State issues cease-and-desist order against firm that transferred money to Brazil

The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and the Division of Banks said Wednesday that the division ordered Saugus-based Braz Transfers Inc. to immediately cease accepting money from Massachusetts consumers and transmitting those funds to foreign countries.

Barbara Anthony. File photo. (Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)

The Commonwealth alleges in a temporary order to cease and desist that the company was illegally remitting money to Brazil.

An attempt to reach Braz Transfers was not immediately successful. On its website, the company posted a message, part of which read: “Braz Transfers, through its director Deneir Rosa and staff, comes respectfully to communicate the termination of its activities. Unfortunately, for reasons beyond our will and circumstances such action became inevitable.”

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Braz Transfers Inc. has been licensed with the state’s Division of Banks to offer foreign transmittal services through 93 authorized agent locations in the Commonwealth. Braz Transfers, which primarily transferred funds to Brazil, also operated a licensed check cashing location in Somerville. The division ordered that location to shut down as well.

During a review, the division found that the company “falsified payment receipts to transfer funds from Massachusetts consumers to parties in Brazil,” a press release from the Office of Consumer Affairs said. It is uncertain whether the intended recipients of fund transfers received the money, the release added.

“Fabrication of documents is an attempt to deceive Massachusetts consumers and regulators,” Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Undersecretary Barbara Anthony said in a statement. “These findings are a significant violation of laws that are in place to protect consumers when they send money internationally, and these actions are unconscionable.”

Braz Transfers will have a right to request a hearing before the division, the release from the Office of Consumer Affairs said.

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