Western Union settles U.S. money laundering allegations for $586 million

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(Copyright Reuters 2017)

Western Union agreed to pay $586 million and admitted to turning a blind eye as criminals used its service for money laundering and fraud, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement on Thursday. With the help of Western Union agents, Chinese immigrants used the service to send hundreds of millions of dollars to pay human smugglers, wiring the money in smaller increments to avoid federal reporting requirements, U.S. authorities said. Prosecutors said Western Union knew of the illegal conduct for at least five years.

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The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Joel Schectman and Diane Bartz; editing by Grant McCool and Jonathan Oatis)