Crypto Payment Service Payza Hit with Money Laundering Lawsuit

Crypto Payment Service Payza Hit with Money Laundering Lawsuit

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ)  has issued a lawsuit against digital payment facilitator Payza for laundering money in excess of $250 million.

The case comes at a time when Payza had just announced a partnership with Dash to incorporate the cryptocurrency into its stream of payment options.

As per the indictment order, Payza is being charged with running an unlicensed money processing business which allowed users to participate in illegal activities such as Ponzi schemes and child pornography.

The firm has been in operation since early 2014 and has dealt in crypto trading since its inception. Over the years, Payza has incorporated many alt-currencies into its portfolio and at the time of writing this article, the company supports transactions with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Dash. The company has its base in the UK but gets most of its traffic from Asia, South America, and the Middle East.

The Ruling

According to the DOJ, Payza and its Founders, Ferhan Patel and Firoz Patel, have been accused of running a large scale business operation without possessing the required state licenses. In addition to this, the brothers are also being booked on grounds of laundering illegally sourced money.

If convicted, the Patel brothers are looking at a minimum jail sentence of 25 years.

The lawsuit also alleges that the company had been issued with a number of “cease and desist” warnings from different states, all of whom were ignored completely. All of the aforementioned activities are being estimated to have taken place over a span of five years, during which the brothers used various US-based bank accounts to transfer money illegally throughout the country.

In regards to this case, US attorney Jesse Liu had the following remarks:

“The arrest and indictments, in this case, demonstrate that we will vigorously enforce laws meant to protect the American consumer. Money transmitting businesses are required to be registered federally and licensed in most states and jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia. Consumers should beware of those that do not follow these laws because they could be acting as a cover for other illegal activity.”

The Aftermath

Amidst all of the accusations, Payza representatives have gone on the offensive and have posted several messages on their social media channels claiming that the company has not been involved in any wrongdoing.

In fact, a day after the Ferhan was arrested, the company announced their partnership with Dash.

As of now, Payza’s principal online domain has been seized by the DOJ, and all transactions are being facilitated via a new website that goes by a .eu address.

Cover Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Filed Under: Adoption
Avatar

Shiraz is a cryptocurrency journalist and analyst living in Melbourne, Australia. When not exploring the emerging blockchain ecosystem, he loves to play the blues and dabble in the world of meditation.

View author profile

Commitment to Transparency: The author of this article is invested and/or has an interest in one or more assets discussed in this post. CryptoSlate does not endorse any project or asset that may be mentioned or linked to in this article. Please take that into consideration when evaluating the content within this article.

Disclaimer: Our writers' opinions are solely their own and do not reflect the opinion of CryptoSlate. None of the information you read on CryptoSlate should be taken as investment advice, nor does CryptoSlate endorse any project that may be mentioned or linked to in this article. Buying and trading cryptocurrencies should be considered a high-risk activity. Please do your own due diligence before taking any action related to content within this article. Finally, CryptoSlate takes no responsibility should you lose money trading cryptocurrencies.