Business in Vancouver

Vancouver fintech named criminal organisation by US

Businesswoman implicated in PacNet is chairwoman of Ottawa Chamber of Commerce

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 September, 2016, 11:13am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 September, 2016, 11:13am

US authorities have named a Vancouver fintech called PacNet Group a “significant transnational criminal organisation” and is seizing its U.S. assets.

The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) alleges the PacNet Group has been involved for years in criminal activity, including money laundering and facilitating mail fraud.

“PacNet has knowingly facilitated the fraudulent activities of its customers for many years, and today’s designations are aimed at shielding Americans and the nation’s financial system from the large-scale, illicit money flow that are generated by these scams against vulnerable individuals,” OFAC acting director John Smith said in a press release.

It’s not known yet if the RCMP have been involved with the investigation that led the OFAC to list PacNet and its affiliates as a transnational criminal organisation, or if the network is even on the RCMP’s radar.

The allegations have not been proven in a Canadian court or confirmed by Canadian police.

PacNet lists its North American office location as the 4th Floor, 595 Howe Street

Vancouver. At least one PacNet affiliate, Chexx Inc., has the same location.

The company could not be reached by phone, and some of the Canadians named as PacNet owners, directors or affiliates have not returned calls to Business in Vancouver.

Pac-Net is a third-party payment processor that provides an international payment processing service.

It has “a lengthy history of money laundering by knowingly processing payments on behalf of a wide range of mail fraud schemes that target victims in the United States and throughout the world,” according to the OFAC.

The Treasury department has named 12 people linked with PacNet, including a number of BC residents.

They include Rosanne Day, who is said to be president, board member and director of several PacNet subsidiaries.

In a 2010 interview with The Payers website, Day is described as the founder of PacNet. It started in Vancouver in 1994 as a cheque processing company, she said.

Another Canadian named is Marie Boivin, managing director of Accu-Rate Corp. in Ottawa. Paul Davis is named as the company’s president.

Boivin is not only a director for the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce – she is listed as the chamber’s chairperson, and was nominated Businesswoman of the Year by the Ottawa Business Journal in 2015.

Boivin’s chamber biography says she is CEO of Accu-Rate, founder of Parallele Nord- Sud SARL and Accu-Rate Corporation USA.

The OFAC alleges Accu-Rate, a PacNet affiliate, “facilitates illicit cash transaction on behalf of PacNet Europe’s check processing department.”

Also named is Mary Ann Driscoll, managing director for a PacNet-linked company called Chexx Inc., with offices in Vancouver and Ireland. A message left for Driscoll at Chexx Inc. has not yet been returned.

Of the many affiliates PacNet has around the world, they include Counting House Service Ltd., which has an office in Vancouver.

Counting House is “owned or controlled” by Paul Davis, the OFAC says, and lists its directors as Donna Maria MacBain and Raffaella Ferrari, who are also said to be PacNet executives.