The FTC, a U.S. consumer protection firm, on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against supermarket chain Walmart, alleging that it had been blindsided for years by money laundering by its fraudsters and from its stores.
The group actually offers Western Union or MoneyGram-type services in its supermarkets, including under its own name, allowing a customer to transfer money to another person.
However, Charlottes regularly manage to send money to individuals, taking advantage of the cold call and pretending to be taxpayers or relatives in need.
The FTC alleges that Walmart employees are allowed to make transfers even when they appear suspicious, not a fraudulent policy, according to a lawsuit filed in Illinois court.
The agency also regrets that the supermarket chain did not provide consumers with a leaflet warning of the dangers of fraud or specific training on the subject.
“Walmart looked the other way and received millions of commissions because fraudsters used its money transfer services to make money,” said Samuel Levine, head of the FTC’s consumer protection office.
The FTC estimates that Walmart spent “hundreds of millions of dollars” on its customers and seeks to repay them in addition to fines.
The company denies its role as “really erroneous and illegal.”
Walmart plans to “defend its strong anti-fraud measures”, according to a report on its site.