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Acquired | Acquired

About AlertPay

AlertPay is an online payment platforms sxpecializing in making and accepting secure e-wallet and credit card payments. The Company also offers foreign exchange services, localized banking, fraud prevention, email invoicing, mass and single remittances and business management tools.In April 2012, AlertPay was acquired by MH Pillars. The valuation of AlertPay was undisclosed. Other terms of the deal were not released.

Headquarters Location

8255 Mountain Sights Suite 100

Montreal, Quebec, H4P 2B5,



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Latest AlertPay News

How a Canadian businessman-turned-convict set up a secret offshore company as investigators closed in

Oct 6, 2021

More From Pandora Papers As Canadian and U.S. investigators closed in on a Montrealer who conspired to launder money and owed millions in unpaid taxes, the now-incarcerated businessman set up a secret offshore company, a Star investigation has found. Firoz Patel, who ran online money transfer services Payza and AlertPay, is currently serving a three-year prison sentence in the U.S. after he pleaded guilty to processing more than $250 million (U.S.) in “illicit transactions” that facilitated “gambling, drugs, violence,” distribution of child pornography and Ponzi schemes. Meanwhile, a Quebec judge has ruled Patel owes $18.4 million (Canadian) in unpaid taxes after he “systematically neglected” to report more than $31.5 million in income between 2006 and 2014. Dozens of newly leaked documents contained in the Pandora Papers , obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and shared with the Toronto Star and CBC, show the 47-year-old with a taste for fast cars established a secret corporate presence offshore just as investigators in Canada and the U.S. were closing in on him. There is no mention of the offshore company in U.S. or Canadian court records, and neither the U.S. Attorney’s Office nor Revenu Québec would say whether they were aware of it. Patel’s establishment of an offshore company, however, underscores the challenge authorities face when pursuing criminals, who can use tax havens to ferret away money, leaving few if any footprints. Now that the company’s existence is being made public, investigators could take another look at Patel’s case, said retired FBI agent Gregory Coleman. “If there were other uncharged crimes that these guys were involved in and you had an interested prosecutor and an interested agent, and there’s no double jeopardy issue, they might be interested,” said Coleman, who was depicted in the film “The Wolf of Wall Street” for his role in the arrest and conviction of Jordan Belfort. From prison in Connecticut, Firoz Patel told the Star the offshore firm had nothing to do with Payza or the U.S. investigation. The leaked documents show Patel is a listed director/shareholder with a firm called Argus Limited. Argus was set up in Ras al Khaimah, one of the United Arab Emirates, in 2017. The U.A.E. is considered one of the world’s newest and most opaque tax havens. “That’s a difficult place to penetrate as havens go,” said James Henry, a leading American economist and attorney who specializes in tax issues including the impacts of tax havens. “The fact that someone chooses to go there is also an indication of meeting a demand for ultra-secrecy or impunity.” In response to questions, Patel sent the Star two emails, including one that said the offshore company was for “eventual Asian business operations” but was not used. The same year Argus was quietly formed offshore, a Quebec Court judge found that Patel had “systematically neglected” to declare his real income, concluding “the sums at stake are so considerable that these omissions can only be part of a planned process with a sole objective, namely to try to avoid the tax obligations imposed by the law.” While tax authorities in Quebec and Ottawa have not been able to collect on Patel’s multimillion-dollar tax bill, documents filed in court allege Patel had access to enormous sums of cash. For a six-year period ending in 2018, Revenu Québec alleges Patel transported $45 million in cash via armoured vehicle in Quebec. Patel told the Star that the money loaded into Garda vans was made up of remittances collected from Mexican, Guatemalan and Colombian seasonal workers destined for their families. More than $10 million (U.S.) also passed between Payza and Patel’s personal bank accounts in the United States and Canada, according to the U.S. indictment. Unlike many people who incorporate anonymous shell companies in far-flung tax havens, Patel personally made the trip before signing the papers. A stamp in Patel’s passport, a scan of which was included in the leaked files, shows he visited the Gulf emirate, arriving 10 days before the company was incorporated in 2017. At the time Patel boarded that flight, he was under siege. Both U.S. investigators and Quebec tax authorities had launched investigations into alleged money laundering and tax evasion involving him and his companies, public records show. As early as March 2011, Revenu Québec slapped Patel’s company AlertPay with a $10.6-million (Canadian) tax bill after tens of millions of dollars in undeclared revenue was transferred into the company’s accounts from foreign sources, according to Quebec court documents. In November 2013, the U.S. government seized more than $4 million (U.S.) in deposits to his other company Payza, following an investigation into alleged money laundering. Then, in October 2015, U.S. authorities announced a criminal investigation into Payza, which would later extend into the personal finances of Patel and his brother. “Is this (offshore company) something that they would want to know about so that they could investigate it? Yes, the answer to that is an absolute yes,” said retired FBI agent Coleman. “Their activities would clearly put you into a position where you would want to know what was going on in its account.” The