12 September 2019

Criminal charges for senior CFMMEU official over alleged secret commissions

Derek Christopher, a high-ranking Victorian building union official and offsider to CFMMEU chief John Setka, will be charged with allegedly receiving secret commissions. The charges stem from federal and state police investigations into allegations he received free labour and materials from building contractors to renovate his family home.

10 September 2019

Australia’s new whistleblower regime

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Act 2019 became law on 1 July 2019. The legislation imposes a number of significant compliance obligations on all Australian corporations with additional obligations for publicly listed and large proprietary companies.

9 September 2019

Former Ipswich mayor Andrew Antoniolli spared jail time over ‘calculated and cunning’ fraud

Andrew Antoniolli misappropriated and fraudulently used the council’s community donation fund to buy charity items over 12 years. He claimed it was accepted practice at the council to buy auction items with council donation funds. The magistrate sentenced Antoniolli to six months in prison, wholly suspended.

5 September 2019

Botched Audits: Big Four Accounting Firms Fail Many Inspections

In the most recent annual inspections of the U.S. arms of the Big Four for which the oversight board has reported results, inspectors found that each firm botched at least 20% of their audits. In some cases, they were so bad that the accounting firms had no business issuing opinions based on those audits.

4 September 2019

Australian parents share fears for teens using cryptocurrency to buy drugs online

A growing number of tech-savvy Australian teenagers – are using cryptocurrency and the dark web buy dangerous drugs without being traced. It has become so pervasive that NSW Police created a standalone Cybercrime Squad in 2018, tasked with fighting crime on the dark web.

4 September 2019

Bank of Queensland, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank sued by ASIC over ‘unfair’ contracts

Many banks have “non-monetary default” clauses in their loan contracts, particularly for business customers. ASIC is taking Bank Of Queensland, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank to court, alleging such clauses are unfair and should be unenforceable. There are no penalties for companies that include unfair terms in their contracts

3 September 2019

Secret penetration tests, fines for banks under PayID security crackdown

Australian banks and credit unions will have increased pressure to tighten controls and security PauID systems as their transactional systems are secretly penetration tested. This is to find deficiencies and stop fraud.

3 September 2019

Report recommends powerful whistleblower protection body

‘The Clean as a Whistle” report developed from one of the world’s largest whistleblowing studies calls for the creation of a joint central whistleblower authority, to provide support to people who report wrongdoing in both the public and private sectors.

3 September 2019

Millennials are most vulnerable to bank fraud, report reveals

The popularity of online banking has rendered millennials (18to34’s) as the generation most vulnerable to bank fraud according to a report from Lloyds Bank. On the other hand, those from the older generation aged 55 and over lose the most amount of cash. ASIC has revealed a “strategic change program” in an effort to curb … Continued

2 September 2019

Unwell and resigning: Woman’s email to boss after fraud totalling thousands of dollars was exposed

Allison Egar, 45, was sentenced at Coffs Harbour District Court on Thursday for two counts of dishonestly obtaining property by deception. She created false invoices across a number of firms she worked for and abused their trust for years.

2 September 2019

Simple QR code trick scammers use to steal your Bitcoin

QR codes are often used to share an address when transferring cryptocurrency between two devices, however due to the fact that the codes are not humanly readable, it opens an avenue for fraud.

1 September 2019

What the new tax whistleblower laws mean for disclosure

A CPA paper outlining how the new tax whistleblower laws introduce protections and remedies into the Taxation Administration Act. When a whistleblower reports any form of reasonably suspected impropriety – be it accepting undocumented cash payments or backdating tax documents, through to large-scale tax fraud – they are potentially eligible for protection under the new … Continued

1 September 2019

Google and Amazon use smart speakers for ‘surveillance,’ top tech investor says

Article outlines the controversies around privacy issues and surveillance by using smart assistants including Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s (AAPL) Siri. Each company admitted that human workers listen to users’ queries as a means of improving their digital assistants’ voice recognition capabilities. Companies are now saying they have paused the practice.

29 August 2019

ASIC sues NAB over $24bn home loan ‘introducer’ scheme

ASIC has launched legal action against National Australia Bank seeking fines of up to $530m over a program the bank ran where it paid “introducers” to bring in home loan customers. It is claimed they broke credit law, exposing customers and itself to potential fraud.

29 August 2019

$1m fraud’ at Canterbury DHB admitted by former employee

A former employee has admitted defrauding the Canterbury District Health Board in what’s alleged to amount to more than NZ$1 million over a five-year period. The 50-year-old ex-admin worker, who has since left the Canterbury DHB, says she used the stolen money for online gambling.

28 August 2019

Record Australian BEC, scam losses highlight need for better end-user education

Australian small businesses have lost 42 percent more to business email compromise (BEC) scams in the first half of 2019 than all of 2018, according to new figures from the ACCC. The research shows that reported losses are on track to exceed $532m by the end of this year.

28 August 2019

Hit list for $400 million ‘strategic change program’ revealed

With online payments fraud in Australia now at an all-time high of $478 million a year for 2018, ASIC is finally showing of making banks and credit card schemes clean up their act. Bank outages, online payments fraud and corporate data breaches will be met with court action, public shaming, penalties and stiff fines.

28 August 2019

Former trustee jailed for defrauding Far North Māori trust out of $1m

A former trustee of a Far North Māori trust who was the “ringleader” in stealing $1 million to fund his “lavish lifestyle” has been jailed. Stephen James Henare was sentenced to five years and two months at the High Court at Auckland on Wednesday by Justice Matthew Muir. Henare pleaded guilty to five charges of … Continued

27 August 2019

Ex-Commonwealth Bank Manager Stole Money to Gamble, Jailed for Fraud

Lee Zaragoza stole $463,260 from the Commonwealth Bank over five years to feed a gambling habit. Amongst other fraudulent activity he manipulated the bank’s internal payment dispute system by falsifying spreadsheets, destroying records and using an internal account to purchase retail items, for which he would then claim a refund into his own account. It … Continued

27 August 2019

Corporate crime – understanding the playing field

Paper discusses the “adversarial system” for civil proceedings and the two key features of criminal prosecutions that permeate how prosecutions are conducted in Australia.

26 August 2019

Brisbane scientist cracks secret IRA message from 1920s

A Brisbane data scientist (Richard Bean) has unsolved secret codes sent by the Irish Republican Army in the early 20th century. The cryptogram, which eluded the world’s top code-breakers for decades, revealed that explosives were stolen from the IRA’s British rivals in the 1920s. Using a columnar transposition cipher, a decoder that rearranges texts in … Continued

25 August 2019

PayID breach sees customers’ banking information hacked

Tens of thousands of customers’ personal banking details are at risk after scammers broke into a new payment database. Customers at all of the nation’s big four banks are among those impacted.

24 August 2019

Two former company directors convicted for engaging in illegal phoenix activity

Two NSW men, have been convicted and sentenced after pleading guilty to ASIC charges concerning a breach of director’s duties and the fraudulent removal of company assets. The Company was placed into voluntary liquidation soon after with an estimated deficiency of $1,110,695.93. As a result of the convictions, both men are automatically disqualified from managing … Continued

23 August 2019

Accused fraudster billed NAB for $2m after accomplice was sacked

Fresh documentation has been obtained showing Helen Rosamond who was accused of defrauding the National Australia bank, allegedly asked for $2 million in fake orders to be processed and that she received a series of allegedly “secret commissions” in the shape of first-class trips overseas with spending money, $108,726 in house repairs and a boat.

21 August 2019

Guilty plea strips NAB ‘Suit Club’ fraud bare

A former National Australia Bank branch manager has pleaded guilty to fraud, after an investigation found he lied to earn commissions for introducing new customers through a business called “Suit Club”. The ASIC investigation found that 24 of the 101 loan applications contained false information, and that he was aware that the information was false.

20 August 2019

A Disney whistleblower is accusing the company of overstating its revenue by billions

A former senior accountant (Sandra Kuba) at Disney has accused the entertainment giant of overstating its revenues by billions of dollars. She alleged Disney employees recorded non-existent sales from giveaways and artificially inflated revenue from gift cards and claimed the company’s revenue could have been overstated by as much as $US6 billion, or 20%, in … Continued

20 August 2019

ANZ, NAB report data blues to ASIC

ANZ and NAB are pushing back against regulatory proposals that would require them as credit licensees to collect and cross-check account and credit card statements, against statements of income, expenses and expenditure. They say there will be a raft of expensive IT headaches and cost implications if a manual approach is taken.

19 August 2019

Fraud accused: Justin Luke Yianakis taken to hospital for treatment

A bipolar man accused of defrauding betting giants and a bank of $3 million has had his bail conditions varied, to undergo treatment in hospital. Yianakis faces 67 fraud-related charges, including dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception, publishing false or misleading material to obtain an advantage, dealing with identity information to commit an indictable offence, … Continued

19 August 2019

From money-laundering to sanctions busting: the real value of cryptocurrency may soon be clear

Cryptocurrency threatens to erode the ability to trace and stop transactions linked to crime, terrorism, and corruption. A key feature is that cryptocurrency can often be traded with no centralised body tracking them, making them a viable conduit for money laundering, which is a cause for concern for regulators globally.

19 August 2019

Treasurer steps up banking commission reforms after customers lose $201 billion

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has stepped-up the pace on the implementation of the recommendations from the Hayne banking royal commission after researchers revealed Australians had lost $201 billion to financial misconduct by the banks. The research from the University of Melbourne found 54 per cent of Australians had been slugged by fraud or misconduct by financial … Continued

19 August 2019

Unauthorised financial adviser’s multi-million dollar criminal deception funded lavish lifestyle

An unauthorised Auckland financial adviser faces a lengthy prison sentence after being found guilty of dozens of charges over a long-running fraud which funded a lavish lifestyle of private jets and jewellery. Steven Robertson, who was involved in the gold markets, originally faced a total of 47 criminal charges for allegedly misappropriating millions of dollars … Continued

19 August 2019

AUSTRAC flags tough action after being ‘flooded’ with money laundering breaches

Australia’s anti-money laundering regulator warns it is likely to take more action against financial institutions after receiving numerous reports of potential breaches following its landmark case against CBA. AUSTRAC CEO has noticed the 2017 case against CBA has triggered a significant increase in self-disclosure from the companies it regulates.

