Following court proceedings brought by the Financial Conduct Authority, fintech QPay Europe has consented to a court order to give up £2 million held in its name.
The money was initially frozen in urgent proceedings brought by the FCA late last year and has now been given up under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
QPay received the £2 million, allegedly as an investment, from an outfit called Fintech International Q Software WLL.
But the FCA claims that the money was the proceeds of illegal activity connected to criminal proceedings in the US concerning an alleged conspiracy to commit wire fraud against banks and credit card companies.
That case has seen four people associated with a company called Allied Wallet charged in an alleged payment processing scheme. The people are accused of deceiving banks and credit card companies into processing more than $150 million in payments on behalf of merchants involved in prohibited and high-risk businesses.
The FCA is not alleging that QPay is involved in that conspiracy but says that it observed that the firm was moving the £2 million repeatedly to different bank accounts in several countries and none of the transactions appeared to be related to legitimate business.
QPay first came to the watchdog's attention when it applied to be regulated in March 2020. It has now withdrawn its application.
Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight, FCA, says: "Account forfeiture orders are an important means of intervening and capturing illegal money and this action is a good example of what can be done. The funds will now be used to assist the FCA and other authorities fight illegal activity."