On July 17, 2020, Firoz Patel and his brother, Ferhan Patel, the founders and operators of Payza.com, AlertPay.com and Egopay.com, and the company MH Pillars doing business as Payza, pled guilty to conspiring to launder money and operating an Internet-based unlicensed money service business that processed more than $250 million in illicit transactions. Firoz Patel also pled guilty to one count of conspiring to launder monetary instruments for charges related to a case out of the Middle District of Tennessee.
The United States initiated the Remission process in U.S. v. MH PILLARS LTD., doing business as PAYZA, et al.; Case no. 18-cr-00053. This process determines if funds may be returned to eligible persons. As a part of this process, direct and public notice was given to potential Claimants/Petitioners.
Direct notices were sent to potential Claimants/Petitioners between August and September, 2020. These Claimants/Petitioners were identified based upon their previous contact with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. These direct notices gave the potential Claimants/Petitioners 30 days from receipt of the notice to submit a Claim or a Petition for Remission. The United States also provided public notice on two publically accessible websites -- https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/victim-witness-assistance/obopay-payza and www.forfeiture.gov. Daily publication began on August 18, 2020 and ended on September 16, 2020. These internet public notices provided that all Claims and Petitions had to be submitted by October 17, 2020.
Several extensions to these deadlines were granted by the Department of Justice’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section. As such, the FINAL deadline to submit such Claims or Petitions was Friday, November 13, 2020. The time to submit a Claim or a Petition for Remission has expired and we are no longer accepting any additional Claims or Petitions in this case.
If you submitted a Petition, please be advised that the authority to grant a Petition for Remission or Mitigation rests solely with the Chief of the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section of the Department of Justice. Neither the United States Attorney’s Office nor the United States District Court has any role in making that decision.
A claims administrator may follow up if questions remain regarding your petition. You may be asked for additional documentation related to your account as well as additional sworn statements in support of your Petition. Foreign claimants may be unable to recover funds in certain circumstances due to international agreements between foreign countries and the United States. At this time, we cannot inform you whether or not your government will permit payments or allow further contact from the claims administrator. There are no further updates to the recovery process.