18 August 2019

ASIC ramps up investigations, claws back $20m post royal commission

The corporate regulator has increased investigations into wealth management firms by more than 200 per cent over the past year, as it prioritises cases involving the country’s major financial institutions in the fallout of the banking royal commission.

18 August 2019

CSI not so scientific: Doubt cast on veracity of forensic evidence

Researchers have expressed serious concerns about the state of forensic science in Australia and the reliability of materials presented as evidence in court. Forensic evidence being questioned includes firearms analysis, hair comparisons and some DNA samples presented in criminal cases.

17 August 2019

Aussie corruption-buster humbled by Indonesians

The Indonesian anti-corruption agency has gone from strength to strength with over 1,000 public officials being sentenced, since it began operations in 2004. Indonesia will surpass Australia on the corruption scale in the next 15 years as it cleanses itself. The Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi – the commission for the eradication of corruption, known as KPK … Continued

16 August 2019

General Electric is a ‘bigger fraud than Enron’, whistleblower claims

Shares of General Electric plunged after a Whistleblower accused them of understating its costs and liabilities. They are accused of misleading investors in its financial statements, with irregularities totalling US$56billion.

16 August 2019

Businessman freed from prison, another exonerated in multi-million GFC fraud case

A long-running saga of three New Zealand businessmen who were found guilty of multi-million-dollar crimes during the global financial crisis has taken another twist. The Court of Appeal has quashed several of the men’s convictions and ordered one be released from prison while completely exonerating another. Paul Bublitz, Bruce McKay and Richard Blackwood were all … Continued

15 August 2019

NSW Adviser banned for second time

Sydney-based financial adviser Tarandeep Aujla has been banned from providing financial services for three years for failing to act in his clients’ best interest, including inappropriate recommendations for insurance. The surveillance found Aujla did not obtain adequate information from clients about their personal circumstances. ASIC had previously banned Mr Aujila in 2009.

14 August 2019

‘It sounded legit’: Scammers gouge hundreds of thousands from WA victims as NBN rollout draws to a close

Suspected computer and telco plan-specific scams are on the rise, prompting NBN Co to launch a campaign to empower Australians to recognise and prevent scammers. WA residents lost $253,000 to National Broadband Network scams in the past financial year.

14 August 2019

Criminal drone activity a ‘real concern’

Air Services Australia, a government-owned corporation, plans to catch rogue drone operators by using low altitude detection and tracking technology, which is currently in development. Drones not only present safety issues due to technical failures or misbehaving operators, but there are ‘very real concerns’ they will be used for criminal activities.

14 August 2019

Compliance in the Age of Digital Banking: An Overview

Article outlines the key compliance issues facing the banking industry with the use of “digital banking”. It also describes the types of fraud experienced by banks, money laundering costs, cross border issues, risks with open banking and GDPR regulations.

14 August 2019

Small businesses unprepared for the latest wave of scams – Westpac

Many Australian small business owners do not have processes in place to prevent the latest wave of scams, according to new research. On average they are losing $38,845 and recovering less than half. Training staff in scam awareness and prevention is a key to prevent scams.

14 August 2019

Lyceum Club manager pleads guilty to stealing furniture and $354,820

Peter Stratton, the former manager of Melbourne’s exclusive Lyceum Club has pleaded guilty to stealing furniture and defrauding the club of more than $350,000 since 2011, in a scheme understood to have involved skimming cash from tax receipts.

13 August 2019

Government opposes pus to limit police access to automated vehicle data

The federal government has indicated that it opposes any move to implement new rules that could prevent Police from accessing data generated by automated vehicle technology (cameras, speed, location etc) and cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS). They say the existing framework adequately protects privacy.

13 August 2019

It’s time whistleblowers had better protection: A.J. Brown writes for The Conversation

Griffith University Professor of Public Policy & Law, Centre for Governance & Public Policy, A.J. Brown says there is a huge need for better whistleblower protections and that, fundamental flaws in our (federal) laws mean fraud, corruption or criminal behaviour in any activity by intelligence agency functions, cannot be revealed to the public, even when … Continued

13 August 2019

Coles exec allegedly helped himself to $2m for rent, luxury car loan, court told

A former Coles executive Aaron Baslangic, has been charged with theft and deception after he was accused of taking almost $2million from the supermarket giant, over a 5 month period. Coles discovered the questionable payments and falsified approvals when migrating to a new payments platform.

12 August 2019

Gone into Bitcoin lately? Crypto scams are on the rise

Cryptocurrency and superannuation investment scams are on the rise, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission warning it expects Australians to be swindled out of a record $532 million in all kinds of scams by the end of the year. The ACCC said $14.76 million had been lost in crypto scams alone from January to … Continued

12 August 2019

Tax office whistleblower launches crowdfunding campaign to help face off possible 161-year prison sentence

ATO whistleblower Richard Boyle has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for his legal costs. Boyle blew the whistle on the ATO’s debt collection practices in April 2018, after making an internal Public Interest Disclosure in October 2017. There are calls for whistleblower laws to be reformed, to better protect public servants

8 August 2019

More than 100 lose $2.7 million in Gold Coast cryptocurrency scam

Investors have been tricked into a Gold Coast cryptocurrency scam that cost them almost $3 million, and for some a comfortable retirement. Three men and two women from the Gold Coast have been charged with fraud and money laundering as part of a criminal syndicate.

8 August 2019

Sacked parking inspectors to test NSW whistleblower protections

‘Whistleblower’ parking Inspectors who were sacked after they explained they were told to give ‘preferential treatment’ to members of Auburn council are launching a rare case under NSW Public Interest Disclosure Act – the state’s whistleblower protection regime.

8 August 2019

NSW Watchdog to probe sale of James Packer’s crown stake

James Packer’s sale of $1.76 billion of shares in Crown Resorts to Hong Kong gambling tycoon Lawrence Ho is has been halted as the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority launches an independent probity investigation, examining the casino giant’s links to Chinese criminals.

7 August 2019

ASIC lends an ear to whistleblower reform

Australia’s corporate regulator (ASIC) wants to hear from the public about how companies can better protect whistleblowers and wants feedback on exempting public companies that are small not-for-profits or charities from being required to have a whistleblower policy. The public consultation closes on September 18.

6 August 2019

EFTsure raises $2.5 million to fund accelerated growth plans, fight against payment fraud explosion

Australian fintech company eftsure has just secured an additional $2.5 million in funding to accelerate its growth and meet the demand for its protection platform, a unique solution to electronic payments fraud. Since its inception, eftsure has protected over $6 billion in electronic payment transactions.

6 August 2019

Federal Government ‘concerned’ over Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, demands fine print

Facebook says its new cryptocurrency company, Libra, will allow money to be sent the same way as a text message. The Australian Privacy Commissioner is cautioning Facebook to learn from its mistakes and explain exactly how it will protect people’s financial information. Libra is planned to be launched in 2020.

5 August 2019

Blowing the whistle to understand culture

David McGowan – Group Integrity Lead at ANZ discusses the rights and protections of whistleblowers and how the new legislation is designed to protect them.

4 August 2019

‘Easy money’ for sham marriage: The women targeted by global syndicate

164 fake marriages organised by a global syndicate reaching from Australia to India were discovered by Australian Border Force. Visas were cancelled and none of the applicants were granted permanent residency, despite some paying significant sums of money.

3 August 2019

Sisters In Law: ‘Help, my neighbour is secretly filming me’

Article explains that in Australia there is no right to privacy outlined in the Constitution and to enforce our rights we need to rely on a variety of different laws; cases and legislation made by the Commonwealth and state governments, which all vary.

2 August 2019

Man jailed over ‘audacious’ $1.5m tax refund fraud

A South Australian man has been sentenced to 2 years and 4 months in prison for trying to fraudulently obtain almost $1.5m in tax refunds. The man created a fake cigar sales business, and then attempted to claim tax refunds of $1,444,069, which triggered an ATO audit. The man had been charged with six counts … Continued

2 August 2019

BNZ struggled to abide by anti-money laundering laws

Leaked documents have revealed that the Bank of New Zealand has struggled to comply with laws meant to prevent criminals and terrorists laundering money through its accounts.

1 August 2019

US indicts Chinese billionaire for fraud

Chinese billionaire Liu Zhongtian and his company, China Zhongwang Holdings, have been indicted by US prosecutors for allegedly evading tariffs on $US1.8 billion of aluminium imports. Prosecutors said the alleged scheme began in 2008, and eventually involved efforts to escape duties imposed by the US Department of Commerce in 2011 on various types of extruded … Continued

1 August 2019

Vic Man charged over $11m Ausdrill fraud

A Victorian man and a Perth woman have been charged for defrauding Ausdrill of $11.1million. Police allege the man had created fake invoices and suppliers. Police also allege the woman approved payments in exchange for gift vouchers and electronic devices.

1 August 2019

Work needed to prevent online fraud, AIC says

The Australian Institute of Criminology and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have combined to research the factors that make people vulnerable to consumer fraud. The article details reasons for online fraud, the possible solutions and initiatives that should be introduced in Australia.

29 July 2019

Centrelink to match Medicare data in ‘identity fraud’ crackdown

Centrelink is preparing to use Medicare data in a data-matching exercise to alert authorities to more instances of suspected welfare fraud. The data-matching program is set to target identity, employment or income-based welfare fraud and is designed to detect false, manipulated and assumed identities used by customers in submitting multiple claims.

29 July 2019

The technology that sent a million to internment camps is being used here

Facial recognition digital technology that will have the ability to link CCTV cameras nationwide with all citizens, has been approved for use in Australia.

27 July 2019

National security being used to stifle public interest journalism, former judges warn

Due to the freedoms of whistleblowers and the media coming under attack in a series of recent prosecutions, former judges, lawyers, and integrity experts push for federal anti-corruption body and protections for whistleblowers and the media.

