MoneyGram Settles Fraud Investigation
Global payment services company MoneyGram International (NYS: MGI) announced today that it has reached a settlement with federal and Pennsylvania authorities resulting from claims that MoneyGram agents engaged in fraud between 2003 and 2009.
The "deferred prosecution agreement" the company entered into states that no further legal actions will be taken against MoneyGram, as long as it meets the conditions of the agreement.
Under the agreement, MoneyGram is to pay $100 million to victims of the consumer fraud scams. The litigation was previously announced by the payment processor, and in the second quarter of 2012 MoneyGram set aside $30 million for the purpose of paying a potential fine. An additional accrual of $70 million was made today by the company to account for the payment.
CEO Pamela H. Patsley said in a press release that the company has created a "new culture" since 2009. Some of the steps the company has taken include beefing up its internal compliance and antifraud teams, implementing audit programs, starting training programs with an emphasis on fraud prevention, and establishing strong partnerships with law enforcement operations globally.
According to the Justice Department, MoneyGram collected fees and other revenues from fraudulent transactions that were part of scams that got people to send money using MoneyGram in order to, for instance, help what they thought was a relative in urgent need of money or to access a large cash prize.
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