DOJ, FTC and FinCEN Order Western Union to pay $586m in Fines and Restitution for Fraud and AML Violations

Jan 19, 2017

Western Union was hit by a coordinated action by the US Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, for lapses in the company’s AML controls which allowed hundreds of millions of dollars in prohibited transactions to be processed, enabling the proliferation of illegal gambling and scams that defrauded tens of thousands of victims.

Regulators found that Western Union used master agents along the southwest border with Mexico who contracted with subagents to deliver funds to recipients in Mexico, and on several occasions, these master agents failed to perform onsite reviews of a number of their subagents.

Further, undocumented immigrants from China were found to use Western Union to wire money from New York and California to their human smugglers. The Civil Monetary Penalty was imposed on the company for its role in aiding and abetting wire fraud and failing to keep an effective anti-money laundering program. 

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