Department of Justice Cracks Down on Western Union Transactions as $586 Million Fine Issued
It was recently announced that Western Union was ordered to pay the USA government $586 million for reasons deemed fit for the company’s involvement with online gambling operators in Costa Rica. The investigation was started about a year ago after Wilfredo A. Ferrer, US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida summons, requesting all of Western Union’s documents regarding the transactions connected with online gambling that were submitted and completed by Western Union agents.
The investigation led to numerous gambling transactions being processed in several jurisdictions such as Costa Rica, Vietnam, Panama, Philippines and Nicaragua. The most severe penalty is placed on the financial service company with it being, more or less, fined in the amount of $586 million. Western Union didn’t appeal the ruling, as a matter of fact they admitted to the criminal violations including not maintaining an anti-money laundering program that was effective to monitor wire fraud.
One of the statements that were released said that Western Union had the obligation to “guard against fraud, but instead the company looked the other way, and its system facilitated scammers and rip-offs.”
The Department of Justice also said that the company has been “on notice since at least December 1997.”