Online payment service E-Gold and three of its principals have pleaded guilty to criminal money-laundering charges following accusations they knowingly allowed child pornographers, investment scammers and other internet-based criminals to transfer funds related to their misdeeds.
In an indictment handed down in April 2007, prosecutors accused E-Gold of knowingly offering services to a host of the net’s most reviled actors. The company, which also did business under the name Omnipay, marketed itself as being outside the reach of US law enforcement, allowed customers to open accounts with names such as “Mickey Mouse” and “No Name,” and made no requirements that customers not use the service for criminal activity.
On “numerous occasions,” employees with the firm made notations in database records indicating the types of crime customers engaged in, including entries such as “child porn,” “Scammer,” and “CC fraud,” according to the indictment. The company required law enforcement officials to send subpoenas to an address in Bermuda to give the impression the operation was based outside the US when in fact it was located in Florida.
I’m betting all the banks in subprime trouble need more cash flow than even the global underworld can supply.