US authorities name Irish figures in Pacnet fraud investigation
Alleged money laundering scheme involved lotter payments and psychics
US authorities have named a number of Irish-based individuals in connection with Pacnet, the group sanctioned for allegedly laundering money from mail fraud schemes involving lottery payments and psychic predictions
US authorities have named a number of Irish-based individuals in connection with Pacnet, the group sanctioned for allegedly laundering money from mail fraud schemes involving lottery payments and psychic predictions.
Washington’s Department of the Treasury sanctioned Canadian payment processor, Pacnet, for alleged laundering money from schemes used to dupe people out of cash by seeking money to process fictional prizes.
The treasury ’s office of foreign assets control “designated” a number of companies, directors and others tied to Pacnet’s Irish operation in Shannon Co Clare, in documents detailing sanctions against the group.
According to the treasury’s statement, the “designation” means that any US assets belonging to the Pacnet group or the individuals can be frozen while it is illegal for anybody there to do business with them.
The Irish individuals include Gerard Alphonsus – Gerry – Humphreys, a pilot from Brittas House, Brittas, Co Limerick, who is a director of Pacnet Holdings and Pacnet Services (Ireland), both registered in the Republic.
A second figure is Paul Davis, also known as Robert Paul Davis, who holds a British passport, but has an address at Ros na Greine, Balleycasey, Shannon.
The US treasury states that he is the “president, partner, shareholder, or corporate director” in several Pacnet companies.
Third individualEstelle SnymanMs Lynam
Mr Davis said he would not be “commenting on anything”. Mr Humphreys did not respond to a number of attempts to give him the opportunity to respond to the US treasury’s statement.
The treasury lists six Irish companies, all with addresses at Shannon Airport House or at 4 Michael Street, Limerick.
They also include Chexx, Pacnet Connections, Pacnet Europe, and the Payments Factory. Neither the Irish business nor its Vancouver-based parent would comment yesterday.
Pacnet manages credit and debit card transactions, direct debits, cheques and other payments in different currencies for businesses. US authorities describe it as “the third-party payment processor of choice for perpetrators of a wide range of mail-fraud schemes”.
The alleged fraud involved sending letters to mainly US residents telling them that they had won a lottery or some other prize,and seeking a payment to process this.
Those that paid never received anything in return.
The treasury statement says that in 2002, two major Pacnet companies in Canada and Ireland acknowledged in court that using mail to market lotteries, shares, and interests within the US, and using facilities there to handle payments for this, violated federal law.