27 July 2019

Whistleblower lifts the lid on how Crown Casino lured high-rollers to lose $10million in 15 minutes – in saga that landed her and 18 others in a Chinese jail

Jenny Jiang who was one of 19 former Crown employees is one of the whistleblowers revealing how Crown fast tracked visas and used Crown link bank accounts and high roller rooms to launder funds. It has also been revealed that Junket operators (which have been linked to Chinese criminal syndicates) are licensed by casinos to … Continued

26 July 2019

‘We take full responsibility’: NAB discloses breach involving 13,000 customers’ driver’s licences

National Australia Bank had to contact 13,000 customers to advise them of a security breach involving customer names, dates of birth, contact details and in some cases driver’s licence numbers. The issue arose when without authorisation, data was loaded to the servers of two data service companies. NAB has also notified and is working with … Continued

26 July 2019

BITCOIN FRAUD: Cryptocurrency escrow company head charged with stealing $7 million

Jon Barry Thompson used his company to induce investors to engage in cryptocurrency transactions by promising that his companies would act as custodians and thereby “minimise settlement default risk”. He is facing two counts of commodities fraud and two counts of wire fraud. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with help … Continued

26 July 2019

ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry to recommend changes to stop tech anti-competitive behaviour

Facebook and Google will now be forced to better protect Australians’ privacy and be more transparent about collecting personal data, assuming the government adopts the findings of the ACCC Digital Inquiry report handed down on friday.

25 July 2019

Retailers lose billions to theft, ‘micro-gangs’ and emboldened shoplifters to blame

A new report has revealed that retail theft in Australia and NZ has soared to a A$3.37 billion in the 17/18 financial year. Telecommunication stores suffered the highest average value of theft and organised crime-backed ‘micro-gangs’ are terrifying staff and customers.

25 July 2019

Former Billabong boss struck off as lawyer over $13.5 million fraud

Recently paroled former Billabong surfwear boss Matthew Perrin who was Solicitor of the Supreme Court Queensland from 1996, has been officially struck off Queensland’s legal roll. The former high-flyer was convicted, after he forged his wife’s signature on mortgage documents and used those to defraud a bank of $13.5 million.

25 July 2019

Facebook firm in its quest to launch Libra cryptocurrency

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg reaffirmed his commitment to the social network’s quest to launch Libra cryptocurrency, despite pushback from governments and critics. Global digital payment platform Libra would make it easy to spend or send money using Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) major global economies and central bankers … Continued

24 July 2019

Celebrity planner who offered ‘risible advice’ banned for three years

Sam Henderson will be banned from providing financial services for three years. ASIC found that he “failed to act in the best interests of clients” or to “provide appropriate advice”. During the banking royal commission it was alleged his staff had impersonated clients to their superannuation funds, he had misrepresented his university qualifications and that … Continued

24 July 2019

Police charge man over $8 million fraud against media network

The former Seven Network executive John Fitzgerald has been charged after he allegedly used false invoices to defraud the company of more than $8 million over 14 years. He is being charged with two counts of misappropriation of money by an agent, two counts of obtain money by deception (greater than $15,000), and four counts … Continued

24 July 2019

US Justice Department to open new antitrust review of tech companies

The US DOJ has announced it will be opening an investigation of major digital technology firms into whether they engage in anticompetitive practices. The review will look into “whether and how market-leading online platforms have achieved market power and are engaging in practices that have reduced competition, stifled innovation, or otherwise harmed consumers,” according to … Continued

24 July 2019

Former Seven executive refused bail over $8m fraud

A former Seven West Media executive has been refused bail over an $8 million fraud he allegedly committed against the media network over 14 years. John Fitzgerald has been charged with eight fraud-related offences including misappropriating money, obtaining money by deception and dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.

23 July 2019

Fake Facebook friends lead victims to lose thousands in scams

Thousands of dollars are being lost by WA victims who are led into falling for grant or lottery prize scams by Facebook friends, who have had their profiles cloned. The victims are then lured into a claims process that requires them to provide personal and financial information as well as pay upfront fees before receiving … Continued

20 July 2019

Mail theft leads to $4.8m share swindle

ASIC is investigating a group of people it suspects is involved in the identity theft of 33 victims and setting up fake trading and bank accounts to steal $2.44 million in shares. It is suspected the money was spread around the syndicate using cryptocurrencies and sent to a gold dealer offshore.

19 July 2019

Woman who died after bus crash faced luxury fraud scam charges

A woman who died after being hit by a bus in Sydney was facing multiple charges from a $2m luxury fraud scam and drug offences. The accused stole identity details from real people, then created more than 300 fake bank accounts.

19 July 2019

Australian couple explain how they lost $900k to crypto scam

A Melbourne couple lost $900,000 of their retirement funds after falling victim to an elaborate crypto scam. They invested via a cryptocurrency trading website that promised high returns.

19 July 2019

It’s a new era for Australia’s whistleblowers – in the private sector

Article provides a summary of the new laws and protections for whistleblowers for Australians in the private sector. Changes include who qualifies, what is a disclosable matter, who to make a disclosure to and what constitutes detriment.

19 July 2019

Charges laud over QLD Dept of Education fraud

Four people have been charged after an investigation into fraud offences within the Queensland Department of Education. Two employees are alleged to have stolen up to $400 000 from the department, whilst also attempting to dishonestly gain $2.5m throughout their employment at the department.

18 July 2019

Military whistleblower returns to court

A military lawyer (David McBride) who blew the whistle on alleged war crimes by Australian troops is determined to declassify information at the centre of his case. McBride has been committed to stand trial charged with theft of commonwealth property, three counts of breaching the Defence Act and unauthorised disclosure of information.

18 July 2019

Military whistleblower returns to court

A military lawyer (David McBride) who blew the whistle on alleged war crimes by Australian troops is determined to declassify information at the centre of his case. McBride has been committed to stand trial charged with theft of commonwealth property, three counts of breaching the Defence Act and unauthorised disclosure of information.

17 July 2019

Black market in stolen card details becoming more user-friendly, leading to ‘explosion’ in fraud

Card-not-present fraud accounts for 85 per cent of card fraud in Australia. One woman’s Uber account was used worldwide in multiple transactions costing close to $1,500

17 July 2019

Young mum’s passport held over alleged $4.8m share scam

Jasmine Vella-Arpaci (Melbourne) has had her passport seized by the court and prevented from leaving Australia, over her alleged involvement in a blue-chip share scam, involving identity theft. The fraud has netted $2.44 million from unsuspecting victims and attempted to steal millions more from companies, including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Fortescue Mining and Woolworths.

16 July 2019

Facebook cryptocurrency won’t go ahead without full government approval

Facebook will be defending its new cryptocurrency ‘Libra’ before Congress, due to concerns of criminal misuse. The company will need to navigate government regulation and oversight, existing government-backed currencies, criminal use and privacy, to get full government approval.

16 July 2019

Anti-theft surveillance technology for the retail sector

A new generation of anti-theft surveillance equipment called ‘S20’ developed for retailers, is being rolled out now by Checkpoint Systems. S20, is a radio frequency electronic article surveillance antenna (EAS)

16 July 2019

Facebook cryptocurrency won’t go ahead without full government approval

Facebook will be defending its new cryptocurrency ‘Libra’ before Congress, due to concerns of criminal misuse. The company will need to navigate government regulation and oversight, existing government-backed currencies, criminal use and privacy, to get full government approval.

16 July 2019

Anti-theft surveillance technology

A new generation of anti-theft surveillance equipment called ‘S20’ developed for retailers, is being rolled out now by Checkpoint Systems. S20, is a radio frequency electronic article surveillance antenna (EAS)

15 July 2019

Warning from AFP of scam targeting Chinese community, South Australia

The Australian Federal Police is warning the public of complex social engineering fraud and telephone scams currently targeting the Chinese community. They include the: virtual kidnap and extortion scam”; Tax impersonation scam”; Chinese Embassy official or the “Chinese embassy scam”; and the logistics provider or the “Package notification scam”.

15 July 2019

Hundreds of millions lost due to fake crypto news

Fake news is costing Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors hundreds of millions of dollars every year. This is because the markets are highly volatile and a single tweet is sometimes all it takes, to move the price up or down. The reason behind fake news is that people want to believe they’ll become rich from Bitcoin.

15 July 2019

Government betrays much needed whistleblowers

Opinion article by a whistleblower around the lack of laws around the existence of deterrents to public interest disclosures, such as defamation laws, workplace confidentiality agreements etc.

15 July 2019

Warning from AFP of scam targeting Chinese community, South Australia

The Australian Federal Police is warning the public of complex social engineering fraud and telephone scams currently targeting the Chinese community. They include the: ‘Virtual kidnap and extortion scam’; ‘Tax impersonation scam’; ‘Chinese Embassy official’ or the ‘Chinese embassy scam’; and the logistics provider or the ‘Package notification scam’.

15 July 2019

Hundreds of millions lost due to fake crypto news

Fake news is costing Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors hundreds of millions of dollars every year. This is because the markets are highly volatile and a single tweet is sometimes all it takes, to move the price up or down. The reason behind fake news is that people want to believe they’ll become rich from Bitcoin. … Continued

15 July 2019

Government betrays much needed whistleblowers

Opinion article by a whistleblower and the lack of laws around the existence of deterrents to public interest disclosures, such as defamation laws, workplace confidentiality agreements etc.

13 July 2019

How did Victoria become the Surveillance State?

Article debates whether new high-tech methods of surveillance (Omni-Aware, Drones etc) compromises individual liberty. Government agencies proactively collect vast amounts of data so questions raised are: who is collecting, analysing and using all that data; and can we trust that they will keep our personal information secure?

13 July 2019

How did Victoria become the Surveillance State?

Article debates whether new high-tech methods of surveillance (Omni-Aware, Drones etc) compromises individual liberty. Government agencies proactively collect vast amounts of data so questions raised are: who is collecting, analysing and using all that data; and can we trust that they will keep our personal information secure?

