Judge OKs Mansef Settlement to Forfeit $2.2M

ATLANTA — Mansef Inc. and its Premium Services Inc. division have agreed to forfeit $2.2 million in its settlement with the Justice Department over $6.4 million seized by the Secret Service.

The final order on the arrested funds was recently signed off by U.S. District Judge Julie Carnes, and the $2.2 million were slated to be transferred by wire. The parties agreed to be responsible for attorneys fees.

In February, Mansef, Premium and the Justice Department reached a settlement in the long-winding case.  

Mansef's fight for seized funds began in 2009 after it set up Atlanta-based Premium Services to facilitate payments from its third-party credit card processors into the accounts and to allow the company to remit funds out of two checking accounts to its U.S. vendors.

The Secret Service claimed in court documents that Premium Services was not registered with the federal Treasury Department nor with the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance as a money-transmitting business.

Federal authorities noted in court documents that for three months last year Premium Services received $9.4 million in wire transfers from various sources and that much of the funds originated in high-risk countries.

U.S. authorities claimed that the funds in two accounts were forfeitable under 18 U.S.C. § 981 (a)(1)(A) as property involved in or traceable to a transaction in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1960, which prohibits unlicensed money-transmitting businesses.

Mansef and Premium Services all along denied they are in that line of business.

Montreal-based Mansef last year was sold to new owners Manwin, which added additional properties to its international group of companies.

Manwin declined comment to XBIZ.