Western Union agrees to money laundering settlement

February 17, 2010

Western Union has agreed to pay $94 million as part of a settlement in which the money transfer company is accused of helping Mexico’s drug dealers and human traffickers launder money.

To more effectively address illegal money laundering, Western Union has agreed to “provide $50 million to establish and fund the Southwest Border Anti-Money Laundering Alliance; invest $19 million over the next several years into upgrades to its anti-money-laundering program; provide $4 million to support an independent monitoring program established to ensure anti-money-laundering measures are implemented; and pay $21 million to the State of Arizona to cover investigation and litigation expenses,” according to a press release from Attorney General Jerry Brown’s Press Office.

Additionally, last week’s settlement requires Western Union to “provide California with access to transaction data so investigators can track trends in the flow of illicit money, identify money-laundering points and target drug, weapon and human traffickers.”

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I find it hard to believe that a U.S. company would knowingly involve itself with the profitable transfer of huge amounts of untraceable cash. Especially after reading a ‘bio’ of WU. Hey, remember Michael Milken?


This has nothing to do with Michael Milken. Western Union is on the verge of bankruptcy since the new Stored Value Cards. It used to cost $79.95 to wire money to Mexico through Western Union to Mexico, most of this was profit. Since Stored Value Cards, Illegal’s do not use Western Union as much. Because of that, WU has had to find other ways to make money, evidently, they decided to cross the line. Money laundering is very easy to prove…transaction, proceeds, knowledge.