Florida man pleads guilty to fraudulent payment processing program | Takeover bid


A Florida man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to conspiracy to commit electronic fraud as part of a scheme to deceive banks and credit card companies to that they process credit and debit card payments on behalf of merchants involved in prohibited and elevated transactions. -risk businesses, including online gambling, debt collection, payday loans and prescription drugs.

According to court documents and statements made during the plea process, Thomas Wells, 74, of Martin County, fraudulently claimed that his merchant customers engaged in the sale of low-risk retail products to obtain the treatment debit and credit card payments for these customers of banks and credit card companies. Wells, through his company Priority Payout, introduced merchant customers looking for payment processor to Allied Wallet Inc., a payment processor that served as an intermediary between merchants looking to accept cards debit and credit institutions and financial institutions that are members of global electronic payment networks. managed by credit card companies such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. Wells customers included merchants engaged in prohibited or high-risk transactions and merchants who had previously been terminated from card payment processing networks such as Visa and Mastercard for fraud, chargebacks or other compliance issues. Wells admitted to conspiring with others to defraud several financial institutions and credit card companies by fraudulently inducing them to provide payment processing services to these merchant customers. Wells accomplished this with his co-conspirators, among others, by setting up shell companies, designing bogus websites that purportedly sell low-risk retail products, and using industry-standard codes that miscategorized the real one. nature of transactions. Wells admitted that he made around $ 700,000 from the scheme.

Wells faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $ 250,000, three years supervised release, restitution and forfeiture. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

Deputy Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice; Acting US Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell of the District of Massachusetts; US Food and Drug Administration Special Agent Jeffrey Ebersole, Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office; Chief Inspector Ketty Larco-Ward of the United States Postal Inspection Service; and Special Agent in Charge Matthew B. Millhollin of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston made the announcement.

The case is being pursued by Trial Prosecutor Randall Warden of the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS) of the Criminal Division and by Deputy Prosecutor and Deputy Chief Seth B. Kosto of the Unit. Securities, Financial & Cyber ​​Fraud from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.

MLARS ‘Banking Integrity Unit investigates and prosecutes banks and other financial institutions, including their officers, managers and employees, whose actions threaten the integrity of the individual institution or the financial system at large.

The details contained in the indictment document are allegations. Other defendants are presumed innocent unless and until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt by a court.

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