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January 19, 2017

Posted  January 23, 2017

Colorado-based global money services business Western Union Company agreed to forfeit $586 million and enter into agreements with DOJ, FTC, and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the Central District of California, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Southern District of Florida to settle criminal violations relating to the company’s failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and aiding and abetting wire fraud. According to company admissions, Western Union violated the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-fraud statutes by processing hundreds of thousands of transactions for Western Union agents and others involved in an international consumer fraud scheme. As part of the scheme, fraudsters contacted victims in the U.S. and falsely posed as family members in need or promised prizes or job opportunities. The fraudsters directed the victims to send money through Western Union to help their relative or claim their prize. Various Western Union agents were complicit in these fraud schemes, often processing the fraud payments for the fraudsters in return for a cut of the fraud proceeds. The company also agreed to pay a $586 million judgement to settle related FTC charges. DOJ

Tagged in: Financial Institution Fraud, Money Laundering,