Western Union has admitted to a plethora of offences as it appears that they turned a blind-eye to wire fraud. The company has now agreed to pay $586 million to US authorities to settle the allegations. The company has admitting turning a blind-eye to wire fraud in the US, and has been implicated in several cases in which criminals used their services to launder money.
The ultra successful company has a global reach, it operates in 200 countries around the world, and the numbers involved in their business are mind-boggling. In 2015 they moved over $150 billion. The company has been implicated, as even after they uncovered high levels of suspicious activity they chose to ignore them and trade as normal. It will now be likely that there will be new laws introduced to try and combat the spread.
It turns out that among the cases, there have been known cases of Chinese immigrants paying their people traffickers via the service. There have also been claims that thousands of their agents have been involved in shady practices in which in many of the cases the company was aware of, and failed to act upon the information.
The settlement is intended to try and reimburse victims of the shady practices at the Colorado based giant. It will also serve a warning to many others who would think about trying the same tactics. The company insists that it is on the path to fixing the issues with staff training to try and spot potential infringements. Though this will not be enough for many. The company will now have to carry the bad publicity. Though due to the company’s size and niche it is unlikely that it will be significantly destructive to the business. Though it is hoped that it will sting enough to cause a change in process at the company.
Companies such as Western Union have a terribly tough task on their hands trying to ensure compliance with rules. As a worldwide company they have multitudes of rules to try and adhere to all over the globe. Though this settlement will bring the focus back to compliance, which the company says it already spends heavily on.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.