North American Bancard (nabancard.com) is a large merchant account provider based in Troy, Michigan. The company began operations in 1992 and has grown into one of the largest merchant services providers in the United States. North American Bancard is a large super ISO that specializes in providing credit card processing services supplied by First Data and Global Payments but manages its merchant customers directly with its own in-house customer support. The company also markets a mobile point-of-sale app and card reader called “PayAnywhere” and is the parent company of Electronic Payment Exchange and Argus Merchant Services (now “Inovio”).
North American Bancard is sponsored by The Bancorp Bank, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California, as its acquiring banks. The company’s president and CEO is Marc Gardner.
In September 2002, the State of Arizona filed a complaint against a merchant that processed through North American Bancard, a Nevada corporation called CP Direct, Inc., alleging violations of the Arizona Racketeering Act. CP Direct ultimately admitted to defrauding tens of thousands of customers by falsely advertising penis enlargement supplements. As a result, the company was ordered to pay restitution of more than $4 million and to forfeit assets totaling over $45 million. In May 2004, the receiver for CP Direct, Lawrence J. Warfield, filed suit against Marc Gardner of North American Bancard alleging violations under the RICO Act, conversion, and unjust enrichment.
Specifically, Warfield’s complaint alleged that Global Payments, the backend processor for North American Bancard, placed CP Direct on its watch list in under a year of processing due to an excessive rate of chargebacks. The complaint further alleges that as a result of this, North American Bancard advised CP Direct to create a new company and reapply for processing under the untarnished name. According to Warfield, CP Direct continued to accept its customers’ credit card payments under the fictitious and fraudulently maintained name of “Nutritional Supplements, Inc.” at the direction of North American Bancard. Warfield further claimed that CP Direct was ordered to pay a monthly consulting fee of $250,000 (plus bonuses of $50,000 for each million dollars over $8 million in monthly sales) directly to Marc Gardner as a condition of North American Bancard processing payments for the company. According to Warfield’s complaint, these payments totaled over $700,000. In July 2006, Marc Gardner was scheduled to be deposed in the case, but Marc Gardner’s counsel terminated his deposition immediately after he was sworn in.
Unfortunately, we are unable to locate any third-party sources or legal documents that explain how this suit was ultimately resolved. However, the parties were known to have reached a settlement amount in April 2006. It is therefore likely that the suit was settled. If you have any knowledge of how this case was resolved, please share that information in the comment section below this review.