12 July 2019

In Australia, Card (And Other Payments) Fraud Is Big Business

The Australian Institute of Criminology reported that fraud amounted to $42 million over the past year. That fraud includes misuse of government credit cards and procurement payments.

12 July 2019

ASIC targets licensees over lack of AFCA membership

Over 50 financial services and credit licensees have had their licenses formally suspended or cancelled by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), after failing to obtain membership of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

12 July 2019

In Australia, Card (And Other Payments) Fraud Is Big Business

The Australian Institute of Criminology reported that fraud amounted to $42 million over the past year. That fraud includes misuse of government credit cards and procurement payments.

12 July 2019

ASIC targets licensees over lack of AFCA membership

Over 50 financial services and credit licensees have had their licenses formally suspended or cancelled by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), after failing to obtain membership of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

11 July 2019

Data theft a top security concern for Australians: study

Data theft continues to dominate the security issues that concern Australians, according to new research from Unisys. Of the 1,049 Australians surveyed, 57% said they were seriously concerned about unauthorised access to their personal data, 56% were seriously concerned about bank fraud and 54% were seriously concerned about computer hacking or viruses.

11 July 2019

Data theft a top security concern for Australians: study

Data theft continues to dominate the security issues that concern Australians, according to new research from Unisys. Of the 1,049 Australians surveyed, 57% said they were seriously concerned about unauthorised access to their personal data, 56% were seriously concerned about bank fraud and 54% were seriously concerned about computer hacking or viruses.

11 July 2019

Government agency racks up $99m corporate card fraud bill

An Australian government agency has been hit with an automated online credit card fraud attack which has exploited a weakness within the system and has generated more than 340 000 fraudulent transactions. The Australian Institute of Criminology believe the card payments were largely involved. The AIC has reported that the average value of the fraud … Continued

9 July 2019

Whistleblower reveals Australian health insurers rejected claims illegally

Documents have been leaked by a government whistleblower, resulting in an investigation of major Australian Health insurers. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has consequently slammed private health insurers’ for illegally rejecting thousands of claim without getting them reviewed by a doctor.

9 July 2019

Whistleblower reveals Australian health insurers rejected claims illegally

Documents have been leaked by a government whistleblower, resulting in an investigation of major Australian Health insurers. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has consequently slammed private health insurers’ for illegally rejecting thousands of claim without getting them reviewed by a doctor.

7 July 2019

Black market in stolen card details becoming more user-friendly, leading to ‘explosion’ in fraud

Card-not-present fraud accounts for 85 per cent of card fraud in Australia. One woman’s Uber account is used worldwide in multiple transactions costing close to $1,500. An expert recommends the tokenisation of card details for recurring payments.

7 July 2019

Young mum’s passport held over alleged $4.8m share scam

Jasmine Vella-Arpaci (Melbourne) has had her passport seized by the court and prevented from leaving Australia, over her alleged involvement in a blue-chip share scam, involving identity theft. The alleged fraud is alleged to have netted $2.44 million from unsuspecting victims and attempted to steal millions more from companies, including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, … Continued

5 July 2019

Man charged over $95 000 drought relief fraud

A 43-year-old man has been charged for defrauding the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme of approximately $95,000. Investigators from the Rural Major and Organised Crime Squad, charged the man with two counts of fraud, one count of attempted fraud, 10 counts of forging documents and 10 counts of uttering forged documents after he made three applications … Continued

1 July 2019

New regime for corporate whistleblower protections commences today

From 1st July, whistleblowers who report misconduct about companies and company officers can access stronger rights and protections in the Corporations Act 2001. ASIC has updated information on their website and issued two new information sheets. Public companies, large proprietary companies, and corporate trustees of registrable superannuation entities need to have a whistleblower policy from … Continued

1 July 2019

New regime for corporate whistleblower protections commences

From 1st July, whistleblowers who report misconduct about companies and company officers can access stronger rights and protections in the Corporations Act 2001. ASIC has updated information on their website and issued two new information sheets. Public companies, large proprietary companies, and corporate trustees of registrable superannuation entities need to have a whistleblower policy from … Continued

24 June 2019

NZ government ramping up banking regulation

The New Zealand government is wanting to introduce a deposit protection regime and begin regulatory work to strengthen oversight of the banking sector. The government is also looking to start determining whether bank executives’ accountability should be ramped up and the central bank’s supervisory role strengthened after the resignation of ANZ Bank’s New Zealand chief … Continued

24 June 2019

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower heads Antidote line-up

Data analyst and Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie is headlining this year’s Antidote Festival at the Sydney Opera House. The festival will focus on tensions between repression, privacy, openness and freedom, and speakers will explore the weaponisation of traditional and social media as tools of surveillance, and human rights oppression. Keynote speakers will also include … Continued

21 June 2019

Bank of Scotland fined £45.5m by regulator over fraud

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined the Bank of Scotland for failing to disclose information about a _245m fraud scandal at the bank’s Reading branch. The FCA noted the bank had ‘risked substantial prejudice to the interests of justice’ by withholding information.

6 June 2019

The Fraud factories

Online crime is considered by fraudsters to be highly profitable, with minimal risk of arrest. Evidenced by the fact, than 60,000 scams have been reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch website and more than $35 million in losses has been recorded already in 2019.

5 June 2019

ASIC spotlight on Sterling First firms over ‘serious allegations’ of misconduct before collapse

A WA property investment and management group (Ferrier Hodgson) that went under last month, was being investigated by the corporate regulator and facing “serious allegations” of misconduct. The allegations include misleading or deceptive conduct, unconscionable conduct and breaches of conduct.

5 June 2019

Two former CBA employees charged with fraud

A former senior manager and a former manager at the CBA have been charged with fraud after allegedly misappropriating nearly half a million dollars from the bank’s internal accounts to personal accounts.

4 June 2019

Australian National University: 19 Years of Data Copied

Australian National University has detected a data breach that resulted in the copying of staff and student data stretching back 19 years. The compromised data includes names, addresses, birth dates, phone numbers, personal email addresses, emergency contact details, tax file numbers, payroll information, bank account details, passport details and student academic records. Australia took quick … Continued

4 June 2019

The AFP raiding a journalist is about silencing whistleblowers, not the press

The Australian Federal Police turned up on the doorstep of the Newscorp journalist Annika Smethurst, in reference to her 2018 article that reported that the defence and home affairs ministries had discussed vast new powers to allow the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) to spy on Australian citizens. News Corp Australia said that the raid was … Continued

3 June 2019

Australia’s watchdog bans Gold Coast adviser for five years

According to ASIC’s investigation, Daniel John Renneberg failed to act in the best interests of clients, including advising them to set up self-managed super funds with “completely unsuitable” limited recourse loans. Consequently, Renneberg has been band from providing financial services for five years.

3 June 2019

Police charge two over separate corporate frauds – SCC Financial Crimes Squad

A man and a woman have been charged over alleged separate frauds against the same financial institution totalling more than $500,000. They allegedly fraudulently lodged reimbursements and transactions from the institution’s internal accounts to personal accounts and will appear in court.

3 June 2019

Former newsreader Simone Semmens denies $1.8m tax fraud

Simone Semmens, a former television newsreader has denied she deliberately withheld more than $1.8 million in GST payments during a lucrative 10 year career of property development in Melbourne.

3 June 2019

Bank manager hid employee’s fraud to hide his own $500,000 fraud, police say

A senior manager at the Commonwealth Bank, who stole almost half a million dollars (to fund a gambling habit), decided not to report a member of his team for fraudulently transferring an alleged $64,000 to her personal account, just in case his own fraud was discovered.

3 June 2019

Almost 100,000 Australians’ private details exposed in attack on Westpac’s PayID

The private details of almost 100,000 Australian bank customers have been exposed in a cyber-attack on the real-time payments platform PayID. PayID allows the instant transfer of money between banks using either a mobile number or an email address. There is a risk that the stolen data could be used for fraud on a mass … Continued

3 June 2019

As privacy is lost a fingerprint at a time, a biometric rebel asserts our rights

Jeremy Lee, a sawmill worker Queensland, refused to have his fingerprints scanned for a new security system introduced by his employer to replace swipe cards. He was sacked and he lodged an unfair dismissal claim that was rejected. He then won his appeal before a full bench of commissioners. Great article that discusses about the … Continued

3 June 2019

ATO whistleblower facing 161-year prison sentence says he ‘almost died from the stress’

Former ATO worker Richard Boyle became an internal whistleblower in 2017. Mr Boyle alleged ATO staff were instructed to use an aggressive debt collection practice on taxpayers without consideration of their circumstances. He has broken his silence on the personal toll of speaking up and facing a prison sentence of 161 years if found guilty.

3 June 2019

Time to regulate facial recognition technology

Concerns are raised about how facial recognition technology is used to police society in different parts of the world. The need for regulation is discussed as well as its breach of civil rights.

3 June 2019

Tax fugitive tracked down and sentenced to 3 years and 3 months jail

A 56-year-old Brisbane businessman was sentenced in the Brisbane District Court to four years and six months jail for tax fraud, after being convicted of obtaining $596,736 for goods and services tax (GST) fraud and personal income tax return fraud.

31 May 2019

Curtains for Vanda Gould’s $383m tax panto

Anglican church’s accountant, Vanda Gould, has been accused of over $383 million tax fraud. He has been accused of engaging in off shore operations, money laundering, tax fraud and possibly insider trading.

31 May 2019

Law will follow crypto sellers overseas, ASIC warns

Businesses offering initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto-assets need to ensure they’re complying with Australian consumer and corporation laws. ASIC has stated that simply selling such products offshore won’t stop the regulator from enforcing business’ domestic obligations.

30 May 2019

New ASIC cryptocurrency guidance: What you need to know

New ASIC clarifications on crypto-assets mean that even “safe” cryptocurrencies may be classified as financial products. Wallet providers, exchanges, intermediaries and many other crypto-related businesses may require an Australian Financial Services Licence to handle financial products. The laws apply to any business with Australian customers, even if the business is based overseas.

