Payza Founders Indicted for $250 Million Money Laundering Scam

By | 2018-05-23T15:47:17+00:00 March 21st, 2018|Categories: MLM Lawsuits, Multi-Level Marketing, Payza, SEC|

ferhan patel firoz patel brothers

It was revealed today that Payza founders Firoz Patel and Ferhan Patel were indicted on felony conspiracy and money laundering charges earlier this month. The grand jury accuses the Patel brothers of operating a “money transmitting business that operated without the necessary state licenses and knowingly transmitted funds that were derived from illegal activity”. This illegal activity included handling $250 million of transactions for multiple multi-level marketing pyramid schemes, ponzi schemes, as well as child pornography rings.

Ferhan Patel was arrested in Detroit, Michigan on March 18th, 2018, but his brother Firoz remains at large. The brothers are both Canadian citizens.

Payza wasn’t the only business the Patel brothers were running or participating in. In addition, they ran AlertPay, which was incorporated in the United States in 2005; EgoPay, which was incorporated in Belize in 2012; and teamed up with Obopay to illegally expand their business without a license.

The official counts are:

  1. Conspiracy to Operate an Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business
  2. Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments
  3. Operation of an Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business
  4. Operation of an Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business

From the indictment:

Co-conspirator Payza began transmitting money in or about May 2012. At or about the same time defendants Firoz Patel and Ferhan Patel, and their co-conspirators, known and unknown to the Grand Jury, transitioned co-conspirator AlertPay accounts to co-conspirator Payza. The transition occurred in part because co-conspirator AlertPay had been revealed to have taken on customers trafficking in child pornography. The transition also occurred because on June 7, 2012, defendant Firoz Patel was indicted on two counts of money laundering associated with his operation of co-conspirator AlertPay to launder illicit proceeds derived from the importation and distribution of anabolic steroids and other controlled substances.

The grand jury has found that the almost $5 million seized from 2013 to 2017 must be forfeited by the Patel brothers and used to refund victims. However, this is likely far less than the total amount of money that was stolen from participants in the wide variety of schemes in which they actively participated.

It’s safe to assume that both brothers will likely be facing significant jail time or significant fines—and likely both. We’ll continue to update this story as more details are revealed.

You can read the full indictment here.

Update 5/23/2018

According to a report by the Montreal Journal, Firoz Patel is now being pursued by the Quebec Revenue Agency (ARQ) for $14 million CAD in unpaid taxes ($10.8 million USD). To collect part of the debt, a lien has been put on Firoz (and his wife Nazlin’s) house in Saint-Laurent which is estimated to be worth $2 million. Tax authorities allege that Patel evaded taxes on $27 million of income.

While Patel is on the run, it’s suspected that cash is not an issue for him—according to Revenu Quebec, armored vans provided by security company Garda transported $45 million in cash for Payza between 2012 and 2018. His brother Ferhan is still in custody since his arrest in March.

 

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Payza Founders Indicted for $250 Million Money Laundering Scam
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Payza Founders Indicted for $250 Million Money Laundering Scam
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Payza founders Firoz Patel and Ferhan Patel were indicted on felony conspiracy and money laundering charges earlier this month.
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MLM News Report
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One Comment

  1. arun khajuria April 22, 2018 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    how can i get my money back??

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