Karen Dodge, Sammies 2018 finalist and staff attorney at the Federal Trade Commission, discusses investigating Western Union for wire fraud cases, and how they will get some of the money back to those who lost it.
An operation at the Federal Trade Commission recently made almost $600 million available to those impacted by money wire fraud. In 2017, Western Union admitted to “aiding and abetting wire fraud” for several years and settled with FTC and the Department of Justice. Karen Dodge, Staff Attorney at the Federal Trade Commission was part of the interagency team that recovered the funds from Western Union. Both Dodge and Margaret Moeser, her colleague from the Department of Justice, are nominated for a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal. Dodge said that the catalyst for the investigation was public complaints. “The FTC maintains a database called Consumer Sentinel that law enforcement puts complaints into… From those complaints, we can identify when there’s a problem in the marketplace, and in this context, there were a lot of complaints involving Western Union,” Dodge said. “We had been aware that money transfers had been a problem with respect to fraud for years. We had previously done the Moneygram case back in 2009, so that was the thing that really precipitated our investigation.”