Share us on: By Michelle Casady
Law360, Houston (December 1, 2016, 8:16 PM EST) -- MyAdvertising Pays Limited, a marketing company that pays people to watch advertisements, filed a lawsuit in Texas federal court Thursday alleging its payment processor, VX Gateway Corp., was actually outsourcing that job to third parties and stole about $60 million in funds.
MAP told the court that VX Gateway, which was hired to provide an online payment portal for MAP members and manage payments for those members, had breached their contract by fraudulently retaining the funds that belong to its customers in the U.S. and abroad.
In August, MAP informed VX Gateway via email that it was improperly withholding funds. After VX Gateway responded that it was the third-party processor that wasn't releasing them, MAP sent a demand letter for the funds, which prompted a phone call between the parties during which VX Gateway said it was pursuing a lawsuit against one of the allegedly at-fault processors, GPN Data.
“VX Gateway further advised MAP to 'join forces' with VX Gateway in their purported lawsuit against GPN Data in Poland,” the complaint reads. “In order to facilitate this joining of forces, as a condition precedent, VX Gateway insisted that MAP execute a full release of liability for any claims MAP may have against VX Gateway, as well as [executives Timothy] MacKay and [Celia] Dunlop personally, ostensibly because MacKay and Dunlop were concerned about being charged with international money laundering. To date, VX Gateway has neither provided, nor has MAP discovered, any evidence that VX Gateway has initiated ... litigation against GPN Data in Poland.”
MAP is seeking damages of $42.4 million and €16 million ($17 million), plus consequential damages.
According to the complaint, the companies entered an agreement in April 2014 whereby VX Gateway would provide payment processing services for MAP customers through an online portal. It was MAP's understanding at that time that VX Gateway was handling all processing responsibilities, it told the court, and that those tasks were not being handled by a third party.
MAP runs a website that allows individuals to purchase “credit packs” that allow them to view advertisements, and then those individual members are paid based on how many ads they watch. The packs are purchased through the portal via credit card or wire transfer payments. When a certain amount has accumulated in the member account, the member can withdraw the funds, according to the complaint.
After the withdrawal is approved, VX would transfer the funds from MAP's account to the individual member's account.
In April 2016, MAP withdrew from the U.S. market, stopped accepting payments in dollars and began only accepting payments in euros, maintaining VX Gateway as its processor. It was a move MAP told the court it had been considering since December 2015 as a result of declining profits in the U.S. market.
Ahead of that move, though, in February 2016, MAP announced the plan and shortly thereafter VX Gateway placed an annual limit on credit card transactions per member of $6,000, a restriction that didn't previously exist, MAP told the court.
When questioned, VX Gateway blamed its third-party processors for the restriction, which was the first MAP had heard VX Gateway wasn't actually processing MAP's transactions, according to the complaint. Around that time, members began complaining to MAP about the time it took to process transactions and withdraw funds.
VX Gateway explained that the delay was not its fault but that of the “correspondent bank,” and that it was in the process of partnering with other banks to process the payments more quickly.
Another issue arose, MAP told the court, when it began accepting only euro payments. It noticed that, after a week, its account with VX still showed a zero balance. That was explained by VX Gateway as the fault of the third-party processor, explaining the funds hadn't cleared yet and that there was also a 10 percent “rolling reserve holdback” from the third-party processor, “as well as an unexplained 90 percent holdback initiated at the whim of the various processors, with one purportedly holding back funds for around three weeks and the other holding back funds for around seven weeks.”
In June 2016, MAP started shopping around for a new payment processor, and it was after a meeting with another company that MAP was informed that VX Gateway was only a gateway services company and was unauthorized to process payments, according to the complaint.
Counsel information for VX Gateway wasn't available Thursday, and the parties did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
MAP is represented by J. Cary Gray, Michael A. Ackal III, Sandra L. Mazan and Meagan W. Glover of Gray Reed & McGraw PC
The case is MyAdvertisingPay Limited c. VX Gateway Corp., case number 4:16-cv-03541, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.
--Editing by Philip Shea.
So they're alleging that VX Gateway Corp outsourced to another Payment Processor who then run off with the funds?
So, how did that work exactly> Why would a Payment Processor use ANOTHER Payment Processor to process it's own transactions?
And aren't GP Data the NEW payment processors in the NEXT version 2.5? Confused.
This is nonsense from start to finish.
Added to which, VX Gateway isn't registered in America, so Jurisdiction alone will knock this fake lawsuit on it's head.
I haven't seen the Court Documents yet, so whether or not Mike will use his real address this time around instead of the fake one he used for me is yet to be seen.
Can't wait to see how this plays out!