Publicly available records indicate that a class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of investors in Western Union (NYSE: WU) in connection to alleged violations of securities laws by WU and certain of its officers. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding investments made in Western Union between February 24, 2012 and January 19, 2017.
The lawsuit specifically alleges that Western Union made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that the company did not comply with certain securities laws, that the company did not maintain an adequate program designed to prevent money laundering, that the company was aware of representatives designing transactions to circumvent reporting requirements specified by the Bank Secrecy Act, and that the company violated various US laws by processing hundreds of transactions that were part of an international fraud scheme, that the company was aware of agents involved in these transactions but did not take corrective action, that between 2004 and 2015 the company received more than 550,000 complaints about fraudulent transfers totaling more than $632,000,000, and that as a consequence of the foregoing the company’s public statements were false and misleading.
In January 2017 the Department of Justice announced that Western Union had agreed to forfeit $586 million and admitted to “criminal violations including willfully failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering (AML) program and aiding and abetting wire fraud.” According to U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of the Central District of California: “Our investigation uncovered hundreds of millions of dollars being sent to China in structured transactions designed to avoid the reporting requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act, and much of the money was sent to China by illegal immigrants to pay their human smugglers. In a case being prosecuted by my office, a Western Union agent has pleaded guilty to federal charges of structuring transactions – illegal conduct the company knew about for at least five years. Western Union documents indicate that its employees fought to keep this agent – as well as several other high-volume independent agents in New York City – working for Western Union because of the high volume of their activity. This action today will ensure that Western Union effectively controls its agents and prevents the use of its money transfer system for illegal purposes.”