The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has terminated the activities of digital payment processor Payza and initiated charges of money laundering against the company and its two Canadian founders. The DOJ alleges that the company laundered money in the upwards of $250 million and although the case is just making a public appearance, the court documents were filed by the prosecution back in November 2016 while the crime may have occurred as early as 2012.
Payza is a popular payment portal that accepts both traditional currency and was among the first to support cryptocurrency payments. This explains why the DOJ’s action is a big surprise to everyone – especially Payza account holders and the cryptocurrency industry in general.
One Founder Arrested; The Other At Large
According to the prosectution, the United States is pursuing legal action against Payza and both the founders of the firm: Ferhan Patel, who is in custody, and his brother Firoz Patel, who is still at large. The charge sheet alleges that the two brothers conspired to conduct illicit activities including pyramid schemes, ponzi schemes, and even child pornography.
In the lawsuit, the prosecution alleges that the two co-founders are also facing charges of operating running a money transfer business without seeking the necessary licenses and authorizations from the state. It is believed that the company’s illegal activities began way back in 2012 when the brothers conspired with different criminal companies to launder over $250 million.
Charges According To The Charge Sheet
The charge sheet alleges that the two Canadian brothers conspired to operate an unlicensed money transfer and payment business, conspired to launder money, and operated a business to transmit money in the District of Columbia without appropriate licenses.
The prosecution’s charge sheet does not mention the company’s cryptocurrency business which has been in operation from 2014 when offered traders and enthusiasts a platform to buy and sell Bitcoin. The company has expanded over the years to provide a range of financial services that include exchange of popular cryptocurrencies such as XRP, Ether, and lately, Dash.
What The Lawsuit Means
According to the court filing by the US government dated Novemeber 3 2016 but only released on Tuesday March 26 2018, the Patel brothers ” operated a money transmitting business…” and that “…they lacked the required state licenses but they knowingly transacted and transmitted funds, which were acquired through illegal activities.” Until the case is concluded, it is unlikely that Payza will be a functional payment service you can use for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.