Square is suing over a $645,000 Diamond payment it doesn’t process

(Bloomberg) – A woman’s ill-fated attempt to buy diamonds in New York City using a debit card linked to Russian bank accounts has taken Square Inc. to court.

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A Florida resident who says she spent $645,000 at a store on West 47th Street in Manhattan’s Diamond District claims in a lawsuit that she never received her gems and the payment processing company will not return her money after she had concluded that the purchase would violate US sanctions against Russian banks.

Maria Zurabova, a US citizen with friends and family in Russia, filed her lawsuit Friday in federal court in San Francisco, where Square is based. Zurabova says she made her purchases from Royal Star Inc. about a year ago using cards linked to Russian banks, including Alfa-Bank. She says she kept the accounts because she occasionally traveled to Russia before invading Ukraine.

Square received Zurabova’s funds before any sanctions from Russian banks were in effect, and she certainly argues that her use of funds held in the Russian bank was and remains legal.

“Despite the fact that none of the sanctions affected Zurabova’s transactions, Square claimed that Alfa Bank was sanctioned and therefore could not process Zurabova’s purchase,” their complaint, which includes invoices and states that the company has held her money illegally for almost a year.

Alfa-Bank was included in the sanctions imposed on March 26, 2022, more than two weeks after Zurabova said she bought the diamonds and jewelry, and even then only covered transactions involving debt or equity, not debit card purchases, she argues . Instead of transferring the money to the merchant or returning it, “Square withheld the money and refused to return it or even provide a reasonable explanation for doing so,” the complaint reads.

Square officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The case is Zurabova v. Block, 23-cv-00953, United States District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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https://finance.yahoo.com/news/square-sued-over-645-000-215127122.html Square is suing over a $645,000 Diamond payment it doesn’t process

Russell Falcon

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