Goddard hands $94 million settlement from Western Union over to other states in midst of budget crisis

A m e r i c a n P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

With the state in desperate financial straits, Attorney General Terry Goddard has astonishingly agreed to turn over the bulk of the state’s proceeds in the Western Union settlement. Goddard initially went after Western Union for permitting illegal immigrants to send money to Mexico. The settlement was for $94 million, which Arizona could really use right now. But Goddard directed only $21 million of that to go to the state, which will be split between his office, DPS, and Phoenix Police.

Of the rest, Goddard turned $54 million over to some nonprofit entity run out of New York,the Center for State Enforcement of Antitrust and Consumer Protection Laws. Why is this money going to some private organization in another state if Arizona won the suit? The settlement states that the nonprofit will then make the money available for grants to law enforcement agencies along the border – so agencies in Texas and California are going to be receiving money Arizona rightfully earned. Another $21 million of the settlement is going to be used by Western Union on itself to improve its anti-money laundering efforts. Western Union could simply use the money to upgrade its computer systems, add some fancy new offices, etc.

Goddard is calling it a “historic settlement.” It’s historic alright, it’s the biggest settlement Arizona has ever flat out given away. In the middle of the worst budget deficit in history. And this guy wants to run for governor?

Read Goddard’s spin on it here – http://www.azag.gov/press_releases/feb/2010/Press%20Release%20-%20Western%20Union%202-11-10.html

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  1. This article is ridiculous. The state is being reimbursed for its expenses in investigating, Western Union is putting money to strengthen laundering detection and the rest of the money will be available for border states to apply for to combat illegal trafficking. The state would not have received $94 million otherwise. I am sure people can find a lot to hit Goddard over, but this is just plain ignorant.

  2. Stephen Kohut says

    Goddard once again pulls defeat from victory. We, the AZ taxpayers, PAID for for this based on crimes committed HERE. The money should stay HERE. Beyond stupid but what do you expect from a Dimocrat. Goddard is about the only choice that we could have for govenor in the genreal election that’s worse than Brewer.

  3. Kenny Jacobs says

    Stephen Kohut, sorry but you are just wrong. $21 million came back to AZ to cover the expenses. The rest is being used to prevent similar crimes in the future. The anonymous, naturally, post here is deceptive. The settlement was negotiated with the cooperation of all the states involved. AG Goddard didn’t just decide to divvy up the dollars differently.

    Of course the irony here is that once again an anonymous blogger committed deception while writing about fraud.

  4. Pretty sad. That is all the great Sonoran Alliance could come up with? Its called doing the right thing. Rather than using a nation wide criminal problem to fund the irresponsible decisions of Arizona- he instead actually tried to solve the problem of the nation-wide criminal problem. Someone had the be the adult here.

  5. Yeah what this story doesn’t menetion is how many other states are in on the settlement and were apart of the case. This is a nice try but just wrong…

  6. Stephen Kohut says

    If you read Goddard’s press release on the AG’s website you will find the following: “The settlement resolves all outstanding issues between Western Union and the State of Arizona.”

    Do you see anywhere that the states of CA, NM or TX where parties in the case? No. Do you see anywhere that anyone other than AZ taxpayers paid for the the case? No.

    Please show me where in Goddard’s press release that CA, NM or TX had any involvement in the investigation, prosecution, etc. They didn’t. We paid for it all and Terry handed the settlement dollars out like they were his rather than the states.

    WU agreed to pay a $94M settlement to make this go away. Terry gave it away. I wonder, who he is buying favors from and for what purpose?

  7. James Davidson says

    What state does Mr. Goddard serve as Attorney General? Apparently not the one we all thought.

  8. Precisely what’s awry here is the implication by Goddard that he won this case alone. Very likely, the settlement was the outcome of multistate litigation, and Goddard is seeking acclaim for the sake of his campaign. Arizona may have been the lead plaintiff but Goddard enjoyed significant contributions from the other border states. Otherwise, it’s unimaginable that $50 million would go into a kitty controlled by a New York state non-profit. Besides, the balance of that “settlement” stays with Western Union and will facilitate future money transfers by illegal immigrants.

    Goddard is a devout open borders advocate and spent more personal energy fighting Arizona Prop 200 than he did on this antitrust case. Because of Goddard & the open borders gang, Arizona has a chronic multi-billion dollar budget deficit. Therefore, $21 million designated to reimburse his own budget is not much to brag about, and probably should not have been mentioned. While Goddard is busy patting himself on the back, he should answer a few more questions. Like, how much has Arizona benefited from litigation lead by the other border states? Who is going to hold Western Union accountable to Arizona regarding anti-trust activity in the future? Why aren’t border states pursuing Western Union and illegally run transit companies for special fees and taxes, in lieu of our grocery bill? There is little logic in Terry Goddard’s performance as AG, he’s a liability for Arizona and would be a disaster as governor.

