Beware of USFIA- Review Part 3

In the 26th Interim Report of the USFIA Receiver, there are several problems with distribution payments.

The last report from the Receiver was turned in on December 5th. In it, the Receiver says that payments totaling $51.3 million have been sent out.

Checks, PayPal, or wire transfers were used to pay. A very large number of checks have not been cashed because foreign currency transactions aren’t allowed in some places or because foreign banks don’t have banking relationships with U.S. banks.

To fix these problems, the Receiver added PayPal as a way to pay.

Even so, that has also been hard. Most of the time, problems happen because the person making the claim did not set up their Paypal account correctly.

Because it was hard for the Receiver to pay by check or PayPal, he or she has also been paying by wire transfer. This can only be done a certain number of times per day, and it needs to be approved and verified first.

Some of the wires have been sent back because the claimant gave the wrong instructions.

Some have been turned down by the receiving bank because foreign currency transactions aren’t allowed in that country. Some countries don’t let wires come in because of laws against money laundering or because they need proof that the money came from a legitimate source.

There are also problems when checks get sent back or never get where they are supposed to go. In these situations, stop payment orders are filled out and then checks are sent out again.

There are no specific examples given, but the Receiver has heard of third parties depositing checks, ACH fraud, and attempts to divert funds.

The Receiver has also had to deal with shady attempts to steal from the distribution fund. For example, non-claimants have sent stolen checks and made fake ACH (Automated Clearing House) withdrawals.

Other ways that people try to steal money is by filing claims on behalf of real victims and then trying to take the money for themselves.

Because of these deceptive actions, the Receiver has had to keep a close eye on disbursement activity.

As the process of distributing USFIA funds goes on, Receivership staff are getting a lot of messages.

Every day, there are hundreds of emails asking about the status of a payment, correcting payee information, reporting a missing payment, and bringing up all sorts of other problems that need to be looked at and dealt with.

USFIA was a Ponzi scheme that took in $200 million. “Nearly $80 million” of that amount has been taken back by the Receivership. USFIA victims who have a valid claim will get $64 million in the future.

The USFIA Receiver doesn’t expect any “additional monetary recoveries” after December 2022.

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