A Christmas Gift for Defrauded Individuals

On January 19, 2017, The Western Union Company (Western Union) agreed to forfeit $586 million to settle charges brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). The company admitted to criminal violations including failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program in violation of the Bank Secrecy Act and aiding and abetting wire fraud.  The U. S. Postal Inspection Service investigated various schemes in which fraudsters contacted victims and falsely posed as family members in need, federal law enforcement officials, or falsely promised prizes, loans, employment opportunities, discounted products, or other financial awards. The fraudsters directed the victims to send money through Western Union to help relatives, avoid imprisonment or arrest, or to claim prizes, receive loans, employment, products, or some other financial award. No one received the cash, prizes, or other promised items.

FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said, “Western Union owes a responsibility to American consumers to guard against fraud, but instead the company looked the other way, and its system facilitated scammers and rip-off.  “The agreements we are announcing today will ensure Western Union changes the way it conducts its business and provides more than half billion dollars for refunds to consumers who were harmed by the company’s unlawful behavior.”

Chief Richard Weber of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) stated, “Western Union’s blatant disregard of their anti-money laundering compliance responsibilities was criminal and significant. IRS-CI special agents – working with their investigative agency partners – uncovered the massive financial fraud and is proud to be part of this historic criminal resolution.”

Therefore, if you wired funds from a Western Union location between January 1, 2004 to January 19, 2017, and believe you were a victim of the fraud described above, visit:

https://kccsecure.com/westernunionremission/Claimant/UnKnownClaimForm and complete the form. It is simple, but it must be submitted by 02/12/2018 to be considered for remission.  You may also call the hotline at 1-844-319-2124 for answers to questions, or go to www.westernunionremission.com for the Gilardi and Co. LLC claims administrator. You can also visit the Department of Justice’s victim website at https://www.justice.gov/criminal-afmls/remission for instructions on how to request compensation through the Victim Asset Recovery Program.

The Victim Compensation Program, operated by the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, is composed of a team of experienced professionals including: attorneys, accountants, auditors, and claims analysts. The Victim Compensation Program has successfully used its specialized expertise to efficiently convert forfeited assets to victim recoveries in hundreds of cases.

Note: You are asked to supply any available documentation (For example: Western Union transfer send form and/or receipt) to support your claim. Do not send original documents. Only the amount of the transfer will be included in approved remission amounts. Collateral expenses such as wire transfer fees, incidental losses, or transfers sent through other businesses are not recoverable through the remission process.

Sage Investigations LLC is standing by to assist you and your clients, by performing due diligence, and deter fraudsters from taking money from more unsuspecting victims.  You or your client can contact Sage for an investigation, and any litigation support necessary. Sage can also provide expert witness testimony.  Call Sage Investigations LLC today at 512-659-3179 and let our 40 plus years of investigative experience work for you.