Paypal shuts down conservative, veteran-owned company – freezes nearly $100k in their money

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The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

One thing we’ve learned about the tech tyrants…they have ZERO sense of humor. While the ability to market so-called “fake” items…otherwise known as novelty items has been going on forever (think Spencer Gifts), certain novelty items are apparently off limits.

A company called “FakeMaskUSA” was marketing facemasks online marketed as:

“Guess what? Much like all other cloth face masks, these masks to nothing at all—except get you into schools, and work, and airplanes, and let you breathe.”

Pretty amusing actually.

Now the company tells Law Enforcement Today that PayPal, the online payment service, shut down their ability to collect payments.

Worse yet, PayPal is holding some $90,000 of the company’s funds, with communication from the company claiming that $2,500 is available out of that amount. The only problem is the “available” money is untouchable.

Correspondence from PayPal (screenshot below) claimed that due to a review of “account activity,” they determined the company to be in “violation of PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy.”

The correspondence then tells the company that they need to remove all references to PayPal from their website and remove it as a payment option.

Paypal shuts down conservative, veteran-owned company - freezes nearly 0k in their money
PayPal correspondence seizing assets-Screenshot used w/ permission

This is the second time a company trying to monetize the nonsense that is the coronavirus has been targeted by big tech tyrants.

Several months ago, Amazon Pay shut down “American Freedom Passports” and also withheld their funds, this despite the fact the company made it clear that the passports were being offered as a tongue-in-cheek product.

Time was satirical or novelty items were allowed for sale. Now in the world of “cancel culture” and a total lack of people to have a sense of humor, that is no longer allowed. And that is a shame. 

Among the products offered by FakeMaskUSA is one called the “Real/Fake Incognito Gaiter”:

“The gaiter is constructed with our “incognito” breathable mesh on one half, and a denser, stretchable micro-fiber material on the other half. This patent pending design allows the wearer to change the face covering style from a fake to real mask material simply by rotating the gaiter 180 degrees.

“Guess what? Cloth masks don’t do anything. Neither does ½ of this masterpiece.

“The Real/Fake Gaiter is the most breathable, comfortable face covering on the market! This version provides two incredibly breathable sides.

  1. It covers your face
  2. Both sides are technically a mask—one side is just mesh.”

Then there is the “Double Incognito Fake Mask:

“Guess what? Cloth masks don’t do anything. Neither does this masterpiece. But at least you can breathe now.

“The Double Incognito Face Mask is the 3rd most breathable (Offensively Fake #1, & Incognito #2), comfortable face covering on the market! This version provides incredible breathability while still giving the illusion that it is a real mask. The best for ultra Karen environments such as airplanes, banks, PTA meetings, etc.

  1. It covers your face
  2. Technically it is a mask

They also have several other models available. You really need to give these guys credit…the important thing about developing a product is finding a need and filling it.

The American people are desperately trying to find something which can fend off the mask Nazis while still being allowed to breathe good old fresh air. We think this is a genius idea! Unfortunately, the Nazis at PayPal don’t feel the same way.

Law Enforcement Today spoke with one of the co-founders of the company, Chet Peters who said they have been selling the masks since last November.

He said they had no issues at all with the exception of one time when there was a 21-day hold due to “fulfillment assurance.” In other words, the company had, according to Peters received a significant amount of orders and PayPal wanted to make sure they could fulfill the orders. 

Peters said that the company does use another payment fulfillment service called “Stripe,” however PayPal is by far the largest such site. 

Perhaps the most ridiculous thing about this fiasco is that PayPal is apparently the “arbiter” of damages. In other words, they decide how much of the company’s money to confiscate as so-called “damages.” 

Peters also called our attention to a lawsuit filed against PayPal by Chris Moneymaker, the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event champion who is also a longtime poker professional. Moneymaker used PayPal to hold money for friends in a fantasy sports league. As happened with Peters, PayPal also seized his money. 

According to Legal US PokerSites, Eric Bensamochan, Moneymaker’s attorney noticed an intent to file a class action lawsuit against PayPal.

Since that time, dozens of people have contacted Bensamochan Law Firm alleging that PayPal had likewise seized their funds for a series of alleged “violations.”

One of the amounts seized was $550,000, all seized by PayPal with nary an explanation and no chance to argue their case. Peters told us there isn’t even anyone to contact to contest the seizure. 

According to Moneymaker, he and 11 of his friends created a 12-member fantasy sports league for the 2020 NFL season. Each person put up $1,000 prior to the season, which was placed in a PayPal account held by Moneymaker.

No fees were charged by him to league participants…he only agreed to hold the money until the end of the NFL season. 

Last November, PayPal placed a hold on the account for violating its “User Agreement.” Moneymaker said that after six months of hearing nothing from PayPal, he sought to resolve the matter, requesting the money be returned to each of the 11 individuals who had sent the money to him via PayPal.

The tech tyrant said “no,” and refused to return the money, thereby confiscating it. 

By way of information, PayPal’s User Agreement is 68 pages long. There is an accompanying Acceptable Use Policy which is only two pages long, however details activities prohibited by PayPal. 

The case was scheduled to be filed in July. Anyone wishing to add on to the lawsuit can contact the law firm at this email, although as of publication it may be too late to add on. 

Meanwhile, earlier this year Law Enforcement Today reported on the American Freedom Passports. For more on that, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

As the Biden administration works with private companies to develop a COVID-19 “vaccine passport,” one startup is taking a tongue-in-cheek approach to the potential requirement of proof of vaccine, and it is offering a patriotic faux “passport” for Americans who identify as vaccinated.

