked what her PayPal account was used for, she said it was a necessary means for conducting business.
“The PLON account was used for donations to support our free community,” Evans told PokerNews. “The PLONcares account is used to raise funds and make donations to support women in the poker community.”
PLONcares is a charitable effort within Poker League of Nations, the world’s largest women’s poker organization, intended to promote female empowerment.
“We recently raised funds to help support members who were affected by the Kentucky hurricane,” Evans said of her PayPal transactions. “We donated funds to a member who needed assistance with a child custody battle, another member who was post-op from breast cancer surgery, to Toys for Tots, and other individuals and organizations supporting women and children.
Evans said the emails from PayPal didn’t clarify the specific TOS violations she supposedly committed. She argues that even if she violated TOS in some way, it’s “not legal for them to just steal my money.”
Moneymaker’s Role in the Case
Moneymaker won …….