BULLETIN: ‘PerfectMoney,’ Fraud-Scheme Processor Purportedly Based In Panama, Says It Is Banning U.S. Customers

breakingnews72BULLETIN: On the heels of the apparent shutdown of Costa Rica-based Liberty Reserve as part of an international money-laundering investigation, “PerfectMoney” says it is banning users from the United States. Perfect Money purportedly operates from Panama. (More below.)

In an announcement dated today on its website, Perfect Money says that “due to changes in our policy we forbid new registrations from individuals or companies based in the United States of America. This includes US citizens residing overseas. If you fall under the above mentioned category, please do not register an account with us.”

How PerfectMoney intends to treat existing U.S. users was not immediately clear, and the firm did not explain why it suddenly had changed its policy. The company is favored by criminals and HYIP scammers and has a history of advertising on behalf of purported Forex “opportunities” that have been the subjects of sweeping court actions in the United States.

In January 2013, the Superintendency of the Securities Market of the Republic of Panama (SMV) warned that Perfect Money “has not been granted any kind of license by the SMV, nor has been authorized to carry on activities of intermediation, administration, or advisory in securities, financial instruments or forex, in or from the Republic of Panama, within the scope of the Securities Law.

“PERFECT MONEY FINANCE CORP. does not have [its] own offices in Panama, the office and its P.O. Box claim in its website [deleted by PP Blog], belong to the companies Azuero Business Center, Inc. and Panama Net Buy, which provides online shopping services,” SMV said.

In 2011, the PP Blog reported that an individual referenced as a Perfect Money contact person is referenced in federal court filings that tie money from the alleged EMG/Finanzas Forex fraud scheme to an international narcotics probe that led to the seizure of at least 59 bank accounts in the United States and the companion seizure of 294 bars of gold and at least seven luxury vehicles.

PerfectMoney’s name also is referenced in case filings from the SEC’s 2010 fraud complaint against Imperia Invest IBC, a scam purportedly operating offshore. Deaf people lost millions of dollars to Imperia, the SEC said.

A quick check today by the PPBlog showed dozens of HYIP sites that claim to accept PerfectMoney. Many of the same sites also claimed to accept LibertyReserve. How the “programs” — all of which advertise preposterous returns — will contend with the absence of LibertyReserve and the new restrictions imposed by PerfectMoney was not immediately clear.

Liberty Reserve operator Arthur Budovsky Belanchuk is reported to be under arrest in Spain as part of a probe by authorities in Costa Rica and the United States.

Based on U.S. court files and certain extrapolations, murky HYIPs may be raking in billions of dollars. In August 2012, the SEC alleged that the Zeek Rewards “program” gathered at least $600 million. Legisi, another HYIP scam, gathered at least $72 million before its 2008 collapse. Pathway To Prosperity appears to have churned at least $70 million prior to its 2010 collapse. The 2008 AdSurfDaily scheme gathered at least $119 million, according to federal prosecutors.

Zeek and ASD — at least — did business with AlertPay and SolidTrustPay, processors based in Canada.

In April 2013, the SEC alleged that a murky “program” known as Profitable Sunrise may have gathered tens of millions of dollars. Profitable Sunrise is the subject of regulatory actions or Investor Alerts in at least five countries: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy and New Zealand.

Profitable Sunrise pitchmen may not even have known for whom they were working to glean commissions, the SEC alleged.

There may be hundreds or perhaps thousands of HYIP scams operating online at any given point in time. Some of them — like Profitable Sunrise — even advertise they accept bank wires. HYIP scams often have promoters in common, a situation that sets the stage for banks to come into possession of funds tainted by a revolving door of fraud schemes.

In recent weeks, the PP Blog has reported on a number of reload scams aimed at victims of the Profitable Sunrise scheme. Virtually all of the schemes accepted PerfectMoney, LibertyReserve or both. Some also advertised they accepted SolidTrustPay and EgoPay.

These schemes included BiwakoBank Limited, SuperWithdraw, Whos12, Fairy Funds, Roxili, OptiEarn, AVVGlobal, ProForexUnion, MajestiCrown and TelexFree.

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8 Responses to “BULLETIN: ‘PerfectMoney,’ Fraud-Scheme Processor Purportedly Based In Panama, Says It Is Banning U.S. Customers”

  1. goood new that perfectmoney ban usa the usa gov eat all zeekreward and libertyreserve people money russain knows very well how to handel these fucking usa gov i am so happy… :)

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  2. How about “don’t deal with shady people in the first place”?

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  3. Who the heck is “Andrew Drapper”, alleged head of PerfectMoney any way? There seem to be only ONE photo of him on some Russian website, taken in a diner car of a train. No other way to finding ANY info on this individual.

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  4. Hi Patrick,
    Thanks for the information concerning Perfect Money and Liberty Reserve. I can relate to such incident with Profitable Sunrise, and to mention Felmina Alliance, which was based in Panama.
    This leaves a bitter taste in my mouth with all HYIP.

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  5. You’re welcome, Colin.

    Thank you for stopping by.

    Patrick

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  6. Just remembered, KrebonSecurity, as quoted on WBUR-OnPoint special on LibertyReserve, stated that LibertyReserve’s biggest competitor, WebMoney out of Russia, actually banned US transactions back in MARCH 2013.

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  7. Reuters has this story which mentions WebMoney and PerfectMoney:

    Digital currency firms rush to adopt anti-money laundering rules
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/digital-currency-firms-rush-adopt-204551963.html?l=1

    Vyacheslav Andryushchenko, a spokesman for WebMoney in Russia, said each of the company’s 20 million users had to agree to prohibitions against money laundering and illegal trade when signing up for an account. Users who violate the rules are cut off, and all actions inside WebMoney’s system are recorded, the spokesman said. A user is blocked if there are any suspicions of anything illegal. In addition, the less personal information the user provides, the fewer services are available to him or her, the spokesman said.

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  8. Tony H: Digital currency firms rush to adopt anti-money laundering rules
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/digital-currency-firms-rush-adopt-204551963.html?l=1

    Thanks for this, Tony. Another snippet from the Reuters story via Yahoo News:

    “Several messages on the listed number on Perfect Money’s website were not returned. The company’s address is an empty suite in an office block on the northwestern side of Panama City. A secretary in a neighboring office said she had never seen anyone go in or out.”

    Patrick

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