Stripe pays Massachusetts $120K for its role in $15M PlexCoin scam

American payments processor Stripe is set to pay $120,000 to the state of Massachusetts to resolve allegations that it didn’t protect its users from a $15 million cryptocurrency scam. Stripe is accused of processing payments for 22 Massachusetts residents who invested in ICO scam PlexCoin.

Stripe allegedly processed payments for Dominic Lacroix, the founder of PlexCoin and his company PlexCorps, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said. Between August 2017 and September 2017, PlexCorps held six accounts with Stripe which it used to obtain millions of dollars in its ICO. Stripe terminated the accounts in September 2017.

Lacroix is alleged to have targeted thousands of American investors, 22 of whom resided in the state.

Stripe knew or should have known of Lacroix’s fraud in time to prevent harm to Massachusetts customers, AG Healey claimed in a statement. However, the San Francisco-based company “failed to do so due to its inadequate risk monitoring and fraud prevention and mitigation practices and procedures.”

In an accompanying assurance of discontinuance (AOD), the AG alleges that Stripe should have risk monitoring procedures that would detect and review duplicate accounts, identify and escalate requests from law enforcement, such as subpoenas, and investigate consumer complaints about merchant fraud.

Stripe agreed to pay $120,000 which will go towards investigative costs and monitoring, at the AG’s sole discretion. The payment shall not be considered a fine or penalty, the AOD clarified.

Stripe also pledged to improve its risk monitoring and fraud prevention and mitigation procedures. Some of these measures include enhancing duplicate screening procedures for accounts with shared bank accounts, improving merchants’ websites monitoring and a revision of its procedures concerning the handling of law enforcement requests. The company also pledged to conduct employee trainings to enhance their understanding of its risk monitoring procedures.

PlexCoin sprung up in 2017 at the height of the ICO mania, promising its investors 13-fold profit in just one month once they purchased the ‘next big digital currency’ PlexCoin. The SEC shut down the scam in December 2017 and has been pursuing the operator Lacroix and his co-conspirators ever since.

In the latest development, the U.S. Department of Justice unveiled a five-count indictment against the founders of PlexCoin, charging them with wire and securities fraud.

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