Philanthropist, pro poker player, and a two-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Lena Evans is a part of a lawsuit against the digital payment company PayPal. Last week, Bensamochan Law Firm filed a lawsuit with the Northern District of California, United States.
Plaintiffs Seek to Recover Seized Funds from PayPal, File Lawsuit
The lawsuit comes after the digital giant allegedly seized funds belonging to Evans, as well as two other plaintiffs. The 37-page court document reveals that PayPal froze some $26,984 from Evans’ PayPal account. On the other hand, Roni Shemtov, the second plaintiff had some $42.737 seized from his PayPal account. The third plaintiff, Shbadan Akylbekov, had $172,206 seized from his account.
“This action stems from Defendant’s widespread business practice of unilaterally seizing funds from its clients’ financial accounts, without cause and without any fair or due process,”
reads the class-action lawsuit filed by Bensamochan Law Firm
Evans claims that she used her PayPal account to help her run the Poker League of Nations (PLO). PLO is in fact the world’s largest women’s poker organization and was founded by Evans. The initial seizure of funds happened on November 22, 2020, according to the lawsuit. Back then, Evans learned that her PayPal account was frozen. Then, in May 2021, she understood that PayPal had seized $26,984 from her account without notifying her. According to the court document, despite the multiple attempts to contact PayPal, Evans wasn’t able to reach and discuss the issue with a live person.
Lawsuit Claims PayPal “Shoots First and Asks Questions Later”
The lawsuit deemed the seizure of funds as unlawful. It describes that PayPal alleged violations to its Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) which resulted in the seizure of funds, but the plaintiffs were not provided with a copy of the AUP when they started using the platform. Moreover, the court document claims that PayPal seized the funds “without first obtaining any conclusive determination of actual breaches by the users of the AUP” and without conducting an investigation to reaffirm if there were any violations.
Plaintiffs claimed that PayPal has adopted a policy described as “shooting first and asking questions later.” Alleging breaches of the Federal RICO Act, Electronic Funds Transfer Act, breaches of contract, and other violations, plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit seeking to recover three times the amount seized by the digital payment company.
This is not the first time PayPal seizes money from a famous poker player. In fact, last year in June, Chris Moneymaker, a poker pro and Poker Hall-of-Famer revealed on Twitter that he had $12,000 seized by PayPal. Although he had plans for a lawsuit, nothing happened as after 10 days his money was returned to his account.
In a statement on Twitter dated January 14, Moneymaker acknowledged that there was a lawsuit filed against PayPal. Adding #thieves he stressed, “It is amazing what they are trying to do to people.”