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国际资讯监管与政策

PayPal卷入庞氏骗局 被受害者起诉索赔500万美元

就在本周,一位庞氏骗局的受害者指控PayPal未能及时觉察欺诈行为,导致超1亿美元投资交易受损。

这份上周四提交给加州圣何塞联邦法院的起诉书指出,即便Paypal在2011年因为涉嫌类似的骗局而封杀了一名互联网广告“点击付费”项目运营者,PayPal依然在其骗取投资者资金的过程中扮演了“重要角色“”。

这名诈骗项目的运营者名叫查尔斯·大卫·斯考维尔(Charles David Scoville)。去年,他利用自己的Traffic Monsoon公司向全球16.2万投资者推出了一款互联网广告产品,宣称会为投资的相关企业提供固定的企业网站和横幅广告点击流量,累计诈骗金额高达2.07亿美元,并最终遭到了美国证券交易委员会(以下简称“SEC”)起诉。

禁令一出,SEC就冻结了Traffic Monsoon的资产。目前Traffic Monsson正在上诉,因为他宣称自己出售的是广告,而非证券,因此并不违反证券法。

起诉PayPal的投资者希望获得集体诉讼地位,他们表示,Paypal在Traffic Monsoon的1.34亿美元投资中扮演了支付处理商的角色,希望索赔至少500万美元。

起诉书认为,PayPal在明知是欺诈的情况下依然为交易提供便利,因此违反了该公司“禁止为金字塔或庞氏骗局交易提供支持”的服务条款。

PayPal Holdings Inc. was accused by victims of an alleged Ponzi scheme of failing to detect the fraud while processing more than $100 million in investments.

Even after the company had banned the operator of the internet advertising “pay-to-click” program from using its services in 2011 over his involvement in a similar scheme, PayPal played “a crucial –- indeed, indispensable –- role” in letting him siphon and steal investor money, according to Thursday’s complaint in federal court in San Jose, California.

The operator, Charles David Scoville, was sued last year for fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over claims that he and his business, Traffic Monsoon, took in $207 million from more than 162,000 investors worldwide. The investors bought internet advertising products from Traffic Monsoon. In exchange, they were promised visits to their websites and and clicks on banners on their websites.

The agency won an injunction in Utah federal court freezing Traffic Monsoon’s assets. Traffic Monsoon is appealing the order and argues that because it was selling advertising rather than securities, it couldn’t have violated securities laws, according to a court filing.

The investors suing PayPal, who seek class-action status, say the company served as the payment processor for about $134 million in investments in Traffic Monsoon. They’re seeking at least $5 million in damages.

“We look forward to refuting these claims,” PayPal spokeswoman Ellen Hayes said. “Beyond that, we do not have any further comment on this pending litigation.”

By knowingly allowing the fraud, “PayPal departed from its own policy that prohibits the use of its services for ‘transactions that support pyramid or ponzi schemes,”’ according to the complaint.


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