30 May 2019

Merivale’s former construction boss pleads guilty to deception

Police allege ‘Joel Cheeseman’ (Merivales former construction lead) authorised fraudulent invoices amounting to nearly $230,000 to be paid by Merivale to his bank account. He has plead guilty to the charges.

29 May 2019

Researchers Want To Build Fake Photo Detection Tools Right Into Our Cameras

A New York University has published a study to detect manipulated photos. The ‘Neural Imaging Pipelines – the Scourge or Hope of Forensics’ study identifies a photos origin and whether it has been manipulated since its original state.

29 May 2019

Man to Face Court over Gold Coast Cold call scam

A 49-year-old Gold Coast man has been formally charged with a series of fraud and money laundering offences, involving more than 30 fraudulently trading businesses.

28 May 2019

Foreign nationals jailed after WA authorities smash elaborate money laundering scam

Three men were recruited and sent to Australia for an international syndicate, which set up several Australian companies to acquire EFTPOS machines. These were then used to attempt to make fraudulent credit card transactions.

28 May 2019

ANZ customers warned about elaborate new email scam

A recent email scam tricks victims by mirroring the official ANZ online banking website. Without realising, customers hand over their vital banking data, including their username, password and answers to secret questions. The scammers then have all they need to take your money.

28 May 2019

CASA running drone detection trial at major airports and Sydney Harbour

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is using drone detection equipment at major airports and events around the country to monitor drone use and enforce safety rules. Drones must not to be operated within 5.5 kilometres of a controlled aerodrome, over Sydney Harbour, or over people or populated areas such as sporting events, concerts and … Continued

28 May 2019

Payroll fraud is more common than you might think: Here are seven red flags

Payroll fraud is often not reported in the media and is managed by internal HR processes. Even when cases are made, they often remain unprosecuted due to the minimal chance of recovering funds. Article outlines seven controls that should be in place to protect against payroll fraud.

28 May 2019

Protecting cryptocurrency wallets from digital thieves

Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency are known for their security, however like most high valued items, there will be scammers that will try to steal it. Great article explaining how hackers try and get your cryptocurrency and how you can protect it.

26 May 2019

First came the TV appearance. Then the alleged $2 million scam

John Killick, Dean Ryan and Joseph La Hood were part of fraud syndicate stealing over $2 million via sophisticated identity theft scams. They managed to create 388 fraudulent customer profiles, opened 846 bank accounts, secured 185 credit cards and procured 15 personal loans, that stole over $2 million over a period of several years.

24 May 2019

Bank CEO charged with bribing official for Trump administration job

Stephen Calk (head of a Chicago bank), was charged by federal prosecutors in New York with one count of financial institution bribery. It is alleged that he approved high risk loans to Paul Manafort, in a scheme to land his position as secretary of the US Army.

24 May 2019

Obtrusive, expansive, ineffectual: The QLD police’s facial recognition “bungle

An evaluation report, found that the use of facial recognition software during the 2018 Commonwealth Games was completely ineffective as no ‘high priority targets’ could be identified. The revelation has renewed criticism of the dangers of mass surveillance, including its inaccuracy, ineffectiveness and its potential to lead to wrongful arrest.

22 May 2019

Police arrest Dutch cryptocurrency CEO over $25m fraud

Dutch police have arrested a former entrepreneur for fraud after alleging he conned investors out of €23 million, in a fake bitcoin mining operation. Posing as the operator of a mining farm, the suspect accrued client funds while allegedly failing to purchase any equipment, instead reportedly spending the money on luxury items.

16 May 2019

WhatsApp compromised by surveillance spyware

Urgent patches have been issued for Facebook’s messaging service ‘WhatsApp’, after attacks by a cyber surveillance firm were being made to gain access to an iPhone or Android phone and extract all of its data – texts, emails, location data, contacts, and browser history – just by placing a call through the messaging app.

16 May 2019

ASIC bans ex-Kaz Capital adviser from providing financial services for six years

The Australian regulator has placed a 6 year ban on David Stephen Cornford from providing financial services. It is claimed that Mr Cornford bought and sold listed securities on clients’ accounts without the authorisation to do so; and traded Contracts for Difference (CFDs) in a personal capacity, in a manner that conflicted with the interests … Continued

15 May 2019

Social media scams misuse media personalities images

Social media scams are misusing media personalities images and using fake logos for shows like “the project”, Sunrise and ABC News. Unfortunately, as soon as one fake news article or one Facebook advertisement is deleted, a new one is created.

15 May 2019

San Francisco becomes first US city to ban police use of facial recognition technology

San Francisco’s local government has voted to ban the use of facial recognition software by police and other city department. Advocates argue the technology is flawed and a serious threat to civil liberties.

15 May 2019

Migration agent’s ‘widespread fraud’ has Indian woman’s visa in limbo for 8 years

An Indian woman has had to fight a lengthy legal battle against the Immigration Department, after she unwittingly got caught up in a $3 million migration scam by her migration agent.

15 May 2019

Fake invoice defrauds Ballarat firm of $30,000

The Ballarat police advised that a local business had paid a fraudulent invoice earlier this year of 30k and wanted to draw attention to the increasing risk of cyber crime.

14 May 2019

U.S. warns cryptocurrency exchange operators to comply with regulations

At the annual ‘CoinDesk’ Consensus conference biggest names in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology where present. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence stated that the cryptocurrency industry must have standards and regulations, to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

13 May 2019

CSI Perth: Inside WA’s top-secret crime fighting forensic lab

There is a new, high-tech PathWest forensic science lab in WA. The lab is effectively the headquarters of where DNA breakthroughs in crimes can be achieved and where police can get answers for victims and begin the process of bringing perpetrators to justice.

13 May 2019

Victorian banker jailed for $640k fraud

A former Victorian banker who defrauded NAB of more than $640,000 has been jailed. Andrew Matthews, 38, exploited the bank’s “introducer” scheme, using it to funnel commission money to himself and a friend between 2012 and 2016.

11 May 2019

BUSTED: Authorities take down $10 million crypto money laundering ring in Spain

In a joint effort with Spanish law enforcement, Europol has dismantled a large-scale cryptocurrency money laundering operation that was offering services to other criminal organisations. They used curreny gained through illicit means and converted it to cryptocurrency in order to hide its origin.

10 May 2019

Blueprint Greece’s Parent Aussie NGO Wins Financial Times Award

The role of “Blueprint for Free Speech” (a Melbourne Based group) is to ensure the truth reaches from whistleblowers to the public, including through journalists . The group helped pass wider protection for whistleblowers in the EU and was awarded a prestigious Finanial Times award.

10 May 2019

New service to protect Queensland seniors from financial abuse

Seniors in 10 Queensland communities will be able to access free independent financial advice to help protect them from financial abuse, thanks to $400,000 per annum in Palaszczuk Government funding.

10 May 2019

Hemmes’ construction boss accused of fleecing $230,000 from Merivale

A construction project manager ‘Joel Cheeseman’ is accused of authorising false invoices of $230,000 to be be paid into his own account by Merivale who is worth $1billion and behind some of Syndney’s most well know bars and restaurants.

9 May 2019

Should Auditors Be Responsible For Catching Corporate Fraud?

Experts have raised concerns over why the big4 Auditors (Price WaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, EY and KPMG) were unable to detect and prevent several high-profile corporate collapses and fraud schemes in recent years. A public survey shows, they want auditors to play a bigger role, including helping to prevent corporate collapses, environmental, social and governance , business … Continued

8 May 2019

Hackers steal $41 million worth of bitcoin from Binance cryptocurrency exchange

Hackers have stolen bitcoin worth $US41 million ($58 million) from Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges using Phishing, viruses and other means. This the latest in a string of thefts from cryptocurrency exchanges around the world.

8 May 2019

China’s ‘horrifying’ new surveillance system could have global consequences

Chinese police have been accused of using their mass surveillance system called Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP) to monitor minority groups in the northwest of the country. Human rights groups says this needs to stop.

7 May 2019

Homebuyer duped by hacked email

Small firms (like conveying firms) are the biggest target of money transfer scams due to their lack of cyber security. The homebuyer receives an email from the conveyancer’s email address, asking for transfer of funds for home purchase, unknowingly the bank account details are not correct and the funds are scammed.

7 May 2019

City of Perth Briefcam technology to go live before June as part of $1 million Smart Cities trial

As part of the “Smart cities” trial, video surveillance cameras that recognise your face, detect your gender and the colour of your clothes, how fast you’re travelling, and then track your movements, will be up and running in Perth by the end of this month. The cameras are able to match faces from live camera … Continued

6 May 2019

Bookkeeper charged with stealing $3.5 million from Silversea Cruises

A bookkeeper working for Silversea Cruises has been accused of stealing $3.5 million. Mary Ann Abellanoza from Sydney has been charged with 98 fraud offences, including deliberately obtaining a financial advantage by deception and dealing with the proceeds of crime.

6 May 2019

Facial recognition system rollout was too rushed, Queensland police report reveals

An internal investigation revealed that the mass surveillance operation at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, lacked the data to operate effectively. The database only had 8 million images instead of the anticipated 46 million.

6 May 2019

Why lawyers need to stop emailing Trust Account details and Contracts

InfoTrack has launched Securexchange to protect lawyers and their clients from the threat of large financial loss during property exchanges. It offers a financial guarantee for online property deposits and the first to offer a solution, which stops the need to share trust account details via unsecured emails.

4 May 2019

HACKED: GitHub code deleted, Bitcoin ransom demanded

A hacker has been wiping code from GitHub accounts (owned by Microsoft) and is demanding a Bitcoin ransom to return the deleted information.

4 May 2019

ANZ leads regulators towards trade finance blockchain

Regulators in Hong Kong, Singapore and China are working with ANZ Banking Group to digitise trade finance through blockchain technology, a move that will enable banks to make faster lending decisions and regulators to better monitor international capital flows and reduce fraud.

3 May 2019

ATO wades into chaotic cryptocurrency web

The Australian tax authority is using data matching programs to view complex cryptocurrency transactions. The Cybercrime Squad however says exchanges are used to launder money by drug dealers, thieves, fraudsters and terrorists.

