MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Legal Newsline) - Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced Tuesday that some Alabamans may be eligible for compensation if they suffered losses from scams in which money was sent through MoneyGram International Inc.
MoneyGram, a Dallas-based global money services company, agreed to forfeit $100 million to the United States as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Justice Department. MoneyGram allegedly engaged in mass marketing and consumer fraud, causing tens of thousands of people to lose money from advance fee and related scams. The company admitted that it aided and abetted wire fraud and failed to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program.
"MoneyGram has admitted responsibility in fraudulent transactions that harmed many who could least afford to suffer losses," Strange said. "We do not know how many Alabamians were victimized, so it is important to get the word out to those who may be eligible for compensation. Those who think they may be eligible should contact the Justice Department's information hotline or webpage and make claims by November 15."
Strange's Consumer Protection Section received complaints from approximately 28 consumers who were involved in approximately 48 transactions with MoneyGram. Other Alabama consumers may be eligible if they suffered losses between 2004 and 2009.
According to the Justice Department, the scams were committed by falsely promising victims they would receive large cash prizes, falsely promising employment opportunities as secret shoppers, falsely offering high-ticket items for sale online at deeply discounted prices and posing as the victim's relative claiming to be in trouble and in need of money. The victims sent advance money through MoneyGram and never received the products or services in return.