On May 6, 2021, MoneyGram International, Inc., a Texas-based global payment processing company, announced that it was “near[ing] the end” of its November 2012 Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the US Department of Justice.
MoneyGram stated that earlier in the week the DOJ had filed a joint status report in which the parties confirmed that (i) MoneyGram had satisfied its financial obligations under the DPA and (ii) its independent compliance monitor had certified that MoneyGram’s anti-fraud and anti-money laundering compliance program satisfied the standard required under the DPA. The joint status report also stated that MoneyGram intended to certify to the DOJ on May 10, 2021 that it had fulfilled its obligations under the DPA, and that—provided MoneyGram had otherwise complied with the DPA—the DOJ would move to dismiss the charges underlying the DPA within 45 days of receiving this certification.
MoneyGram’s November 2012 DPA arose from allegations that it had willfully failed to maintain an effective AML program and had aided and abetted wire fraud, in connection with a consumer fraud scheme in which a group of corrupt company agents and other individuals tricked elderly and other vulnerable US victims into sending funds though MoneyGram’s money transfer system by posing as victims’ relatives in need of money, falsely promising large cash prizes, and offering to sell items over the internet at deep discounts. In the DPA, MoneyGram agreed to forfeit $100 million, hire an independent compliance monitor for five years, and implement enhanced compliance controls. In November 2018 the DPA was extended by 30 months after the DOJ found that the company had breached the terms of the DPA by processing another $125 million in consumer fraud transactions between 2015 and 2016. As a result, MoneyGram agreed to further enhancements to its compliance program, paid an additional $125 million in forfeiture, and agreed to retain its independent monitor until May 2021.
MoneyGram’s announcement of the end of its November 2012 DPA comes just weeks after the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced it had reached a $34 million settlement with MoneyGram subsidiary MoneyGram Payment Systems Inc., to resolve allegations related to 359 “apparent violations” of US sanctions laws.