Mansef to Settle With U.S. Over $6.4M in Seized Funds

Feb 2, 2011 10:30 AM PST
ATLANTA — Mansef Inc. and its Premium Services Inc. division have signed a settlement agreement with the Justice Department over $6.4 million seized by the Secret Service.

Terms of the proposed settlement with the government have yet to be made public. A final order on the matter has yet to be signed off by a federal judge.

"Under the terms and conditions of the settlement agreement, the agreement is subject to approval by the Department of Justice," counsel for Mansef said in a memo to the court. "The agreement has been submitted to the Department of Justice for such approval."

Mansef's fight for seized funds began in 2009 after it set up Atlanta-based Premium Services to facilitate payments from its third-party credit card processors into the accounts and to allow the company to remit funds out of two checking accounts to its U.S. vendors.

The Secret Service claims in court documents that Premium Services was not registered with the federal Treasury Department nor with the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance as a money-transmitting business.

Federal authorities noted in court documents that for three months last year Premium Services received $9.4 million in wire transfers from various sources and that much of the funds originated overseas in countries such as Israel, considered by law enforcement to be at high risk for money-laundering activity.

U.S. authorities claim that the funds in two accounts are forfeitable under 18 U.S.C. § 981 (a)(1)(A) as property involved in or traceable to a transaction in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1960, which prohibit’s unlicensed money-transmitting businesses.

Mansef and Premium Services have denied they are in that line of business. Montreal-based Mansef last year was sold to new owners, which spun off the company as Manwin Inc.

Both Manwin and the Justice Department did not immediately return XBIZ queries for comment.

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