Saturday 17 August 2019

Irish business executive accused of being involved in multimillion-dollar scam

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A former Shannon-based business executive is one of four people accused of being involved in a multimillion dollar scam, mainly targeting elderly victims.

The four were alleged in court yesterday to be key players in a company, which acted as a third-party payments provider for fraudsters.

Paul Davis (63) was charged in the district of Nevada in the United States with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and multiple counts of mail fraud and wire fraud.

Davis has an address in Ballycasey, Shannon, but is understood to be currently living in the Isle of Man.

He and a co-accused Rosanne Day (51) are described by the US Department of Justice as part owners and the top managers of PacNet Services Ltd, a payment processing company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The indictment alleges that PacNet, under the direction of the four defendants, was the payment processor for companies that mailed large volumes of fraudulent notifications designed to mislead victims into falsely believing they would receive a large amount of money, a valuable prize or specialised psychic services, if they paid a fee.

PacNet is alleged to have served as the middleman between banks and the fraudulent mailers by processing the victims' cheques, cash and credit card payments, depositing those payments into PacNet controlled bank accounts and distributing the funds, as directed by its clients.

Davis is described as overseeing PacNet's office in Shannon and it's alleged he earned about 15 million in Canadian dollars from 2013 to 2015, the last three full years that PacNet was in operation, according to the indictment.

The charges follow a massive international investigation, led by the US postal inspection service with help from several partners including Ireland's Criminal Assets Bureau, the UK national crime agency and the Netherland's Fiscal Information and Investigation Service. In Dublin the Criminal Assets Bureau has secured a High Court order to freeze more than €3.7m held by Davis in a bank account.

The CAB has been investigating Davis since 2016.

Justice officials pointed out the indictment contained only accusations against the defendants and was not evidence of guilt.

Irish Independent

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