3 May 2019

Australians hit by US surrogacy scam: FBI

Ray Blosser (head of US-based surrogacy) is accused of pocketing the tens of thousands of dollars in payments, meant to go to the surrogates. One Australian couple lost $48,000. Blosser is being charged with wire fraud.

3 May 2019

Citrix hackers stole employee, financial data

Foreign cybercriminals hacked into Citrix’s (software company) network for nearly five months, accessing and removing Social Security numbers and financial information for current and ex-employees.

3 May 2019

Should Australia be partnering with the Chinese tech giants designing a surveillance state?

Australian corporations have partnered with CETC (China Electronics Technology Corporation) who use extreme technology to enable mass surveillance. This raises concern for human rights group and creates risks of data being used for other purposes.

3 May 2019

Operation Ukulele launched by police

WA police will be working with Rockingham stores, providing security and crime prevention advice, assisting loss prevention officers in detection and prosecution of offenders, conducting foot patrols through shopping centres during peak periods and providing information to the community about ways to keep their credit card and details secure.

2 May 2019

Do you have a whistleblower policy? From July 1, you’ll need one.

Australian whistleblowers have traditionally received very little in the way of overt protection. But things are changing. A spotlight is now directly above corporate Australia, with the public expecting greater transparency and higher standards of governance. From July 1, legislation requiring companies to give protection to whistleblower employees comes into effect, after reforms were passed … Continued

2 May 2019

Second Qld council sacked after probe

Mayor Luke Smith from Logan council and seven councillors were last week charged with fraud by the Crime and Corruption Commission.The value of the fraud is at least $100,000 and carries a maximum penalty of 20 years. An eighth councillor has also been charged over allegations she siphoned funds into her own bank account.

2 May 2019

Cyberscam mastermind’s lavish lifestyle revealed

Feezan Hameed Choudhary was reaping 2.8million each month as the ringleader of UK’s biggest-ever cyber scam. He phoned innocent customers posing as a bank official, putting on Scottish, Welsh and upper-class English accents and convincing them to hand over personal details, which allowed him to drain their accounts.

2 May 2019

‘THIS IS HUGE’: SEC releases key cryptocurrency guidelines

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has provided clarity on one of the most significant regulatory issues facing the cryptocurrency sector. This is whether a digital assets qualifies as Security under Federal Securities law.

1 May 2019

SA homebuilder under police investigation as owner dodges alleged debt

Liquidators have failed to track down the man behind an SA construction company (GNC Homes). He is being investigated for alleged insurance fraud and owes creditors nearly $3 million. Many of these creditors continue to suffer the personal and financial consequences of the company’s failure to pay.

1 May 2019

The whistle-shaped hole in our laws

The new whistle blower laws introduced this year expand the range of subject matters for protected disclosures, permit anonymous whistleblowing and require large companies to introduce mandatory whistleblowing policies. However protection for Australia’s Federal public servants and implementing “consistent” laws across all workplaces is needed.

1 May 2019

Crypto promoter unmasked, accused of fraud in luring investors via YouTube

A cryptocurrency pitchman who wears a disguise in his YouTube videos has been unmasked and charged with ‘wire’ fraud. He use fake bank statements to inform investors that their virtual currency investments were doing well.

30 April 2019

ATO ramps up data matching in cryptocurrency crackdown

The ATO will now use 3rd party data and matching programs to track cryptocurrency, that has been used to move funds within the black economy and hide money offshore. It will also track those who should be paying taxes for capital gains.

30 April 2019

China’s People Monitoring Software Being Deployed In Darwin

The City of Darwin has decided to implement facial recognition software and other monitoring solutions, in order to detect criminal access to unauthorised areas or alert them of criminal behaviour. It will be scanning all faces, which could result in privacy and data issues.

29 April 2019

Aussies lost $6.1m to cryptocurrency scams last year

Australians lost at least $6.1 million to cryptocurrency-based scams last year. This is a 190 per cent increase over the $2.1 million reported in 2017, making cryptocurrency-based scams the second highest unusual payment method for losses.

29 April 2019

ANZ joins the lending crackdown as brokers fear delays

Closer loan scrutiny and lending conditions resulting from the Hayne Royal commission, may mean lengthy loan processing delays, causing concern that borrowers may move to the less regulated “shadow” banking sector.

29 April 2019

ATO’s debt recovery action against small businesses is ‘crippling’, says ombudsman

A report released today from the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO,) looks at the ATO’s use of various debt recovery actions. 159 complaints were made regarding heavy handed debt recovery actions, however the ATO claims it only acts in serious fraud cases.

28 April 2019

Blockchain leaders respond to Apple CEO’s call for technology regulation

Apple CEO Tim Cook stated at the TIME 100 summit, that technology should be regulated with greater consumer protection. He stated that cryptocurrencies have the power to bring new opportunities into the traditional financial sector, however reaping these benefits will require a combined effort from government, industry bodies, and private enterprises.

28 April 2019

Asian victims lose $40m to scammers spoofing Chinese embassy phone numbers

Scammers are targeting Chinese people in Australia who are on student or working visas, peddling allegations that the recipient has outstayed their visa, had their identity stolen, or committed a crime. Victims of the scam have lost a total of over $40 million in 2 years.

28 April 2019

Research Impact: ‘Whistling While They Work’

The Whistling While They Work (WWTW) project, led by Professor A J Brown of the Centre for Governance and Public Policy at Griffith University, is investigating employee and managerial experience in Australia and New Zealand to identify the factors that influence good and bad responses to whistleblowing across a wide range of organisations.

27 April 2019

Behind bars: India’s ‘Diamond King’ Nirav Modi’s fall from grace

Norav Modi, the “jeweller to the stars”, is behind bars after a year-long Interpol-led manhunt led to his arrest in central London on March 19. According to investigations Modi and his co-conspirators, illegally borrowed approximately $US4 billion over a period of seven years by manufacturing sham transactions purportedly to “import” diamonds and other gems into … Continued

26 April 2019

‘Fake Heiress’ Scammer Anna Sorokin Found Guilty Of Fraud

Anna Sorokin, who was accused of posing as a socialite at some of New York City’s hottest nightclubs, hotels and even banks, has been convicted of fraud. She has been accused of forging financial records in an application for a $22 million loan and other financial crimes.

26 April 2019

Bubble bursts for tea chain giant Chatime over underpayment

Chatime (Tea chain giant) is caught up in a large employment underpayment issues in its franchisees and corporate stores. This latest scandal to hit the franchising sector, comes in the wake of a damning parliamentary report into the industry, calling for greater enforcement of powers and penalties and a suite of changes to the franchising … Continued

26 April 2019

Behind bars: India’s ‘Diamond King’ Nirav Modi’s fall from grace

Nirav Modi (India’s leading diamond retailer) is now in prison of fraud on a truly massive scale.

25 April 2019

Fraudsters’ Latest Target: Dead People

Fraudsters are getting creative and leveraging technology to commit fraud under the guise of a dead person’s name. 800,000 deceased people each year have their identities stolen.

23 April 2019

A scammer claims to have become a Bitcoin millionaire by using a technique known as ‘typosquatting’

A man says he scooped more than 200 Bitcoin over a period of four years, with many individual users losing in excess of $20,000 each. To do this he used “Typosquatting”, where websites look like the real thing, but are one or two letters (or characters) off the real address. The scammer’s claims came to … Continued

22 April 2019

Counterfeiters are printing fewer notes but they are better quality

Australia has comparatively high counterfeit rates for a smallish, largely domestically exchanged currency. With 40% of counterfeit notes being regarded as good to excellent quality fakes and technology advances, this is not expected to decline.

21 April 2019

Researchers at Independent Security Evaluators found that one “blockchain bandit” stole $54 million in Ether from wallets with weak private keys.

People put a lot of faith into their cryptocurrency wallets, but such faith can be severely misplaced. Researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE) found that thieves are making big bucks by targeting wallets on the Ethereum blockchain that have very weak private keys.

21 April 2019

Serial fraudster swindled $75,000 while behind bars

A serial fraudster convinced a fellow inmate he was a professional gambler with millions of dollars in assets before he swindled him out of $75,000 he claimed was to bet on horse races on his victim’s behalf.

21 April 2019

NYC Swears Its Face-Scanning Tech Is Fake And Only Meant To Scare People Out Of Doing Crimes

Face recognition is being used all over the world to track, shame and solve crimes, however the New York subway system is using fake recognition monitors to scare potential lawbreakers.

21 April 2019

Every cryptocurrency can be hacked ‘within several seconds’

Dr. Joseph Liu (Associate professor in the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University) is developing and testing the first cryptocurrency that’s safe from quantum hackers. Liu says blockchain is set to touch every industry and corner of society.

20 April 2019

How to avoid being ripped off by a dodgy financial planner

A Brisbane financial planner (Bradley Sherwin) set up Ponzi-type scheme’s using clients money, without their knowledge. He lost the $60 million life savings of 400 clients. Article also gives good tips on how to avoid being scammed by a financial planner and what to do if things go wrong.

20 April 2019

The Lottery office and lottoland on opposites sides of investigations.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is investigating a complaint against Lottoland’s jackpot betting. Jackpot betting works based on financial markets, and people can bet by trying to match numbers with financial indexes.

19 April 2019

Reporters, whistleblowers face jail: Investigative journalism in danger in Australia

Australia has slumped two places in the annual World Press Freedom Index for 2019, amid concerns that investigative journalism is in danger with reporters and whistleblowers facing jail under “draconian legislation”

19 April 2019

Accountants Hate Him: Man Admits To Tricking Google And Facebook In $169 Million Scam

Mr Evaldas Rimasauskas faces up to 30 years in prison after admitting to his role in a scheme that duped Google and Facebook out of $169 million, by creating fake email addresses.

18 April 2019

Former NAB financial planner Max Eung faces jail over client fraud

Following an ASIC investigation, Max Eung from New South Wales, has been charged with two offences of obtaining financial advantage by deception by withdrawing funds from accounts without authorisation.

