Becchi Defended Western Union As They Face Problems On Terrorism, Fraud, and Human Trafficking
New Jersey Republicans cautioned that Rosemary Becchi’s record as a lobbyist would be detrimental to their chances of winning in November, and they aren’t wrong.
Rosemary Becchi is still lobbying while running for Congress, and her latest project is raising some eyebrows.
Western Union, which has repeatedly failed to stop money laundering, terrorist financing, and human tracking financing, has been paying lobbyist Rosemary Becchi and her firm to lobby on money laundering, financial fraud, human trafficking, and terrorist financing, among other issues.
Western Union’s legal troubles have been in the spotlight for a while, most recently paying a fine for funding terrorism in 2019.
According to the New Jersey Globe: “Lobbying disclosures filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Secretary of State in the first and second quarters of 2020 list Becchi and two other employees at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck as lobbyists on behalf of Western Union.”
Here’s what Western Union has been up to since Becchi decided to run for a seat (read: New Jersey’s 7th District and now New Jersey’s 11th District) in Congress:
HEADLINE: Isis suspect faces new charge of financing terrorism [The Irish Times, 7/25/2020]
The new charge is under the same legislation and relates to financing terrorism with EUR 800 in assistance via a Western Union account in 2015.
HEADLINE: Terrorist, 29, who admits hoarding ISIS propaganda sent almost £2,700 to help ‘fighter brothers’ in Iraq, court hears [Daily Mail, 3/10/2020]
A terrorist who admits hoarding pro-Islamic State propaganda helped raise thousands of pounds for ‘fighter brothers’ in the Middle East, a court heard.
Ayub Nurhussein, 29, is charged with entering into a funding arrangement – totalling £2,699.19 for the purposes of terrorism between April 11 and July 11 last year.
HEADLINE: First Singaporean charged with funding terrorism found guilty [Asia News Network, 1/14/2020]
On Monday, Imran Kassim, a 36-year-old former logistics professional, admitted to transferring funds to support the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
He had transferred $450 through remittance company Western Union to Mohamad Alsaied Alhmidan in Turkey for his publication of ISIS propaganda.
HEADLINE: FIA arrests two child pornographers, recovers videos [Pakistan Observer, 1/17/2020]
FIA Cyber Crime Circle arrested one Saadat Amin in May, 2018 for facilitating international child pornographers and thus earning US$ 50,000. The transactions were made through Western Union and Money Gram from seven countries. During forensic analysis of the seized digital media, more than 657,538 files (videos and pictures) related to child pornography were recovered from the accused.
This isn’t nearly the first time Becchi’s lobbying for big banks has caused controversy. Becchi lobbied (literally) on the GOP 2017 tax bill that capped the state and local tax deduction (SALT) effectively raising taxes on millions of New Jerseyans.
“Rosemary Becchi lobbied for the tax bill that capped the state and local tax deduction which forced New Jerseyans to pay more in taxes, now she’s lobbying on behalf of a company tied up in financial fraud, terrorist financing, and human trafficking all while running for Congress,” said DCCC Spokesperson Christine Bennett. “Republicans were right to feel suspicious of Becchi the lobbyist and voters will be too.”