Credit Card Processors Stealing from Business Clients

credit card scamsConsumers already worry about businesses storing and possibly stealing financial information. Now consumers have to worry about the credit card processors stealing the information from businesses. Recently, several proprietors of a credit card processing company  have been indicted on several charges in Phoenix, Arizona.

The various charges include money laundering, wire fraud charges, and changing contract terms among other charges. Sean Clinton Mecham, 36, Ashley Brisbin Mecham, 27, Jonathon L. Cannon, 31, and Jake Brisbin, 26, were all indicted by a federal grand jury.

According to court documents, the accused were executives and employees at Icon Payment Solutions, Axiom Merchant Services and Oracle Payment Services. These companies are all the same company just under different names and they processed credit card payments for retailers.  Prosecutors allege that the quartet were misleading customers, forging the signatures of business owners and deposited $2.9 million of the ill-gotten gains into personal accounts. The money was then used to buy a luxury boat, Maserati cars and off-road trucks for racing.

There were multiple complaints against the quartet and the companies that they owned to the Better Business Bureau.  The accused had two forms of primary revenue streams coming into their company. The first was from lease sales of credit card machines. The second was residual payments as commissions from processed credit cards.

Employees of the company were directed to misrepresent or conceal the terms of the leases for credit card machines. Some customers believed that they were signing a different document altogether and others were told that they could not cancel leases that were already signed. At least 200 business owners and managers believe their signatures were forged by the company.

Unsuspecting merchants need to be wary and use caution when selecting a merchant processing service company.  They should use the same caution that they would when selecting a supplier or distributor for their products.  Merchants who have questions or want to know more about a processing service company can contact the Electronic Transaction Association.