Federal Judge Orders 2012 Charge Against MoneyGram To Be Tossed

MoneyGram has had its anti-money laundering charges dismissed, according to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report on Thursday (June 10).

Prosecutors said the money transfer company had complied with the terms of the long-running settlement agreement.

Judge Christopher Conner passed down the judgment, bringing an end to the over-eight-year effort by MoneyGram to get approval for its compliance program.

Last month prosecutors had asked Conner to do away with a 2012 court filing which charged the company with aiding and abetting wire fraud and with violating the Bank Secrecy Act.

In April, an independent monitor found that MoneyGram’s compliance efforts had been designed reasonably. According to WSJ, MoneyGram had struggled to get past the settlement, which came out of numerous phishing and mass-marketing schemes that prosecutors said had been put in place by corrupt agents. According to the reports, they defrauded tens of thousands of victims.

MoneyGram had a deferred prosecution agreement meant to expire after five years, but it was extended seven times. The Justice Department found in 2018 that MoneyGram had breached the agreement and that it still had severe weaknesses in its compliance program. That led to a 30-month extension of the settlement along with more penalties.

Overall MoneyGram ended up owing $225 million through the settlement.

In addition, last month, the company ended up paying the entirety of its fines that it had as part of the settlement. Those funds were given to the victims of the fraud who had transmitted money between 2004 to 2009 and 2013 to 2017. MoneyGram has now made several improvements to its compliance program and now requires point-of-sale identification requirements alongside tech that will help it keep ahead of fraudsters’ tech.

In late April, MoneyGram settled with the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), agreeing to pay $34,328.78 to settle 359 apparent contraventions for various sanctions programs. That amount, according to OFAC, showed that the contraventions had been voluntarily self-disclosed and were “non-egregious.”