US authorities have indicted Seyed Sajjad Shahidian, Vahid Vali and PAYMENT24 for conducting financial transactions in violation of the US sanctions against Iran. PAYMENT24, an internet-based financial services company, was helping Iranian citizens conduct the prohibited financial transactions with US-based businesses. Shahidian is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of PAYMENT24, and his co-conspirator Vali is its Chief Operating Officer.
The US has charged the accused with wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft among others. Shahidian was arrested and extradited from the UK and has made an initial court appearance while Vali is at large.
The fraud scheme began as early as 2009 and continued till November 2018. PAYMENT24 sold a package online so Iranian clients could make online purchases from US-based businesses. This package included fake identity documents, a PayPal account and even a remote UAE IP address among others.