Indian Canadians Firoz Patel and Ferhan Patel held for money laundering

MH Pillars, Ltd., doing business as Payza, is charged with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Two Canadian brothers of Indian origin have been indicted by a US court for operating unlicensed money service business and facilitating money laundering to the tune of $250 million.

Firoz Patel, 43, and Ferhan Patel, 37, who live in the area of Montreal, Québec, founded,, and and run money transfer business without a license and processed more than $250 million in transactions.

A statement issued by the US Justice Department said that they transmitted money received from Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, and a child pornography site.

The bothers are charged with one count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business and to violate anti-money laundering program requirements, one count of a money laundering conspiracy and one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business in the District of Columbia.  If convicted, each of the brothers faces a maximum sentence of more than 25 years.

MH Pillars, Ltd., doing business as Payza, is charged with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

According to the statement, the duo operated the illegal business from March 2012 until the present. They continued with their business despite receiving a warning from different states. They also received advice from a consultant that running a money transfer business without a license is a crime.

The Patels opened bank accounts in the United States and laundered their illegal proceeds through those accounts.

The indictment also seeks forfeiture of any property involved in these offenses or traceable to these offenses.  In addition, the indictment seeks the specific forfeiture of approximately $10 million that has already been seized and frozen.

Ferhan Patel was arrested on March 18, 2018, in Detroit. He made his first appearance on March 19, 2018, in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. He remains held pending further proceedings in the District of Columbia. His brother remains at large.

“The arrest and indictments, in this case, demonstrate that we will vigorously enforce laws meant to protect the American consumer,” said Attorney Liu.

“Money transmitting businesses are required to be registered federally and licensed in most states and jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia.  Consumers should beware of those that do not follow these laws because they could be acting as a cover for other illegal activity,” added Liu.

“I am proud of the skilled and professional teams of investigators and attorneys involved in today’s indictment and commend their efforts,” said Special Agent in Charge Lechleitner of HSI Washington. “Through this type of routine interagency cooperation, we ensure our safe, reliable and just society.”

One Comment

  1. Umar Ahmed

    They’re innocent. They need anything wrong. This whole thing is made up

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