Skip to main content

Firm that Provides Remittance Services to Kenya Banned from Operating in Massachusetts, Fined $200,000

Money transmitting firm PoaPay, LLC has been banned from engaging in foreign transmittal business in the state of Massachusetts for a period of 10 years and fined $200,000 for violating the commonwealth’s money transmittal rules.

PoaPay, a firm that is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama and offers money remittal services exclusive to Kenya, was flagged by Massachusetts’s Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation (OCABR) in a complaint initially filed in April, 2016 for various violations including:

  • Conducting money transmittal business in the state for a period of one year without a license. OCABR says PoaPay transmitted over $11 million and collected over $250,000 in transmittal fees in the state of Massachusetts from July 13, 2013 through September 23, 2014. PoaPay was not issued with a license to operate in the state until September 24, 2014.
  • Failure to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARS) that may identify suspicious activity. In one instance, OCABR says a couple in the state sent approximately $1.5 million to Kenya over the course of 8 months, but no documentation was provided to account for the source of funds. In some other instances, separate huge sums of money were sent on the same day, or in close succession, or multiple people sent huge sums to the same beneficiary in a short time period.
  • PoaPay failed to block people or organizations on the government’s sanctioned or blocked list from transmission money.
  • PoaPay did not maintain an escrow account in its own name in Massachusetts as required by the law. Instead consumers deposit cash or checks used for transfers directly into PoaPay’s operating account. 
  • The company’s operating account was used for personal transactions, in violation of the licensing rules.
  • PoaPay did not have adequate bond coverage. OCABR for example says PoaPay reported $20.2 million in remittances during 2015, which would have required minimum bond coverage of $776,362. The company however maintained a bond of only $200,000 during the end of the year.
  • Records indicated that 13% of customers provided incorrect information, which was not flagged by PoaPay. An example is a customer who transmitted $7,000 and listed an address of “Raleigh, North Carolina” MA, 27604.

Comments

Business are audited all over the world, and can be fined. Even banks and big money transfer companies receive fines. That does not mean it is the end of the world. Lets us not pre-judge.

I have been using PoaPay from 2006 and have never lost a penny. Let us not pre-judge. Wellsfargo was fined this week..did we close our accounts? The statement did not say they committed any Fraud. This was a regulatory fine. Something that happens daily to many companies in the US.

POAPAY is a good and reputable business. It has not been accused of taking any money from anyone. Running a business is hard and sometimes it is hard to stay on top of all government regulations.

Kenya stop it already. Many many people including me have conducted business with PoaPay for years without a problem. This would just be a case of those ridiculous regulations that republicans are constantly talking about, I live in Massachusetts and I'm often pissed at my democratic congress. Stop getting excited when a Kenyan is being hustled!

The biggest problem of the small Kenyan businesses is they are too casual and most of the cases based on "short-cuts" that at the end course it's death.. This is majorly due to Greed and Luck of focus on taking the business to the next level.

I would like to say Poapay has done a commendable job people have sent money in millions to Kenya without ever leaving their place of work expecially those who do live-in jobs.Kids have been educated thru poapay lives transformed and I have been using poapay for the last 3yrs and I never had any problem except for a few issues that any business go thru.Those who are always ready to judge are those in most cases are those who have been in a comfort zone never ready to take any positive risk in their lives.Poapay keep up the good job you are in our prayers this is just a storm it will pass.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions. Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.