Payza co-founders sentenced to 4+ years prison
I held off reporting on the Payza case outcome as I wanted to go off the official case files.
Pacer hasn’t updated yet but, courtesy of the Montreal Gazette, we know how the November 10th sentencing hearing went down.
As per a report published by the Montreal Gazette, Firoz Patel was sentenced to three years in prison. His brother and co-conspirator, Ferhan Patel, received eighteen months.
Prosecutors had asked for 52 months for Firoz and two years for Ferhan.
The judge decided on lower sentences because the brothers had no criminal records and because of several letters of support from people in Canada, including an imam at a Montreal mosque, a federal law enforcement officer and a doctor.
The Patel brothers will serve their sentences at FCI Danbury, “a low-security United States federal prison”.
Payza is also prohibited from operating for three years, though personally I think it’s doubtful we’ll ever see it return.
The Montreal Gazette appear to have had a reporter at the hearing, who was able to provide us with some juicy quotes.
“I’m obviously very deeply ashamed by my role and the mistakes I made, the lack of actions I should have taken and my lack of judgment,” Ferhan Patel said when the judge asked if he had anything to say before she sentenced him.
“While we were making mistakes I tried to rectify them when we saw the opportunity to do so. We tried hiring regulatory lawyers.
We made a lot of efforts on the compliance side. But, unfortunately, while we were trying to be compliant we were aware we were in violation of federal laws while doing so.”
With Payza accused of laundering over $250 million, not surprisingly the Judge hearing the case wasn’t buying it.
At the end of the day they transferred $250 million in illicit funds ,” the judge said, calling the Patel brothers’ claims “astonishing.”
“You were facilitating that conduct in a very real way,” the judge said. “I don’t know if you ever thought of the drug addicts it was creating or how elderly people were losing their life savings (through fraud schemes).”
I’ll check the case docket early next week for the case files. Pending any surprises, which I’m not expecting, this otherwise brings our coverage of the Payza money laundering case to a close.
Payza clients with funds trapped in the processor have been asked to file a remission petition with the DOJ.
Update 3rd December 2020 – Gone over the court documents, no new information in them to report on.