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The Commissioner of Banks ("Commissioner") having determined that ALPHA MONEY TRANSFER, INC., located at 402 Amherst Street, Suite 204, Nashua, New Hampshire ("Alpha Money" or the "Corporation") has engaged, or is engaged in, or is about to engage in, acts or practices constituting violations of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 169, and applicable regulations found at 209 CMR 44.00 et seq., hereby issues the following ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST pursuant to General Laws chapter 169, section 13(b).
FINDINGS OF FACT
A. Failure To Demonstrate the Financial Responsibility, Character, Reputation, Integrity, and General Fitness to Maintain a Foreign Transmittal Agency License
The commissioner may suspend or revoke any license issued pursuant to this chapter if he finds that: (a) the licensee has violated any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation adopted hereunder or any other law applicable to the conduct of such business; or (b) any fact or condition exists which, if it had existed at the time of the original application for such license, would have warranted the commissioner to refuse to issue such license.
(a) The Commissioner may deny an application to engage in the business of foreign transmittal agency, if the Commissioner upon review of the application and other relevant information, determines that the Applicant has not satisfied the requirements of M.G.L. c. 169 or 209 CMR 44.03.
(b) The Commissioner may also deny such an application if the Applicant has:
1. violated any provision of M.G.L. c. 169 or 209 CMR 44.00;
2. violated or engaged in a pattern of violations of any state or federal law applicable to the conduct of the business of a foreign transmittal agency and any rule, regulation or administrative order or directive promulgated thereunder;
3. conducted, or will conduct, its business in an unsafe and unsound manner...
B. Failure to Establish Adequate and Appropriate Polices, Procedures and Controls with Foreign Correspondents
(a) Each money services business ... shall develop, implement and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program .... that is reasonably designed to prevent the money services business from being used to facilitate money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities.
(b) The program shall be commensurate with the risks posed by the location and size of, and the nature and volume of the financial services provided by, the money services business.
All money received for transmission to a foreign country by any licensee shall be forwarded to the person to whom the same is directed within seven days following receipt thereof...
Grounds for license revocation under M.G.L. c. 169, § 12 and the issuance of cease and desist orders under M.G.L. c. 169, § 13 shall include, but are not limited to, the following prohibited acts and practices by Licensees:
(5) failing to forward all money received for transmission to a foreign country to the person to whom the same is directed within seven days following receipt thereof.
A Money [s]ervices [b]usiness' anti-money program should include procedures for the following...(1) Conduct of Due Diligence on Foreign Agents and Counterparties...(2) Risk-based monitoring for Foreign Agents or Counterparties...(3) Corrective Action and Termination.
C. Prohibited Use of Consumer Funds/Commingling
No person licensed as a foreign transmittal agency shall commingle money collected for transmission abroad from clients with its own funds or use any part of a client's money in the conduct of the Licensee's business.
D. Designated Compliance Officer
[The money services business' anti-money laundering program shall] [d]esignate a person to assure day to day compliance with the program and this part. The responsibilities of such person shall include assuring that: (i) The money services business properly files reports, and creates and retains records, in accordance with applicable requirements of this part; (ii) The compliance program is updated as necessary to reflect current requirements of this part, and related guidance issued by the Department of the Treasury; and (iii) The money services business provides appropriate training and education in accordance with paragraph (d)(3) of this section.
E. Failure to Comply with Written Policies and Procedures
[The money services business' anti-money laundering program shall] [p]rovide for independent review to monitor and maintain an adequate program. The scope and frequency of the review shall be commensurate with the risk of the financial services provided by the money services business. Such review may be conducted by an officer or employee of the money services business so long as the reviewer is not the person designated in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.
F. Engaging in Prohibited Advertising Practices
(3) failing to disclose the type and number of its license(s) to all clients in writing at the time deposits for transmittal abroad are accepted or to fail to disclose the type and number of its license(s) in all advertisements.
G. Other Violations
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST
After taking into consideration the FINDINGS OF FACT and CONCLUSIONS OF LAW stated herein, it is hereby:
BY ORDER AND DIRECTION OF THE COMMISSIONER OF BANKS.
Dated at Boston, Massachusetts, this 14th day of September, 2010
By: Steven L. Antonakes
Commissioner of Banks
Commonwealth of Massachusetts