On that Cast Boolits thread I linked yesterday, a commenter brought up licensing. Someone checked in Texas and alleged that GPal is not licensed there.
Ben Cannon replied with a terse “GPal has all required licenses“
But the plot thickens. Politics Guns and Beer reports that GPal is also.
Amazon, Google, PayPal, Western Union and many other recognizable names are licensed by Idaho. I cannot find any record of GPal, GunPal, G>, Ben Cannon or any other Cannon businesses being licensed as Idaho money transmitters. I am not a lawyer, but GPal does not appear to meet the criteria for exemption from the licensing requirement. [emphasis in original -ed]
This line of thought piqued my curiosity about this issue. I wonder if Virginia has similar licensing requirements?
Why yes, yes it does:
Chapter 12 of Title 6.1 of the Code of Virginia requires the licensing of persons wishing to engage in the business of selling money orders or providing money transmission services to any consumer residing in the Commonwealth of Virginia, whether or not the person has a location in the Commonwealth.
Among the requirements for licensing:
The Commission must make a finding that the applicant will be able to and will perform its obligations to purchasers of money transmission services and purchasers, payees, and holders of money orders sold by it and its agents, and that an applicant, and its members, senior officers, directors, and principal stockholders have the financial responsibility, character, reputation, experience and general fitness to warrant belief that the business will be operated efficiently and fairly, in the public interest and in accordance with law and regulations.
Along with the application form and fee, applicants must provide current financial statements audited by a licensed certified public accountant. Each licensee under this chapter shall at all times have a net worth of not less than $200,000, or a higher amount not to exceed one million dollars as determined by the Commission, calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
In addition, a surety bond in the principal amount as determined by the Commission but not less than $25,000 nor more than $500,000 is required. The amount of bond required of a new licensee shall be based upon the applicant’s financial condition, capitalization, projected Virginia monthly money order sales and/or money transmission volume, experience, and other factors deemed pertinent.
Applicants must be registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the United States Treasury Department pursuant to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).
Well…considering what’s been going on, they fail at the first requirement right out of the gate; as I pointed out yesterday, their own Member Agreement attempts to disclaim any responsibility to fulfill ANY obligations to their customers.
Be that as it may, that doesn’t preclude them from having had a license granted…so, let’s find out if GPal has been properly licensed in the State of Virginia as Ben Cannon so tersely claims?
Um….No. (link to pdf download)
Paypal is there. Amazon is there. Checkfree is there. No “Gunpal” or “Gpal” to be found. The list is dated 1 September 2010 so it’s not because it’s out of date.
But…due diligence and all that…there’s the possibility that the list is in error. I called the Virginia State Corporation Commission and asked. Nope…GPal is not licensed in the State of Virginia. They gave me a fax number to which to send all the pertinent information so they may begin an investigation. I’ll be sending that fax shortly. UPDATE: FAX sent.
I wonder, does the fact that GPal seems to be operating an unlicensed, criminal enterprise have any bearing on the validity of their “member agreement”? I’ll have to bring that up with my lawyer friends. It seems to me that a company operating outside the law should have no authority to enter into such a contract and, therefore, the terms should be null and void.
I’m not a lawyer, however, so I’ll have to try to find out for sure.
And, just in case I wasn’t clear enough about it before:
DO NOT USE GPAL…EVER