|Embattled online payment processor NETeller re-emerged onto the London Stock Exchange yesterday after six months of uncertainty and announced that its shares rose ten pence following early morning deals.|
NETeller shares were suspended voluntarily on January 16 pending clarification after former Directors and founder shareholders Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebvre were investigated by US authorities in the wake of America’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) legislation with its first-quarter performance being impacted 'to a material extent’.
The company had been one of the Stock Exchange’s stellar performers, earning multiple gains for investors as the company virtually monopolised the processing of money transfers by online gamblers and poker players. It earned large commissions every time customers transferred money to their NETeller e-wallets from credit cards and other sources.
Last week, NETeller entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (USAO) following its admission of guilt, which saw a resolution of the investigation into the company. Under the terms of the agreement, NETeller has consented to forfeit $136 million to the US Government in exchange for any prosecutions on Federal charges being deferred. As a consequence, NETeller will not be convicted of any Federal crime, as long the company fulfils the set conditions of the DPA over a two-year term, following which any criminal information will be dismissed.
The company said that it plans to return around $94 million to US customers with American investors learning more about the return of their funds by Monday.
NETeller also announced its 2006 financial results and issued a trading update for this year. While the 2006 results show strong profit growth, NETeller has since pulled out of the American and Canadian markets along with the smaller markets of Turkey and Israel.
'While 2007 will require a restart in terms of revenue growth, the group has many strengths and a successful track record,” said Ron Martin, Chief Executive Officer for NETeller.
“The online payments space remains a rapidly growing, highly desirable market and NETeller is committed to taking advantage of these opportunities. Despite the challenges we face, I remain optimistic about the potential for further success and stability well into the future.'