The fallout out from Liberty Reserves multi-government seizure continues as the US published its initial case documents. Among the new events of what has become the largest ever money laundering scandal, was the involvement of accounts of Westpac, one of Australia’s largest banks. Reported first by several Australian media outlets, the Sydney Morning Herald explained “The indictment names three Westpac accounts held in the name of Technocash Ltd containing $US36.9 million in assets linked to the offences. It is demanding it be forfeited to the US government.”
Technocash is an Australian financialy licensed multi-currency payment processing firm that offers low cost transfers and exchange fees between its account holders. Due to the Liberty Reserve scandal, it has put into question how trustworthy and transparent are payment firms that act as financial intermediaries and are receiving and holding client deposits. They contrast to payment gateway firms that connect financial institutions such as banks.
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Understandably the current iFXEXPO, Liberty Reserve has become a hot topic among the participating payment firms in attendance. Firms expressed that when it comes to evaluating alternative payment providers, such as firms like Liberty Reserve, it is important to look at two things; regulation and who uses the service. Danielle Lebhar, VP Sales at Netpay explained that “first of all, there is no quick fix to getting around Visa and Mastercard. If you are a merchant, you have to look at all the `options to be able to offer it.” She added that in regards to alternative payments, people should look for “stability and reputation, with Liberty Reserve, the owner already had a questionable past.” In relation to ‘who is using the service’, another provider that didn’t works with Liberty Reserve and preferred not to comment publicly told Forex Magnates that “you can tell a lot about the trustworthiness of a company by who their clients are. If they are a solution for risky businesses, than they probably are too.”
In relation to Technocash, Forex Magnates reached out to the firm for details. A representative referred us to their official press release on the matter. The statement explained that Technocash “does not have any anonymous transactions or unverified customers. In accordance with its Australian licence requirements, all Technocash accountholders are verified with multi-step procedures to access the full Technocash system.” They added that “Technocash has been assisting authorities in their investigations of the matters raised in the abovementioned article and is committed to continuing its compliance with the requirements of the anti-money laundering and compliance legislation in all jurisdictions in which it operates. Importantly Technocash continues to provide services to its global customers.”