  9. Stephen Kohut says


    I agree with your position on Goddard.

    The $94M settlement math is:
    $21M – to AZ to reimburse costs
    $4M – monitorring program
    $19M – WU internal antilaundering program
    $50M – Non-profit Center for State Enforcement

    No state, other than AZ was paid to cover its costs. The chance that any of the other 3 states that will get part of the settlement were involved in the case is about zip because they had no costs to cover.

  10. So Stephen if your numbers are right what are you so upset about?

    If that is what the settlement said, then AZ tax payers paid ZERO because they got it all back.

  11. Stephen Kohut says

    We should have kept it ALL. That is what you do when you win a case. The state is $3B in the hole courtesy Jayno. The net $73M would ahve been nice to help fill it. Charity is not something for the state to engage in when its stone cold broke.

  12. But its a deal… I assume this was part of the plea signed… The judge would not allow the state to get a $73 million windfall… I think they have to structure these deals like that

  13. Johnny:

    Did the judge award the other states the money or did Goddard take it upon himself to deliver it to them?

  14. James Davidson says

    Where is the sound judgment in all of this? Goddard spends millions of dollars on the case. That is a huge risk. He could have lost the case. All he gets back for the huge investment is reimbursement of what he, DPS, and Phx PD spent on the case. The rest of the settlement goes elsewhere. Who does he work for? Who cuts his check? A New York foundation, other border states, or you and me? Seems like he doesn’t know. Maybe he should find out in November.

  15. Carlist,

    According to Steven Kohut no other state actually did get money. It went to prevention in the future. So the judge didnt and neither did Goddard.

    James Davidson,

    So it is the job of th AG to make money for the state? Of course it was a risk, any case the AG takes on uses resources and guess what MONEY… Goddard made it so the case cost the state nothing and hopefully prevented these things in the future by giving money to these centers and stuff.

    Trust me I dont like Goddard but this seems like a dumb thing to attack him on. Where is the article going after him on border which has gotten way worse under his watch? Thats an issue that will make him look bad. Not talking about the record settlement from western union…

  16. James Davidson says


    The State has limited resources, so a cost-benefit analysis always should go into civil cases, and sometimes an object is indeed to make, or at least recoup money, for the State. It’s a case-by-case analysis. The tobacco lawsuit under Woods is a good example.

    What is clear, and obvious, is that it is never the AG’s job to make money for a foundation or other states. He works for us, not for a New York foundation or other states.

  17. James Davidson,

    You just proved my point, you said he should at least recoup the money for the state, which is EXACTLY what happened here… So the cost to taxpayers of AZ in this case was a big fat zero. I will say it again this is a dumb thing to knit pick at him for.

  18. EastValleyPC says

    This is just Goddard trying to dust off his resume for running for Governor. He’s disgusting with his blatant effort to create a persona the people can stomach. Sorry Terry, the third time will be the third strike in running for Governor. We didn’t want you before and we don’t want you now. Besides, we already had a Democrat former AG who tried what you are attempting to do now and it will take at least another 5 years to fix her/his mess.

  19. James Davidson says


    We just see things differently. Gambling $21 million to get the money back is not good judgment. Why not just keep the money? It rubs salt in the wound to let a New York foundation and the other border states free load off Arizona. You may think that shows good attorney judgment. i think it proves Goddard never was much of a lawyer.

  20. Someone used the word “windfall.” There could have been no windfall for Arizona any way you sliced this settlement. Arizona pays dearly for its open borders, money laundering, identity theft, and money transfers by illegal immigrants. The whole enchilada in this case would have been a drop in the bucket.

    It is completely reasonable to hold Goddard’s judgment suspect. The Phoenix Police department suffers at the discretion of its logic-challenged mayor. In addition, the State AG is draining their resources. Anyone paying attention to the type and amount of crime in Phoenix alone would rightly think Goddard was insane for distracting law enforcement for a zero-sum proposition.

    It’s worth noting that the non-profit center involved specializes in sponsoring conferences and awarding education and travel stipends to attend them. http://www.statecenterinc.org. They also expect grant recipients to contribute funds realized from projects they support back to the center. If ever a windfall, here it is. I have a difficult time believing that a judge required more than half this “settlement” be dispersed to an East coast corporation. It easier to believe that New York is where Goddard hopes to seek employment in 2011. There ARE a few openings up there.

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