The latest from the FCA;
QPay Europe Limited, which claims to be a fintech start up offering due diligence and underwriting services, has consented to a court order to give up £2,000,000 held in its name following proceedings brought by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Proceeds of Crime Act in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
The money was initially frozen in urgent proceedings brought by the FCA in October and December 2020.
The FCA claimed the money was the proceeds of illegal activity connected to criminal proceedings in the United States of America concerning an alleged conspiracy to commit wire fraud against banks, credit card companies and other financial service providers in the USA. The FCA is not alleging that QPay is involved in this conspiracy.
The FCA’s concerns were raised following an application by QPay to become a regulated firm in March 2020. QPay received the money from software firm, Fintech International Q Software WLL, allegedly as an investment. However, the FCA observed QPay moved the money repeatedly to different bank accounts in several countries and none of the transactions appeared to be related to legitimate business. QPay has withdrawn its application to be regulated by the FCA.
The orders are account called forfeiture orders which means the sums totalling £2,000,000 held by QPay are paid to the UK government. The order was made by consent by District Judge Cieciora at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, said, “Account forfeiture orders are an important means of intervening and capturing illegal money and this action is a good example of what can be done. The funds will now be used to assist the FCA and other authorities fight illegal activity. The FCA will continue to vet applications for authorisation to ensure firms meet our standards of integrity as well as competence.”