MoneyGram fraud settlement agreement presented in federal court

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Attorneys for the United States Justice Department and MoneyGram, Inc. appeared in federal court in Harrisburg before United States District Court Judge Christopher C. Conner to present an agreement by which MoneyGram forfeited $100 million to be used to compensate thousands of victims of mass marketing and consumer fraud schemes perpetrated by MoneyGram agents between 2004 and 2009.
F. Aaron Henry, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for MoneyGram International, Inc. appeared before Judge Conner as MoneyGram’s corporate representative. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Daniel presented a brief summary of key terms of the deferred prosecution agreement (DPA). Department of Justice attorney Craig Timm provided a brief summary of the factual basis of the case against MoneyGram to which MoneyGram has agreed. MoneyGram as part of the agreement with the Government waived its right to have the charges presented in an indictment and its right to a speedy trial.
Judge Conner accepted the waivers by MoneyGram and the presentation of the DPA which provides for the Department of Justice to oversee MoneyGram’s compliance program and together with the United States Postal Inspection Service, administer the $100 million program to pay restitution to victims. According to the agreement, MoneyGram admitted that it aided and abetted the fraud and failed to maintain an effective antimoney laundering program as outlined in the criminal information filed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on November 9, 2012.

The agreement calls for the $100 million to be paid in two installments, one of which, $65 million, was received on November 13. The remaining $35 million is due no later than 90 business days from November 9, 2012. The agreement also requires MoneyGram to enhance compliance obligations and structural changes to prevent a repeat of the charged conduct, including:

• Creation of an  independent compliance and ethics committee of the board of directors with direct oversight of the chief compliance officer and the compliance program;

• Adoption of a worldwide anti-fraud and  anti-money laundering standard to ensure all MoneyGram agents throughout the world will, at a minimum, be required to adhere to U.S. anti-fraud and anti-money laundering standards;

• Adoption of a bonus system which rates all executives on success in meeting compliance obligations, with failure making the executive ineligible for any bonus for that year; and • Adoption of enhanced due  diligence for agents deemed to be high risk or operating in a high-risk area.

To oversee implementation and maintenance of these compliance obligations and evaluate the overall effectiveness of its anti-fraud and anti-money laundering programs, MoneyGram has agreed to retain an independent corporate monitor who will report regularly to the Justice Department. Under the DPA, the department will recommend the dismissal of the criminal information in five years, provided MoneyGram fully abides by the DPA’s terms. The Justice Department agreed to defer prosecution of the case for up to five years. If at that time, the United States Department of Justice concludes that MoneyGram has complied with the agreement, the government will move to dismiss the criminal information.
MoneyGram has reported that it began taking corrective action in 2009. The company conducted a lengthy internal investigation, dismissed the corrupt agents and replaced its senior management staff. Approximately 25 former MoneyGram agents have been prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. A list of those individuals is attached. The  individuals contained in the listing are alleged to have victimized individuals throughout Central Pennsylvania including residents of the following towns: York, PA; Mifflinburg, PA; Sugarloaf, PA;  Lehighton, PA; Chambersburg, PA; Moosic, PA; Dover, PA; Stroudsburg, PA; Harrisburg, PA; Clark Summit, PA; Jim Thorpe, PA; Lairdsville, PA; Montgomery, PA; Milford, PA; Bloomsburg, PA; Mount Pocono, PA; Palmyra, PA; Tunkhannock, PA; Montandon, PA; State College, PA; St. Clair, PA; Lewisburg, PA; Shenandoah, PA; Montoursville, PA; Wilkes-Barre, PA; Northumberland, PA; and Elizabethville, PA.
Information regarding victim compensation through the Victim Asset Recovery Program(VARP) is available on the Department of Justice’s victim website at /vns/caseup/.

Persons who believe they were victims of the fraud scheme should visit that website or call 1-877-282-2610 (United States Only) or 317-324-0390 (International) for instructions on how to request compensation. This case was prosecuted by Money Laundering and Bank Integrity Unit Trial Attorney Craig Timm of the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section (AFMLS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Douglas Daniel of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The forfeiture was handled by Acting Assistant Deputy Chief Jeannette Gunderson of AFMLS’ Forfeiture Unit. The case was investigated by the Harrisburg, PA, office of the United States Postal Inspection Service, Philadelphia Division.

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