Western Union Fined Big For Online Gambling Involvement

Published Sunday, January 22, 2017 - Online-Casinos.com
Western Union Fined Big For Online Gambling Involvement

Legal eagles are doing well for the Department of Justice in the USA as they manage to keep online gambling and the financial services industry in check. There has been a recent revelation that payment processing firm Western Union will pay the government a $586m settlement in part due to Western Union’s involvement with Costa Rican located online gambling operators.

About a year ago the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Wifredo A. Ferrer issued a subpoena requesting company documents that would prove there had been online gambling transactions submitted by Western Union agents in numerous jurisdictions including Panama, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Vietnam and Costa Rica. The forfeiture of $586m is the most severe penalty ever imposed on a financial services enterprise. The company also admitted to criminal violations including failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and aiding and abetting wire fraud.

The Department of Justice has stated that Western Union has been “on notice since at least December 1997” about online betting in Florida and the use of the firm’s money transfer system. Beginning in “at least 2012,” the DOJ says Western Union has been aware that its procedures to limit these online gambling transactions “were not effective.”

Western Union has also agreed to ensure its agents in every jurisdiction they operate adhere to the Federal rules regarding anti money laundering  standards, and it will be taking corrective action against agents who are not following these set standards. The company is required to report all suspicious or illegal activity. Other agencies of the government were involved in the judgement including the Federal Trade Commission and the US Attorney’s Offices in Florida, the Central District of California and the Middle and Eastern Districts of Pennsylvania.

FTC Chairperson Edith Ramirez said that Western Union had a responsibility to “guard against fraud, but instead the company looked the other way, and its system facilitated scammers and rip-offs.”



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