CommerceWest Bank paying $4.9M in deal with US on fraud case

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — CommerceWest Bank is paying $4.9 million and will avoid criminal prosecution in a federal settlement of a consumer fraud case involving unauthorized withdrawals from customer accounts.

The Justice Department on Tuesday announced the deal with CommerceWest, a small bank with operations in southern California. The settlement resolves a criminal charge and a civil lawsuit against the bank.

CommerceWest, based in Irvine, California, admits wrongdoing under terms of the agreement. The bank won't be prosecuted on condition it gives up its claim to about $2.9 million seized by law enforcement authorities from the CommerceWest accounts of payment processor V Internet Corp.

The Justice Department says CommerceWest enabled fraud by allowing V Internet, on behalf of fraudulent merchants, to make millions of dollars of unauthorized withdrawals from customer accounts