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Thread: Western Union settles U.S. money laundering allegations for $586 million

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Western Union settles U.S. money laundering allegations for $586 million

    Thu Jan 19, 2017 | 2:23pm EST

    Western Union settles U.S. money laundering allegations for $586 million

    People walk past a Western Union branch at Times Square in New York November 30, 2011. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz


    By Joel Schectman and Diane Bartz |

    WASHINGTON

    Western Union Co (WU.N) agreed to pay $586 million and admitted to turning a blind eye as criminals used its service for money laundering and fraud, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission said in statements on Thursday.

    “Western Union is now paying the price for placing profits ahead of its own customers," said Acting Assistant Attorney General David Bitkower.

    Western Union admitted "to aiding and abetting wire fraud" by allowing scammers to process transactions, even when the company realized its agents were disguising transactions to avoid detection.

    And with the help of Western Union agents, Chinese immigrants used the service to send hundreds of millions of dollars to pay human smugglers, wiring the money in smaller increments to avoid federal reporting requirements, U.S. authorities said.


    Fraudsters offering fake prizes and job opportunities swindled tens of thousands of U.S. consumers, giving Western Union agents a cut in return for processing the payments, authorities said. Between 2004 and 2012, the company knew of fraudulent transactions but failed to take steps that would have resulted in disciplining of 2,000 agents, authorities said.


    A Western Union spokesman said that the company didn't "do as much as it should have" to oversee its agents between 2004 and 2012 but is committed to improving its procedures.


    The settlement will fund refunds for customers who were victims of scams,
    authorities said.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-us...-idUSKBN1532RL

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Oh my, that is disgusting to think that Western Union was involved in such an awful scam.
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