18 April 2019

3 Factors Behind Declining Trading Volumes in Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Cryptocurrencies are increasingly playing a critical role in the financial market. Article describes how their success will be determined by key factors, including active governance, adoption rates and price stability.

17 April 2019

Queensland Education staff embroiled in more than 100 cases of fraud

A Right to Information investigation reveals 116 cases of fraud and theft by Department of Education staff in Queensland in 2018. Many of these included inappropriate use of public resources and misuse of corporate cards.

17 April 2019

Perth company Ausdrill sacks worker over $10m fraud

A worker for a Perth-based mining services company has been sacked and reported to police, over an alleged $10 million fraud. He had authorised and concealed payments to suppliers.

17 April 2019

Tougher new ASIC warns directors

ASIC was given more than $400mil in extra annual funding with the aim of stamping out financial sector misconduct especially within the financial sector. It will have strategic change programs and work with the Australian Financial Complaints authority (AFCA).

16 April 2019

Brisbane financial planner jailed for $300k fraud

A financial planner who pleaded guilty to defrauding a company and clients she worked for of about $300,000, did it to feed her gambling addiction. Now she will spend at least 20 months behind bars.

16 April 2019

This email subject line could well be a business scam

Research shows that Australian businesses are no longer being targeted via malicious attachments on email accounts. Instead human language (such as “follow up”, “are you at your desk” etc) is being used and there’s no indication that it’s spam or malicious.

15 April 2019

Surveillance cameras will target abuse of elderly in nursing homes

SA Health will install surveillance cameras costing $500,000 in at least five of its state-run aged care facilities, in a move to clamp-down on the abuse of elderly patients.

15 April 2019

Dodgy rent-to-buy schemes set to be banned in Victoria

New laws introduced to the State Parliament this week will ban rent-to-buy scams. Low income Victorians were charged exorbitant rents and legal fees, swindled out of their first-home buyers grant and forced to move out of their home, unable to afford the payments.

12 April 2019

ASIC developing ‘holistic’ model for cryptocurrency surveillance

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is using frontline market surveillance in order to effectively monitor crypto assets and other emerging markets such as fixed income currency and commodities markets.

12 April 2019

Aussie students lead fight against credit card fraud

Three Australian high school students, who developed and patented an EFTPOS machine with fingerprint security, are heading to Cape Canavarel, to compete for grants and possible scholarships. The teens hope to take top honours, and secure backing for their anti-fraud technology that could one day see a world-wide roll out.

12 April 2019

Whistleblower laws: what is disclosable matter?

Article discusses what disclosures fall within the new whistleblower protections bill and defines what is considered “a disclosable matter”. That assessment will be critical for determining whether the whistleblower laws apply, qualifying the discloser to strict protection.

12 April 2019

$2.1 MILLION SCAM: Sydney man, woman allegedly sent fake invoices

A Sydney man and woman have been charged for allegedly stealing $2.1 million from two businesses.

12 April 2019

How Australian transport authorities played cat and mouse with Uber’s Greyball

Authorities reveal how they used fake identities to crack down on Uber when it first launched in Australia. Whilst Uber used spyware called Greyball, to block passengers it suspected were transport regulators.

10 April 2019

Alleged crimes exposed at banking royal commission unlikely to hit court, experts say

Twenty four cases of potential criminal acts in the financial services industry, as exposed at the banking royal commission, may never hit court due lack of time and funding.

7 April 2019

Clients take bitcoin dealer to court over lost millions

A cryptocurrency trader “Sefanos Papanastasiou” is the subject of Supreme Court action after investors lost more than $20 million.

4 April 2019

Cryptocurrency Businesses Despite Regulation

Despite increasing regulation in the cryptocurrency sector, Australia’s major banks maintain cautious policies when it comes to cryptocurrencies. While cryptocurrency businesses appear to challenge Australian banks’ hunger for risk, many institutions permit cryptocurrencies to be purchased using credit cards.

4 April 2019

It’s time for an EAS revolution

Checkpoint Systems, a leading supplier of Retail Loss prevention solutions for the global retail industry, has launched a new range of electronic article surveillance (EAS) antennas, with the introduction of a revolutionary new electronics platform.

4 April 2019

Former financial adviser jailed for 10 years

Gabriel Nakhl was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment by the District Court of New South Wales, which found him guilty of eight charges of dishonest conduct with investor funds.

20 March 2019

Legislation update – March 2019

Modern Slavery Act 2018 The Modern Slavery Act 2018 received Royal Assent on 10 December 2018 and became law on 1 January 2019. The new provisions mean it is now mandatory for “reporting entities” to provide to the Minister for Home Affairs an annual “Modern Slavery Statement” reporting on the risks of modern slavery in … Continued

20 March 2019

International Fraud Awareness Week

To mark International Fraud Awareness Week (12-16 November 2018), FCX hosted a series of events in our Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra offices. Each event was aimed at addressing the challenges faced by Australian business in managing the risks of workplace fraud and corruption. Keynote speaker at our major event for the week was … Continued

20 March 2019

The biggest fraud of all – Bernie Madoff ten years on

Ten years into his 150 year sentence for the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, Bernie Madoff today is on-selling packets of hot chocolate to his fellow inmates at Butner Federal Correctional Facility, North Carolina – a far cry from his days as one of the highest profile figures on Wall Street. Undetected for almost … Continued

20 March 2019

Michael Woodford, whistleblower, presents to FCX

One of the world’s highest-profile whistleblowers, Michael Woodford, presented to a major FCX event in Sydney on 7 November 2018 attended by more than 250 C-level executives, senior academics and international representatives from the ISO Committee. Michael’s story is truly amazing. He was a dedicated Olympus Corporation executive with more than 30 years’ company service … Continued

20 March 2019

Banking Royal Commission final report

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation, and Financial Services Industry final Report was tabled in Parliament on 4 February. The Report included 76 recommendations relating to banking, financial advice, superannuation, insurance, regulators and culture governance and remuneration. One of the key takeaways of the Report was that the primary responsibility for misconduct … Continued

20 March 2019

International Whistleblower Standard scheduled for release in June 2021

We reported in the October issue of Making Headlines that Standards Australia was to host a meeting of the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Governance of Organizations technical committee in Sydney in the week of 5-9 November 2018. 80 delegates from all over the world attended the five day meeting comprising four working groups focusing … Continued

20 March 2019

Emerging financial crime trends

Three recent financial crime trends that have appeared in media reports in recent months include: the theft of politically sensitive, commercially sensitive and confidential personal data through cyber-attack, crypto-currency linked financial crime and card-not-present credit card fraud. Theft of politically sensitive, commercially sensitive and confidential personal data through cyber-attack Cyber-attack continues to be the most … Continued

18 March 2019

Swiss regulator probes UBS Australia’s $1.2b PNG loan

One of UBS Australia’s most lucrative financing deals is being investigated for possible breaches of Swiss law, after a controversial $1.2 billion loan to Papua New Guinea left the Pacific nation with heavy losses.

17 March 2019

Retail Food Group hoses down concerns it is in financial strife, but regulators could start circling

Retail Food Group (RFG) is accused of continually opening new outlets, some of which were unlikely to be viable, to profit from upfront fees. RFG directors will be investigated, over allegations of insider trading, tax avoidance, breaches of consumer law and other market disclosure failings.

17 March 2019

Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort sentenced to 47 months for financial fraud

US President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, was sentenced to almost four years’ jail this week, having been found guilty last August of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

15 March 2019

How scammers could be stopped from targeting vulnerable Australians

A taskforce, which is made up of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), consumer watchdog the ACCC, and the Australian Cyber Security Centre, will focus on ways to stop unsolicited phone calls and texts by stopping the scam based calls at network level.

14 March 2019

Sydney man, 22, charged in $100,000 organised identity theft syndicate

A 22-year-old man from Sydney has been charged over a sophisticated identity theft and fraud syndicate, using “phone porting”, where the scammers steal a victim’s phone number and then uses it to gain access to bank accounts.

12 March 2019

Cybercriminals earning over $3billion annually exploiting social platforms

Malware prevention company Bromium, has announced the findings of an independent academic study into the range of techniques utilised by cybercriminals, to exploit trust and enable rapid infection across social media.

11 March 2019

The Main factors that can help future crypto expansion

Factors that can help the future of cryptocurrency to have a wider acceptance and higher profile include: education; application; security and regulation.

10 March 2019

What is Cryptojacking? The action of secretly using a computer to mine cryptocurrency.

Article describes the original form of cryptojacking and the new version, whereby you can be cryptojacked simply by visiting a website in your browser.

8 March 2019

Two cryptocurrency exchanges shut down after Melbourne drug arrest

Two cryptocurrency exchanges have been suspended after a Melbourne man was arrested and charged with drug trafficking offences. Digital currencies are fast becoming the preferred choice for organised criminal networks involved in money laundering, funding terrorism, and cybercrimes.

6 March 2019

Convicted NZ man was director of company while bankrupt

A Kiwi businessman was still an undischarged bankrupt when he became a director of a company that was later found to have been involved in a scamming operation across the Tasman.

27 February 2019

ATO whistleblower unprotected by new laws

News summary An Australian Tax Office whistleblower facing 161 years in prison for exposing misconduct by the ATO will not be protected by new laws passed by Parliament, which are designed to protect those who lift the lid on abuses by Australia’s most powerful organisations. The new whistleblower protections will only apply to corporations, and … Continued

24 February 2019

Waitangi Trust fraudster left organisation ‘on the brink of financial ruin

A man who hired a Waitangi Treaty Grounds fraudster, who conned the trust out of $1.2 million, once believed he was “the least corruptible person I have met”. On Friday, former Waitangi Treaty grounds employee Wallace Te Ahuru was jailed for three years and eight months for stealing $1.2m from the trust that administers the … Continued

22 February 2019

QLD fraud squad probes resort scheme

The Queensland Police fraud squad is investigating a controversial golf resort scheme near Ipswich, with the developer alleged to have taken millions of dollars in deposits for unbuilt apartments despite no longer having any ownership of the land.

