Western Union to pay more than a half Billion to settle charges
November 13, 2017
• Funds recovered through asset forfeiture
• “American consumers lost money while Western Union looked the other way”
Justice Department Announces Compensation Process for Western Union Fraud Victims With
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced today that t
The federal government says it has begun the process to provide recovery for Western Union Company fraud victims from a $586 million civil forfeiture.
As part of agreements with the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year, Western Union, a global money services business headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, agreed to forfeit $586 million.
Between 2004 and 2012, Western Union processed hundreds of thousands of transactions for Western Union agents and others involved in an international consumer fraud scheme, the settlement says. As part of the scheme, the perpetrators of fraud schemes contacted victims in the United States and falsely posed as family members in need or promised prizes or job opportunities. Victims were then directed to send money through Western Union to purportedly help their relative or claim their prize. Various Western Union agents were complicit in these fraud schemes, often processing the fraud payments in return for a cut of the fraud proceeds.
Victims of fraud who sent a money transfer through Western Union may be eligible for compensation for their losses. The Department of Justice will send petitions for remission to over 500,000 potential victims. These petitions will provide information and instructions regarding making a claim for compensation online or through the mail.
“Knowing that its agents were involved in fraudulent schemes – and knowing that it had a legal obligation to detect and report this criminal conduct to the authorities – Western Union failed to act, leading to massive victim losses,” says Acting Assistant U.S. Attorney General Kenneth Blanco.
“American consumers lost money while Western Union looked the other way,” says Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen of the Federal Trade Cpmmission.