Financial Times – Wirecard, AlliedWallet, and their scam facilitating approach

Wirecard and Allied Wallet and GreyMountain Management

The Financial Times published another article on Wireceard today referring to AlliedWallet Inc, a former client of the German fintech company that allegedly supported fraud schemes in the U.S. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission‘s Complaint, AlliedWallet knowingly processed payments for fraudulent merchants, and helped create fake shell companies as well as dummy websites to hide fraud from banks and the credit card networks.

U.S. FTC vs. Allied Wallet

Payment processor Allied Wallet, its CEO and owner Ahmad (“Andy”) Khawaja, and two other officers, Mohammad (“Moe”) Diab and Amy Rountree, have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they assisted numerous scams by knowingly processing fraudulent transactions to consumers’ accounts.

FTC press release (May 21, 201)

AlliedWallet, Inc. (d/b/a AlliedWallet with www.alliedwallet.com), a Nevada company, runs a payment facilitating and processing business that enables their merchants to accept debit and credit card payments from consumers. According to the FTC Complaint, AlliedWallet since at least 2012 has knowingly processed payments for numerous merchants engaged in fraudulent activities and scams. The company and its merchants evidently submitted merchant applications containing false information to circumvent card network rules and transaction monitoring designed to prevent fraud.

Together with its associated legal entities in the U.S. and UK – Allied UK, GTBill LLC, and GTBill UK – have operated as a common enterprise while engaging in the unfair acts and practices alleged in the Complaint. AlliedWallet procured UK shell companies to disguise the location of non-EU merchants, the FTC said, which “enabled US merchants to evade the generally stricter regulatory framework of the US financial system”. Moreover, AlliedWallet submitted”dummy websites” to its foreign acquirers on behalf of its merchants.

The order against Khawaja and his companies, AlliedWallet, Inc., Allied UK, GTBill LLC, and GTBill Ltd., imposed a $110 million equitable monetary judgment. After Khawaja turne over a residence in Los Angeles, California, the remainder of the judgment will be suspended due to inability to pay.

Wirecard UK & Ireland did it again

According to the Financial Times report, in the first three months of 2017, Wirecard UK & Ireland attributed €1.3m of sales to AlliedWallet, on €30m of transactions processed on behalf of Wirecard.

Allied Wallet used Wirecard UK & Ireland as one of its “acquirers” in a business relationship lasting from 2013 to 2018. In a statement, Wirecard said it was only one of AlliedWallet’s many processing partners, and that appropriate measures “were taken when noticing any irregularities or suspicious transaction patterns, including termination of merchant accounts and reporting to law enforcement authorities”.

Wirceard and GreyMountain Management

The Financial Times also mentions in its article the involvement of Wirecard in Option888 binary options scam. This story was recently explained in detail by the German Handelsblatt (read FinTelegram report here). What is remarkable about this new story about Allied Wallet and Wirecard is that Wirecard UK & Ireland are again involved. This is consistent with the pattern of the giant binary options scheme around GreyMountain Management (GMM).

Like AlliedWallet, GMM was also a partner of Wirecard and even had its office in Dublin in the Wirecard building. Founded by David Cartu and Jonathan Cartu, GMM operated dozens of binary option schemes as a partner of Wirecard. GMM provided payment services and a white-label broker solution to those schemes and acquired them as merchants for the Wirecard network. The Allied Wallet scheme depicted in the FTC’s Complaint is very reminiscent of GMM.

FinTelegram has numerous documents that prove that GMM has also worked with manipulated or false merchant applications, fake IDs and straw men to process the payments of customers (victims) via Wirecard.