Months after the U.S. Treasury lifted a label placing Vancouver’s PacNet Services alongside some of the world’s most violent criminal organizations, the payments processor is facing a lawsuit from B.C.’s Director of Civil Forfeiture.
The B.C. Supreme Court notice of civil claim alleges PacNet deals with companies “it knows are engaged in unlawful predatory mail-fraud schemes, primarily targeting the elderly and vulnerable.”
The documents specifically cite an international scheme which saw victims send money to psychic ‘Maria Duval’ in exchange for promises of good fortune.
“PacNet has processed payments relating to millions of fraudulent and deceptive multi-page solicitations sent to hundreds of thousands of victims and potential victims throughout Canada, the United States and the world,” the claim reads.
“The amounts collectively paid by the victims is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”
The lawsuit against PacNet, founder Rosanne Day and five other people is the latest twist in a situation that made international headlines in September 2016.
At that time, the U.S. Treasury Department designated PacNet and 12 individuals a “significant transnational criminal organization.”
On Wednesday, the director of civil forfeiture was granted an order to freeze numerous bank accounts associated with the company and its directors.
The application for the order says Vancouver police have been investigating PacNet and its alleged involvement with direct mail schemes targeting Canadian citizens since October 2016.
The court documents include a letter from FINTRAC from last February warning PacNet that its level of non-compliance with the requirements of anti-money laundering laws was “very significant.”
Read the original story over at CBC News.