leaked corporate documents do not make clear the intended purpose of Argus or its money flows. Revenu Québec would not confirm or deny whether it was investigating Argus. Following publication of the first Pandora Papers stories on Sunday, Quebec’s finance minister vowed a crackdown on tax haven secrecy and Revenu Québec said it intends to “carefully” analyze details from the leak and “act with diligence.” In March 2018, 11 months after the secret offshore company was set up, Firoz’s brother Ferhan was arrested changing planes in Detroit. Two days later, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security unsealed the indictment against both Patel brothers, sending Firoz on the run from the law. After two months on the lam, Firoz checked in on Facebook, cheekily posting that “I want to take a moment and loosely quote Mark Twain … ‘The reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.’” The fugitive eventually surrendered and, along with his brother, pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money and operating an unlicensed money service business. In sentencing the brothers in November 2020, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson called the Patels’ claims to having been unwittingly caught up in criminality “astonishing.” “I don’t know whether or not you realized the seriousness of the harm that was actually being inflicted on the people whose lives are effectively destroyed,” the judge said during the Patels’ sentencing hearing.“I don’t know if you thought about how many drug addicts would be created from your serving as the repository of funds for the illegal steroid operation or how many older people would lose their life savings and would have to forego retirement because you helped schemers who were intent upon defrauding them.” Patel’s written response to the Star’s questions denies the “illicit transactions” he pleaded guilty to, saying, “the foundation of the money laundering allegation is false … There was no money laundering under Canadian laws or of many other country’s (sic) regulations.” In Patel’s signed plea agreement, he admitted he “knew AlertPay was transmitting illegal proceeds” and was “aware of this illegal money laundering.” In his email to the Star, Patel said he and his brother pleaded guilty after a careful risk/benefit analysis. “(We) figured that while it would be a hard lesson, it would make us wiser and more diligent in the future, however complicated and costly doing so may be,” Patel wrote. “We should not have allowed ourselves to be exposed like this when only filing a few forms would have avoided us all these issues.” The crimes they admitted to in the U.S. have “ruined our reputations even though the businesses that we were involved in were not inherently illegal, but due to the plea deal that we had to sign, make it seem as if everything we touched was bad business, which is certainly not the case.” Ferhan was sentenced to 18 months and Firoz to three years in federal prison. Collectively, the brothers and their companies were ordered to forfeit $13.6 million that had already been seized by U.S. authorities. The Patels’ Canadian tax bill, however, remains unpaid. Patel’s cars and furniture have been seized and a lien has been placed on his $2-million (Canadian) Montreal home. But the bulk of the $18.4 million is outstanding. “This was all part of a projection done by Revenu Québec, which is currently being disputed in court,” Patel told the Star. “We have related ongoing tax appeals so I cannot comment further. I can say that this amount has no factual basis or merit.” The Patel case raises serious questions about how well authorities are able to penetrate tax haven secrecy and ferret out potential illegality, said Henry. “Our current enforcement efforts appear … to be lagging. The problem is not the need for tougher laws, but the lack of enforcement.” When sheriffs were inside Patel’s house, they found more than $80,000 in U.S., Canadian and European cash (a judge later ruled most of the cash belonged to a friend of Patel). This was during the same period that Revenu Québec alleges he transported tens of millions in cash in armoured cars. Patel’s wife, Nazlin, is also in the crosshairs of Revenu Québec, which alleges she owes $3.5 million in unpaid taxes. Patel, in his written statement to the Star, said her tax bill is also in dispute. “Anyone who understands Revenu Québec’s draconian approach, where they assess first and then it falls to the taxpayers to defend and dispute their allegations, will understand that these tax amounts are easily exaggerated and mostly arbitrary.” Patel’s most recent legal wrangle is a lawsuit he filed in the U.K. against a London-based crypto firm, alleging the company has frozen $20 million (U.S.) of his bitcoin and refuses to transfer it to him. He is seeking an injunction to force the transfer through. In response to questions, his London lawyer, Leo Nabarro, told the Star: “We will continue to rigorously protect, and pursue the recovery of, our client’s assets.” With files from Charles Rusnell and CBC The Pandora Papers is a global collaboration between the Toronto Star, CBC and the nonprofit International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. If you like journalism like this, please make a donation to ICIJ to support it . Robert Cribb is a Toronto-based investigative reporter for the Star. Reach him via email: Marco Chown Oved is a Toronto-based investigative reporter for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @marcooved SHARE:

AlertPay Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • When was AlertPay founded?

    AlertPay was founded in 2004.

  • Where is AlertPay's headquarters?

    AlertPay's headquarters is located at 8255 Mountain Sights, Montreal.

  • What is AlertPay's latest funding round?

    AlertPay's latest funding round is Acquired.

  • Who are the investors of AlertPay?

    Investors of AlertPay include MH Pillars.

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