Payza was an early mover among “legitimate” money transfer services with regard to integrating Bitcoin payments, and as CCN reported about a year ago, one of the first to allow it both ways. You could deposit Bitcoin for sending payments and then receive payments in Bitcoin as well.
The service appears to still be operational, but there’s trouble in the waters for the London-based company. The DC US Attorney’s office updated its site on the 21st of October with a notice stating that the company is now facing a criminal investigation. The notice didn’t get too deep into the details of the allegations but did encourage people to contact the government if they had concerns regarding their account.
The United States government, including Homeland Security Investigations and the Washington, D.C. Financial Crimes Task Force, is currently conducting a criminal investigation. As part of that investigation, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has requested a United States District Judge to pause current civil litigation relating to Payza and Obopay. The Judge has paused the litigation until January 22, 2016.
For their part, Payza appears to be unconcerned. They passed the blame off to Obopay, who are also named in the investigation.
It was an issue with Obopay and we are not at fault. The department of justice is investigating Obopay and we are co-operated with the department of justice.
As you can see in the image below, this writer probed further regarding what had happened with Obopay, and received a repetition.
Obopay was not immediately available for comment, but this story will be updated if they do respond to our request. They may not be providing any public comments so as to not influence the investigation on them in anyway. Regardless, at this point it is unclear what the nature of the partnership between Obopay and Payza was, and what happened to get the federal government involved.
It can be inferred from the Justice Department’s notice that there were pending civil suits against the company, but now they’ve morphed into criminal litigation. Obopay is based in India and has been operating since 2005.
After the 22nd of January, we’ll know more from the government’s perspective. It might be better to see these companies get out ahead of the government and inform us all what’s going on. Remittance is a big part of the Bitcoin economy, and folks have long appreciated companies which take the volatility risk and find ways to enable Bitcoin payments for those who struggle with new technologies.
Featured image from Shutterstock.