According to the Washington Post, the Biden White House has been coordinating efforts of government agencies and private companies to develop a vaccine passport system that is supposedly to assist in returning the country to “normalcy.”

The passports are reportedly expected to be free to consumers and in the form of a smartphone application or a printable version, complete with a scannable code to enable access to areas requiring it.

The Post reports that there are at least 17 proposed passport initiatives.

The anticipated requirement to prove vaccinated status has, of course, been a hotly contested issue, with many seeing vaccine passports as an intrusive onslaught against freedoms Americans enjoy.

Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida and Governor Greg Abbott of Texas have both issued orders banning businesses from requiring proof of vaccination. 

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has also openly declared his opposition to the passports, as has South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.  Arkansas, Montana, and Ohio are anticipated to take a similar stance.

Although Dr. Anthony Fauci has recently indicated that the federal government will not be a “leading element” in the arena of the vaccine passport, some areas have already proceeded in accordance with the work the Biden administration has been coordinating, and have implemented vaccine passports.

According to CBS News, New York has a voluntary vaccine passport program that uses a phone app to verify vaccination status.  The app shares vaccination information via scan when the user enters a business requiring a vaccine.

In addition, CBS also reports that California will soon be implementing a new policy wherein event venues are permitted to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test for entry.

One company’s answer to this apparent overreach into private medical information and the squelching of individual freedoms has been to create a faux COVID-19 vaccination “passport,” complete with messaging about freedom and patriotism.

American Freedom Passport offers on their website a customized vaccination “passport” card and a vaccination “passport” book.

The website clearly notes that these are “tongue-in-cheek” offerings, adding:

“This is not meant to actually try and misrepresent yourself as having been vaccinated for COVID-19.  Let’s not be confused with those people.  

“They are the people who wear masks alone in their Prius and wear condoms alone in bed at night.”

Calling on potential buyers to “‘identify’” as being vaccinated today and “let’s save America,” the website points out that those who wish to identify as having received the vaccine should be able to do so, in accordance with the logic of today.

The site goes on to say:

“Oh, you want to stick me with a needle? I’ll tell you where to “stick it”.

“Here’s the thing. They all screamed “my body, my choice” – so let’s make a choice. 

“If you can put on a wig and pretend to be a woman, we can carry this “passport” and pretend to be vaccinated.”

The website further declares:

“This is a passport for those of us who “identify” as being vaccinated. For those of us who are sick and tired of being told what to do with our bodies. 

“And for the growing number of Americans who are just… done.”

American Freedom Passport takes additional jabs at illogic in the pro forced masking, pro vaccine requirement culture, saying:

“Let’s open America back up!

“Sick of being told small businesses are super spreaders but big box stores are safe? 

“That church is dangerous but liquor stores aren’t? 

“That the ‘rona won’t bite if you’re eating at a restaurant? 

“Get your ‘passport!’”

The website’s home page continues:

“Time to end the confusion!

“Confused on how you’ll get the ‘rona walking the wrong way down a grocery store aisle?

“Wondering where the flu went? 

“Not sure where common sense and logic went? 

“The ‘passport’ makes the problems disappear.”

One of the company’s offerings is a Customized Vaccination “Passport” Card featuring a spot for the recipient’s name.  It lists nationality as “Unapologetically American,” race as “Human,” and sex as “There Are Only Two.”  

Paypal shuts down conservative, veteran-owned company - freezes nearly 0k in their money
Screen Shot, www.americanfreedompassport.com

Patriotic images are also featured, including Mount Rushmore with former President Trump’s face added, “because that’s where it belongs.”  

“Evil triumphs when good men do nothing,” reads the caption for the Mount Rushmore image.

The other item is a Vaccination “Passport” Book, which features the same imagery along with additional patriotic pictures.

The inside of the “passport” book displays the same demographic information as the card, along with spots for stamps, the preamble to the United States Constitution, and a “Green Eggs and Ham”-inspired “letter” from a “doctor” called “Uncle Sam I Yam,” which includes verses like:

“You do not even have to ask

“I do not want to wear a mask….

“I do not want to live in fear

“Last I checked there’s freedom here…

“‘My body, my choice,’ the liberals told us

“Except if we’re scared they also then told us…

“And so as the ‘doctor’ I’m simply here to say

“This passport carrier identifies as vaccinated today….

“-Dr. Zeus (Earned ‘medical’ and ‘law’ degrees on Facebook like millions of other know-it-alls.)”

Paypal shuts down conservative, veteran-owned company - freezes nearly 0k in their money
Screen Shot, www.americanfreedompassport.com

The company’s owner, who wishes to remain anonymous at this time, told us:

“The letter in the passport plays off the insane cancel culture that we are facing in America right now.  

“The irony of course is that we knew it would trigger the cancel culture crowd to come for us – and we are ready for the fight.”

Not surprisingly, this particular startup venture has indeed faced a variety of responses to its offerings, from support to violent threats.

The popularity of the vaccine “passports” was almost immediately evident, as approximately two thousand orders were received on the day of the American Freedom Passport website’s launch.

However, the naysayers also came out in force, with one writing:

“Anyone who doesn’t believe we should all be vaccinated is an anarchist and enemy of the state and should be treated as a domestic terrorist.”

Another took up the “all cops are bad” narrative, stating:

“You must be a cop.  Obviously you believe in killing innocent people.”

One even wished death upon the owner, saying:

“You should be hung on public television for trying to infect America.”

The owner employs veterans and law enforcement at his various companies, where he “saw an opportunity to keep giving back while filling a need here in America.”

As for his plans for the proceeds earned from selling the “passports,” the owner told us:

“What am I going to do with the money?

“Use it to buy guns and shake hands with people and travel the country talking about Jesus.”

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