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Scammers and their bankers PART II: PAYVISION and its interesting involvement in US court cases

a legal case in the US

We have been doing a deep-dive investigation in PAYVISION B.V. Amsterdam’s business activities – subsidiary of one of the most reputable banks of the world ING Groep N.V. – and learned a lot about what kind of business has been and still is done by PAYVISION. So we learned that PAYVISION not only served scammers willingly like Gal BARAK res. Uwe LENHOFF, as described in our PART I article about PAYVISION, we learned that PAYVISION is also busy in doing business with at least questionable other high-risk payment service providers.

  1. As of  July 28, 2020, a legal dispute started at the United States District Court of Nevada (Case 2:20-cv-01405-JCM-VCF between Beyond Wealth PTE LLC, UTAH (“Beyond Wealth”) – a US MLM company –  and T1 Payments LLC – its presumed US Payment Facilitator regarding T1 Payment´s withholding a termination amount of more than 4 Mio USD. As of 24/08/2020, PAYVISION B.V., Amsterdam (“PAYVISION”) was included in the claim as a Counterclaim-Defendant.
  2. Beyond Wealth[3] claimed that T1 Payments LLC (“T1 Payments”) in its claimed capacity as a Payment Facilitator[4] lured them into a Merchant Service Application and Card Payment Processing Agreement in May 2020 by representing that it will provide them with bona fide and honest payment processing services.
  3. Only weeks later, the contractual relationship went sour, and Beyond Wealth found T1 Payments was not at all a registered Payment Facilitator and T1 Payments’ ability to process Beyond Wealth`s transactions was dependent upon PAYVISION B.V´s (Counterclaim-Defendant) violation of Card Brands (i.e., Visa and Mastercard) regulation. Beyond Wealth claims that T1Payments is guilty of illegal acts of access device fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, and unlicensed money transmission according to an unlawful conspiracy with PAYVISION in Europe.
  4. The legal claim describes in great detail how PAYVISION processed all transactions of Beyond Wealth as acquiring company by creating a subaccount for Beyond Wealth under T1 Payments´ master merchant account without any contract in place between Beyond Wealth and Payvision, so T1 Payments held a merchant account under his name with PAYVISION and PAYVISION deposited the processing funds flowing from the processing activity directly with T1 Payments bank account with Atlanta Bank.
  5. Furthermore, Beyond Wealth claims that although T1 Payments is a US company with the place of operations exclusively in Nevada, the UK shell companies T1 Payments Ltd (T1 UK) and TGlobal Services Ltd (TGlobal) were purposeful set up in the UK to enable T1 Payments to process virtually all the merchant transactions it sponsors through an undisclosed acquirer (supposedly PAYVISION) that have only contracted with T1UK or TGlobal, UK.
  6. Beyond Wealth LLC was asked to create a shell company Beyond Wealth UK to board Beyond Wealth´s business with PAYVISION. So, although the customer payment processing agreement (CPPA) was a direct agreement between T1 (Payment LLC and Beyond Wealth LLC , the transactions were submitted under the UK entity’s name. This is a clear violation of Card Brand Rules, which prohibits an acquirer from submitting for processing through the Interchange System any transaction resulting from the acceptance of a card by an entity or person except according to a merchant agreement then in effect between the acquirer and the entity or person (see Mastercard Rule 5.1 (p. 59).
  7. T1 Payments evidently operates its own corporation formation service to be offered for its high-risk merchants in setting up UK entities for a fee of USD 250 as a condition to open a merchant account with T1 Payments.
  8. T1 Payments contracts with merchants under T1 Payment´s name but processes the transactions through PAYVISION according to contracts with T1UK or TGlobal.
  9. PAYVISION does this even though T1UK and TGLOBAL are officially dormant companies claiming years to have only GBP 1 in assets.[5] This was done as according to Mastercard Rule 7.1. and 7.13 any service provider – in specific, a Payment Facilitator´s location must be located within the acquirer´s jurisdiction. Beyond Wealth claims that by procuring UK shell companies for Beyond Wealth and other non-UK and non-EU merchants, T1 Payments has conspired with PAYVISION to create the appearance that such merchants were in the UK or the EU and thus eligible for domestic payment processing. Card Brand Rules clearly bar T1 Payments undisclosed EU acquirers and payment processors from opening accounts for Beyond Wealth and those merchants.
  10. Beyond Wealth pretends in its claim that the procedure to set up UK shell companies is described as a standard operating procedure in T1 Payment´s account on-boarding Instructions, the MSA, and related Materials disseminated to its Partners and its merchants in the normal course of business. The materials even discuss the possibility that merchants need to procure an “EU Corp” in addition to the merchants’ actual corporate form.
  11. This procedure straight forward qualifies as credit card laundering[6] that violates US federal regulations. It represents an unlawful practice used to circumvent card brand monitoring programs avoiding detection by consumers and law enforcement.  Besides, it violates Dutch law, as PAYVISION cannot offer its licensed services to US customers.
  12. Beyond Wealth alleges in the claim that T1 Payments depends on this same structure to offer processing services to all its merchants, which means that tens of millions of dollars are flowing from PAYVISION´s bank account in Europe to T1´s bank account in the US and T1 Payments forwarding the money to T1 Payments´ merchants throughout the United States.
  13. By knowingly allowing T1 Payments to onboard merchants under an aggregated merchant account held in T1 Payment´s own name, without T1 Payments actually being registered a Payment Facilitator with the Card Brands, PAYVISION would have conspired with T1 Payments and would have participated in, promoted, facilitated, and aided and abetted that conduct, while generating substantial fees for PAYVISION in the process.
  14. PAYVISION evidently did not verify that T1 Payments is operating a bona fide business and did not verify that T1 Payments complies with applicable law and is registered with the Cards Associations to act as a Payment Facilitator and thereby PAYVISION violated Mastercard Rule 7.2.
  15. There have been dozens of other legal claims against T1 Payments in former years not preventing PAYVISION to provide payment processing services to this company (Beyond Wealth lists them in detail in the legal papers).
  16. With PAYVISION having been in business with T1 Payments already since 2015 and 2016[7], PAYVISION is supposed to know about the legal claim of Vantiv  for example – a US leading payment processor – filed against T1 Payments as of March 14, 2017, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio for breach of contract and fraud, with VANTIV alleging that T1 Payments not only breached its contract with Vantiv, it also made up fictitious entities to defraud Vantiv. It stole money from merchants by employing a scheme to divert funds to T1 Payments bank accounts that should have gone to the merchants. In February 2017 – upon learning of the fraud – Vantiv promptly terminated the relationship with T1 Payments and caused T1 Payments to de-register with the Cards Associations as a Payment Facilitator[8]. PAYVISION evidently did not have these issues with the practices of T1 Payments.
  17. An acquirer is prohibited from accepting and submitting transactions into Interchange from merchants, Payment Facilitators, or sponsored merchants outside the Acquirer´s jurisdiction. This means that as a Las Vegas Nevada based company, T1 Payments is only eligible for sponsorship as a registered Service Provider by an acquirer based in North America – which is not – Card Brand Rules would still prohibit any acquirer in the UK or Europe from sponsoring T1 as a Service Provider and/or accepting and submitting transactions to Interchange from any merchant located in the United States, without violating Card Brand Rules against Cross Border-Acquiring.  
  18. As of November 9th, 2020, PAYVISION filed its reply to the court (Document 103-2), confirming that all is fine with PAYVISION B.V. and that PAYVISION only does business in Europe under Dutch law and the Card Brands regulation.
  19. The Chief Risk Officer of PAYVISION Maria Alida Johana Ruijters – Terprstra confirmed that PAYVISION B.V. has never sold or distributed any products or services into the State of Nevada, mainly arguing that the Nevada Court lacks jurisdiction over PAYVISION.
  20. In the court documents provided by PAYVISION, it gets quite clear that PAYVISION has had a close relationship with T1 Payments and its UK shell companies for many years. PAYVISION tries to prove its claims with an excerpt of its internal documents showing the British T1 payment companies as customers. PAYVISION did not explain why all the transactions shown on these internal documents in Europe are denominated in USD.

