PayPal Refunds $12K of Frozen Funds to Chris Moneymaker in DFS-League Dispute

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California-based online wallet PayPal refunded $12,000 of seized fantasy-football entry fees to Chris Moneymaker in the hopes of forestalling a class-action lawsuit threatened against the site over its allegedly illegal seizure policies. Moneymaker, the 2003 WSOP Main Event winner, announced late on Thursday that PayPal had suddenly reversed course on its seizure of the funds and will allow him to withdraw his balance.

Chris Moneymaker ACR
After months of refusing to communicate with him on the issue, PayPal reversed course and returned more than $12,000 in entry fees for a private fantasy football league it had seized from Chris Moneymaker. (Image:

Moneymaker, a huge sports fan when not at the poker tables, first took his dispute with PayPal to social media in May. He and his attorney, Eric Bensamochan, declared that while it was legal for PayPal to boot customers off its platform for violating its anti-gambling policies — as Moneymaker had — it was illegal for the company to pocket the seized funds.

Moneymaker and Bensamochan (who has been in poker-news features of late for his role as Todd Witteles’ defense attorney in Mike Postle’s frivolous $330 million defamation lawsuit), put out a public call for other possible litigants who had money seized by PayPal in similar circumstances. Dozens of potential plaintiffs have already responded to the call to join.

Expected lawsuit gathers steam despite Moneymaker receiving refund

Despite PayPal’s attempt to defuse the situation by returning the $12,000 to Moneymaker, the effort against PayPal’s allegedly illegal seizures continues to grow:

Moneymaker, still irate over the situation, declared he will remain involved in the expected class-action suit, which could be filed by the end of June:

PayPal’s belated refund does little to appease

Both Moneymaker and Bensamochan offered comments to CardsChat News following PayPal’s change of heart over the seizure in the wake of the social-media heat. Bensamochan specializes in this type of civil litigation, making the promised class action a serious threat to PayPal’s image.

“PayPal, clearly feeling the heat from the pending litigation,” Bensamochan said. “[They] thought that by simply giving Chris Moneymaker his money back, that things would end. They could not be more incorrect. Mr. Moneymaker will continue to consult with the Bensamochan Firm in proceeding with the class action on behalf of the thousands and thousands of people who have had their hard-earned money seized at will and with impunity by PayPal.”

Moneymaker’s comment was more personal, though every bit as sincere. “I mean just the fact that Paypal can do this to anyone,” he reiterated. “And if you do not have a platform or hire a lawyer and pay legal fees, it will just work for them. They are nothing but thieves.”

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