| WASHINGTON, Sept 22
WASHINGTON, Sept 22 The U.S. Justice Department
and other agencies said on Thursday they have moved to shut down
a series of mail-fraud schemes that have stolen hundreds of
millions of dollars from victims in the United States.
The Justice Department said it was seeking to close mailing
firms that directly contacted victims, as well as a printer in
India that produced solicitation letters, people who traded in
lists of potential victims, and a Canadian company that
processed the money.
"The activities we are talking about today have cheated
Americans out of hundreds of millions of dollars," Attorney
General Loretta Lynch said at a news conference. "This fraud is
massive in scale and global in scope and it can be devastating
on an individual level."
The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control
(OFAC) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) both moved
against PacNet Services, a Canadian payments processing company.
OFAC designated the company a significant transnational
criminal organization, meaning its property has been frozen.
OFAC also froze the U.S. assets of 12 people associated with
The USPIS obtained a warrant to seize a PacNet bank account
in the United States that was used to process payments.
"PacNet has a 20-year history of engaging in money
laundering and mail fraud, by knowingly processing payments on
behalf of a wide range of mail fraud schemes," the department
said in a statement. "In 2016 alone, PacNet has processed
payments for the perpetrators of more than 100 different mail
fraud campaigns, collectively involving tens of millions of
PacNet did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Justice Department also filed a criminal complaint
against Ercan Barka, who operated True Vision LLC, and accused
him of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He was placed under
arrest on Sept. 3 as he attempted to fly to Turkey, the
Barka defrauded victims of more than $29 million, the
The government has also sought to shut down other direct
mail schemes based in New York, Nevada and Europe.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)