Wednesday November 26,2014 : NEW BOOK ON NETELLER FOUNDER
Author examines the life and times of e-processor and wannabe rock star John Lefebvre.
Seven years ago the Canadian founders of the Neteller e-cash processing group, John Lefebvre and Stephen Lawrence, were arrested under intriguing circumstances following a covert investigation by the US Department of Justice as it implemented moves to disrupt the online gambling industry by "following the money trail"
At the time it created major and ongoing headlines until the duo reached an expensive settlement with the authorities and the story dropped off the pages of the mainstream media.
Those interesting times are now relived in a new Amazon-listed book about Lefebvre written by Bill Reynolds and titled "Life Real Loud: John Lefebvre, Neteller and the Revolution in Online Gambling."
The author unveils the other side of Lefevbre the innovative businessman, tracing his development from college days, where he is described as a former president of the University of Calgary Student Union who was "… an articulate, long-haired, dope-smoking, rock-’n’-roll-loving hippie who was generous almost to a fault."
Graduating with a law degree, he subsequently abandoned the profession in favour of an entrepreneurial business and financial career which proved to be a remarkable success.
His passion for rock ‘n roll persisted through to 2007 when, at age 55 and with funds generated by his successful business affairs, he hired a top recording studio and backing artists for a fortnight to make some music.
The author examines the development of the Neteller concept and the subsequent disruptions caused by enforcement actions, observing that there was no criminal intent on the part of the founders, who believed on legal advice that they were not breaking any laws, albeit in the legally "grey" environment created by the unique properties of the internet.
And he looks at a very interesting individual, revealing:
"With the profit from Neteller and his stock holdings, he became a multi-millionaire. He started buying Malibu beach houses, limited edition cars, complete wardrobes, and a jet to fly to rock shows with pals.
"When that got boring he shipped his fine suits to charity, donned his beloved t-shirt and jeans, and started giving away millions to the Dalai Lama, David Suzuki and other eco-conscious people, as well as anyone else who might need a pick-me-up.
"And then the FBI came knocking on his Malibu door . . ."