[1] Case 2:20-cv-01405-JCM-VCF United State District Court: T1 Payments LLC, Nevada vs. BEYOND WEALTH PTE LLC, UTAH and PAYVISION B.B. a Dutch limited company as Counterclaim-Defendants. Fraudulent business practices dated 08/24/20

[2] Case 2: 16-cv-00739-JAD-PAL United State District Court: Atlantic Pacific Processing Systems INC vs. Dermarketive (and T1 Payments LLLC, Nevada)

[3] Beyond Wealth is a company that sells various products through the multilevel marketing model (“MLM”).

[4] Sometimes, Acquirers, may contract with third party organizations to provide processing related services (referred to in the Mastercard rules and hereafter as “Program Services”) to merchants under the acquirers sponsorship with the Cards Associations (such third party organizations ere referred to in the Visa rules as “Third party Agents” and in the Mastercard rules and hereafter as “service providers”). A Service Provider may perform only the type of Program Service it is registered to perform and must be registered with the Cards Association  before an acquirer or merchant may use its services (see e.g. Mastercard Rule 7.2 (The Program and Performance of Program Service).

Mastercard Rule 7.2.1 (Customer Responsibility and Control): The acquirer must at all times be entirely responsible for and must manage, direct and control, all aspects of its Program and Program Service performed by Service Providers, and establish and enforce all program management and operating policies in accordance with Card Association Rules. An acquirer must not transfer or assign any part of such responsibilities, or in any way limit its responsibility, with regard to any of its Service Providers. An acquirer must conduct meaningful monitoring of its Service Providers to ensure ongoing compliance by its Service providers with Card Associations rules.

 A payment facilitator enters into contracts with acquirers to provide payment services to merchants, and it enters into a separate contract with each merchant to enable payment acceptance. When a cardholder makes a purchase, the merchant routes the transaction data for processing through the payment facilitator’s master merchant account. A payment facilitator enters into contracts with acquirers to provide payment services to merchants, and it enters into a separate contract with each merchant to enable payment acceptance. When a cardholder makes a purchase, the merchant routes the transaction data for processing through the payment facilitator’s master merchant account.

[5] Compare Companies House register

[6] Processing one company´s transactions through another company´s merchant account. Credit card laundering may involve opening a merchant account through a “straw” company or may also be accomplished by aggregating transactions from other companies and processing them through a single “funnel account” held in the name of the ISO, as happened here. The Department of Treasury´s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FEINCEN”) regards such activities as a variation of money laundering.

[7] According to the declaration made by Maria Alida Johanna Ruljters-Terpstra (Filed 11/09/20 in Case 2.20-cv-01405

[8] Public available and easily to be found information.

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