Western Union sheds more light on federal investigation of gaming transactions

western-union-federal-probe-gamingInternational financial services outfit Western Union has shed more light on a federal investigation into company transactions related to gaming activities.

On Friday, Western Union filed a 10k report with the Securities Exchange Commission, in which it revealed new details regarding a federal grand jury subpoena served by the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida in March 2014. The filing says the subpoena was related to transactions with gaming companies based outside the US.

Western Union said the US Attorney was cutting a broad swathe, seeking documents spanning a period from January 2007 to November 27, 2013. The documents requested included “a variety of [anti-money laundering] compliance materials,” including suspicious activity reports and board meeting minutes.

More specifically, the US Attorney sought records for Western Union transactions for 33 agent locations in Costa Rica. The feds subsequently ordered the seizure of all moneys sent to two Costa Rican agents over a 10-day period in March 2014.

The feds also sought info regarding transactions involving 43 Nicaraguan agents between October 2008 and October 2013, as well as transactions sent to Nicaragua and Panama between September and October 2013, and from the US to the Bahamas, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Haiti between September 2013 and January 2014.

The feds advised Western Union that their investigation suspected the company was aware of gaming transactions sent to Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Haiti, Philippines, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, Peru and the Bahamas, yet “failed to take proper steps to stop the activity.”

Western Union says the company itself is a target of the investigation and warned shareholders that, should the feds’ investigation lead to charges against the company, it could be subject to “significant fines, damage awards or regulatory consequences” that could have a “material adverse effect” on the company’s finances.