U.S. Postal Inspection Service Seal




Contact: Nick Alicea
Title: Postal Inspector-Team Leader

Phone: 717-257-2335
Email: nmalicea@uspis.gov

DECEMBER 17, 2013


"It's better to give than to receive," goes the adage, but both were in evidence today as U.S. Postal Inspectors coordinated the disbursement of $46 million to the more than 18,000 consumers victimized in a scam involving MoneyGram.

According to the Department of Justice, corrupt MoneyGram agents and others engaged in international mass-marketing consumer fraud that targeted tens of thousands of U.S. victims.

"Many victims lost their life savings. One fought at Iwo Jima, others raised families, put their children through college, and saved for their retirements. Theirs was a more trusting generation. And they lost many thousands of dollars in this scam, placing them and their families in dire straits," said David Bosch, Postal Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the agency that investigated MoneyGram.

MoneyGram in this case collected fees and other revenues in transactions that convinced consumers to send money under false pretenses, such as to purportedly help a relative in urgent need of money or to collect a nonexistent cash prize.

United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Peter J. Smith said, "Predatory gangs of thieves used MoneyGram's international network for electronic money transfers to steal from consumers in the United States. MoneyGram, for fees it collected on each transaction, willingly closed its eyes for years to the blatant scams being carried out right under its nose. Thanks mainly to the persistent efforts of a small number of Postal Inspectors in Pennsylvania, the fraudsters are being pursued and prosecuted, and MoneyGram has put up money to help repay victims."

MoneyGram reached a settlement with federal authorities and agreed to pay $100 million to victims of the consumer fraud scams that occurred between 2004 and 2009. Under a "deferred prosecution agreement," 11 Pennsylvania victims or family members received remission checks ranging from $3,000 to $97,000.

Postal Inspectors warn consumers to be vigilant during the holiday season. Don't let them steal your money. Learn how to protect yourself against fraud by visiting our website and DeliveringTrust.com. Call 1-877-876-2455 to report suspected fraud.

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About the U.S. Postal Inspection Service:  The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is one of the oldest federal law enforcement agencies in the country. For more than 200 years, Postal Inspectors have protected the U.S. Postal Service, secured the nation’s mail system and ensured public trust in the mail. postalinspectors.uspis.gov