Investigators Uncover a 150 million Payment Processing Scheme. Four Charged!
Four individuals in the District of Massachusetts were charged with committing two types of fraud by conspiring to mislead banks and credit card companies into processing transactions for merchants involved in prohibited businesses, according to case files in Boston.
The suspect deceived the banks into enabling up to $150 million in debit and credit card payments for high-risk services like debt collection, prescription drugs, debt reduction, payday lending, and online gambling.
Court documents show that the four have been charged as follows:
Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja, 49, and Thomas Wells, 74, are accused of committing wire fraud.
Meanwhile, Mohammad “Moe” Diab, 45, and Amy Ringler Rountree, 38, are accused of conspiring to wire fraud and allegations of bank fraud.
According to the accusation, these senior executives from Allied Wallet Inc., a Los Angeles payment processing firm serving risky businesses deceived banks and credit brands through deceitful misrepresentations.
Khawaja was Allied Wallet’s creator and CEO, Diab was the Chief Operating Officer, and Rountree the VP of Operations.
The fraudulent payment processor enabled high-risk merchants to process debit & credit card payments through worldwide electronic payment networks managed by reputable card companies like Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and Visa.
Allied Wallet acted as the link between the merchants and bank members of the affected card companies. Wells, through his firm Priority Payout, lured merchants seeking high-risk payment processing.
The accusation alleges that the four took part in a premeditated scheme to deceive multiple banks and card brands. More specifically, the four fraudulently lured these institutions to process payments to high-risk merchants and to those businesses rejected for fraud, chargebacks, etc. They did this by intentionally misleading the banks and credit brands about the merchants’ transaction types and the business’s true identity.
The accused and their co-conspirators used shell companies, bogus websites, and industry codes to mask the true nature of their sales and fraudulently collected more than $150 million in payments for goods and services through over 100 phony merchants.
Author bio: Payment industry guru Taylor Cole is a passionate payments expert who understands the complex world of Best Payment Providers. He also writes non-fiction, on subjects ranging from personal finance to stocks to crypto pay. He enjoys eating pie with ice cream on his backyard porch, as should all right-thinking people.