PayPal Hit With Lawsuit Over Unlawful Seizures of Poker Player Funds

Last Updated on January 17, 2022 Author:Adrian Sterne


  • PLON founder Lena Evans leads a class-action lawsuit against PayPal
  • The online payment service has recently courted controversy for seizing players funds without explanation
  • Chris Moneymaker previously sued the company for the same reason

PayPal is facing a class-action lawsuit for allegedly seizing customer funds. The lead plaintiff is Lena Evans, founder of the world’s largest poker group, the Poker League of Nations (PLON).

The lawsuit Evans et al v. Paypal, Inc., filed on behalf of the plaintiffs by Bensamochan Law Firm, and Schreiber & Schreiber in a district court in California, accuses the online payment service of using its User Agreement policies to freeze customer accounts and funds without proper explanation.

Funds Seized Without Valid Reason

Evans, a two-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit ring winner, claims that in November 2020, PayPal froze her account for six months without prior notice or explanation. The digital payment processor subsequently seized $26,984 in funds and Evans was left hanging in the air as to why it happened. The company was unresponsive to Evans’ emails and calls, and she also was not able to speak with any live representative despite multiple attempts to do so.

Evans, who is also the CEO of poker promotion and marketing company Helix Poker, used PayPal to operate both Helix Poker and PLON and to buy and sell clothes.

The two other plaintiffs in the suit are Roni Shemtov and Shbadan Akylbekov who also used PayPal to run their respective businesses. Shemtov had more than $42,000 of her money seized, while over $172,000 disappeared from Akylbekov’s account for allegedly breaching some portions of PayPal’s User Agreement policies.

The 37-page complaint accuses PayPal of doing illegal transactions and practices that are akin to outright theft.

Chris Moneymaker to Assist the Plaintiffs

The class-action lawsuit was sparked by Chris Moneymaker who earlier filed a lawsuit against the company. The 2003 WSOP Main Event champion said PayPal seized over $12,000 from his account without offering him a fair and sensible explanation. He was only told that he violated the company’s terms. Moneymaker used the account for a fantasy football league where he served as treasurer.

Moneymaker sued PayPal and encouraged via Twitter those who may have encountered the same experience to come forward and join him in the legal fight. The online payment company returned Moneymaker’s money just over a week following his tweet.

The Americas Cardroom ambassador is not part of the current class-action lawsuit since he already retrieved his money, but Evans said Moneymaker will serve as their advisor in the case.

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