Western Union settles dispute with state on money laundering | Border crime
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Border crime

Western Union settles dispute with state on money laundering

Company will pay $94 million to fight border crime

Western Union will pay $94 million to fight crime along the border as part of a settlement agreement with the state of Arizona.

According to a press release issued by Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, as part of the settlement, Western Union has agreed to pay:

• $50 million to the Center for State Enforcement of Antitrust and Consumer Protection Laws Inc. to fight crime along the border

• $21 million to reimburse the Arizona Attorney Generals Office, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Phoenix Police Department for the expenses they incurred in investigating activity by Western Union and its agents.

• $19 million during the next several years to strengthen its anti-money laundering efforts.

• $4 million to support an independent monitoring program.

The settlement ends several years of wrangling between the state and Western Union officials about how best to combat illegal money transfers. The state had contended that the company was not doing enough to "detect and prevent the abuse of its services," according to the press release.

The disputes being settled today relate to activity that occurred between 2003 and 2007. Goddard acknowledges that the company has stepped up its anti-laundering efforts.

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"Today's agreement is an example of how the private sector and law enforcement can overcome their past differences and work in good faith to accomplish a common goal," Goddard added.

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