22 February 2019

Scotland bank scheme prevents £5.5m fraud

A joint scheme involving Police Scotland and the banking sector prevented almost £5.5m of fraud last year and made 19 arrests. The scheme was created to identify and protect victims of fraud. The system resulted in 815 emergency calls being logged by bank staff in 2018 that were responded to by Scotland Police.

22 February 2019

Bank programmer jailed after stealing cash from ATM

A bank programmer is behind bars after taking advantage of an ATM glitch to steal more than $1.4 million in cash. Huaxia Bank’s senior programmer realised withdrawals completed close to midnight were not being recorded properly, and customers could access cash from ATM’s without their account balance being affected. Between November 2016 and January 2018 … Continued

22 February 2019

Forged signature at centre of $900 000 fraud

An associate of Kanye West has allegedly committed fraud by forging the artists signature, and receiving $900 000 for arranging a performance during Philipp Plein’s New York Fashion Week Show, that was never going to occur.

22 February 2019

5 men sentenced over $13m tax fraud

Five men have used their Doral tax business to defraud the IRS out of $13 million. They have each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit an offence against the United States, and will receive a combined sentence of 8 years. The group admitted to sending a total of 5,345 returns to the IRS between February … Continued

22 February 2019

Woman sentenced over $7m loan fraud scheme

Keisha Williams pleaded guilty to 14 fraud-related charges after 20 people testified against her, and will spend 16 years in jail. She admitted the $7.5 million she stole was used on luxury holidays, cars, restaurants and in high-end shops and came from a fraudulent healthcare software scheme.

22 February 2019

US man charged with insurance fraud

A man in New Jersey, US, has been charged with one count of insurance fraud and one count of theft by deception after allegedly pretending to slip on ice blocks in his workplace kitchen. CCTV footage shows the man throwing a cup of ice on the floor before feigning a fall. Prosecutors say the man … Continued

22 February 2019

Man jailed over tax fraud

A 48-year-old man has been found guilty of fraudulently obtaining $138,723 through eight false business activity statements between 2008 and 2013 and has been sentenced to 30 months imprisonment for GST fraud. The fraud was uncovered during an ATO audit after the man claimed he was the director of a motor vehicle and yacht business. … Continued

22 February 2019

Alleged superannuation fraud in excess of $400 000

A financial advisor has been charged over allegedly defrauding people of nearly $400,000 on NSW’s Mid North Coast. The man has been charged with two counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception. Police will allege in court that the man misappropriated $408,000, that had been deposited in a self-managed superannuation fund account, for his own … Continued

22 February 2019

Ex-tech boss jailed for fraud

A businessman who fled to Thailand while he was being investigated by ASIC has been sentenced to at least three years behind bars for fraud. The former director of technology company TZ Ltd, John Falconer, was extradited from Thailand to Australia in September 2017 after he helped to transfer $6.2 million in cash and shares … Continued

22 February 2019

Alleged international fraud syndicate busted in Perth

Four men from Slovenia and the United Kingdom are accused of registering multiple fake businesses in order to purchase bank-issued EFTPOS machines and carry out $45,000 worth of fraudulent credit card transactions. All four men have been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. The men, visiting Perth on tourist visas, … Continued

22 February 2019

QLD Builder charged with fraud

A Queensland man who allegedly duped interstate investors out of millions of dollars to build homes that were never delivered has been charged with 12 counts of serious fraud. He was charged following an investigation into the directors of Gold Coast based N1 Homes Pty Ltd, who are accused of dishonestly inducing victims to fork … Continued

22 February 2019

IOOF Adviser used client money to get margin loan

IOOF advisers allegedly used client money to get a personal margin loan, stole $30,000 from clients and tried to solicit loans from clients. IOOF tried to keep these details secret, arguing confidentiality was needed because of an upcoming class action. It has admitted to 11 instances of misconduct or conduct falling below community standards since 2008.

22 February 2019

ACCC gave CBA a pass after breaking cartel laws

The ACCC gave Commonwealth Bank a pass over a breach of cartel laws after learning it was selling credit products provided by ANZ. CBA self-reported breach after buying remaining stake in Aussie Home Loans. The breach involved an arrangement that saw Aussie Home Loans sell ANZ credit cards that was still in place following CBA’s acquisition … Continued

22 February 2019

Department of Planning manager sacked after whistleblowing

Multiple senior Department of Planning staff were made redundant or resigned after raising corruption allegations. Whistleblower reported allegations of corruption, including: Mining industry payments being made to a department employee’s personal credit card Former titles staff modifying mining files Leaking of confidential information by department staff to mining companies Former department staff making inappropriate direct … Continued

22 February 2019

Nissan to sack chairman over ‘serious misconduct’

Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn is suspected of understating his income on financial statements and has been arrested by Japanese prosecutors. Ghosn had allegedly been reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were lower than the actual amount in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Ghosn’s compensation. Ghosn has also been … Continued

22 February 2019

Wollongong lawyer charged over $2.3m fraud

A Wollongong lawyer has been arrested and charged over a $2.3m fraud. Since 2011, he allegedly embezzled $730,000 from the estates of deceased clients, while making $1.5m worth of fraudulent transactions to cover his tracks.

22 February 2019

Former health care executive charged with securities fraud

A British national has been charged in the US over a plot to defraud health care investors out of $300m USD. The man has been charged with falsifying bank records and using other means to significantly inflate the value of the company

22 February 2019

Victorian brokers banned over $170 million fraud

Three Victorian mortgage brokers who were involved in a $170 million fraud have been permanently banned from providing financial services. The three brokers were each convicted of conspiring to defraud financial institutions and for their role in creating and using false documents to support loan applications

22 February 2019

Optometry owner jailed for $4m Medicare fraud

The operator of a Sydney optometry business has been jailed for at least three years for defrauding Medicare by more than $4 million. She was found guilty of submitting almost 30,000 claims for more than 49,000 optometry services that were not provided.

22 February 2019

South Australian man charged over $350 000 fraud

Police allege the man has defrauded a not-for-profit organisation of $350,000 while holding an executive position. Police have charged the man with 23 dishonesty offences by expect to lay further charges.

22 February 2019

British Tech billionaire charged with $11b fraud

The US DOJ has charged British Tech billionaire Mike Lynch with fraud over the sale of his company, Autonomy, to Hewlett-Packard. The DOJ has filed 14 charged of fraud against Lynch, alleging Lynch inflated the company’s earnings from 2009 – 2011 when he announced Autonomy’s sale to HP. The charges carry a maximum sentence of … Continued

22 February 2019

IBAC charges police officer over alleged fraud

A senior Victorian police officer has been charged over an alleged 18-month crime spree that included claims of fraudulently obtaining six properties, rorting Centrelink, postal theft, making false claims to bank staff and claiming she was someone else. She is due to face court in January 2019.

22 February 2019

4,000 Australians apply for compensation in Western Union fraud

More than 4,000 Australians have applied to the US Department of Justice for compensation relating to a global fraud syndicate targeting victims through Western Union money transfers. A 2017 joint investigation between the US Federal Trade Commission, DOJ and Postal Inspection Service resulted in a civil penalty of $586m against Western Union. The DOJ announced … Continued

22 February 2019

QLD man charged with drought fraud

A Queensland man has been accused of trying to claim more than $60,000 intended to help drought affected farmers. The man has been charged with 41 charges, including 5 counts of fraud and 18 counts of forgery.

22 February 2019

APRA moves on IOOF executives

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has begun proceedings to disqualify five senior employees of IOOF Holdings Ltd, including its managing director, chairman and CFO, from being pension fund trustees for failing to act in their members’ interests.

22 February 2019

Panama Papers: four charged in US with fraud and tax evasion

Four men have been charged in the US with fraud and tax evasion in connection with investigations prompted by the leaked Panama Papers. It is alleged the four individuals went to considerable lengths to circumvent US tax laws in order to maintain their own, and their client’s wealth, through shuffling millions of dollars through offshore … Continued

22 February 2019

New regime to curb corruption in Australian sport

Australia’s top sporting codes, including the AFL and NRL, will be subject to a new anti-corruption regime in an effort to tackle match-fixing and cheating in Australian sport. The regime aims to address the growing risks to sporting integrity caused by the expansion of online and unregulated betting markets.

22 February 2019

Warning issued over bogus Netflix phishing emails

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning over a wave of bogus Netflix phishing emails requesting customers to update their payment information. Another stream of phishing emails inform customers their account has been suspended due to “issues in the automatic verification process” and requires customers to update their details to prevent the account from … Continued

22 February 2019

OCCRP names Danske Bank “Corrupt Actor of the Year”

A €230 billion money laundering scandal has put Danske Bank ahead of 22 other contenders to win the 2019 Corrupt Actor of the Year award from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.  “Danske Bank is a worthy recipient of this prize. It highlights the role of the criminal services industry in enabling international corruption and … Continued

22 February 2019

Hong Kong fines JP Morgan Chase $1.6m

Hong Kong’s financial regulator penalized a local branch of the largest bank in the USA $1.6m for a variety of financial crime compliance failures, including poor customer screening and monitoring, and a lack of client details in wire transfers over a two-year period.

22 February 2019

UK drops in global anti-corruption rankings

The UK has dropped three places to 11th in the world in this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index, produced by Transparency International, despite the government’s promise of a tough response to financial crime.

22 February 2019

UK launches task force to tackle financial crime

The UK home secretary and chancellor have announced they will jointly chair a new task force that will work with the financial sector to fight financial crime. The Economic Crime Strategic Board will include bank executives, trade group leaders as well as senior regulatory and law-enforcement officials.

22 February 2019

US charges Huawei with IP theft and sanctions fraud

The US DOJ as filed a series of fraud charges against Huawei, alleging it stole technology from Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile and lied to bank executives about its relationship with Iranian company Skycom, claiming incorrectly that it was not an affiliate of Huawei. The US government also alleges that Huawei, two affiliated companies and its chief … Continued

22 February 2019

Australian millionaire to be extradited over text scam

Eugeni Tsvetnenko will remain in jail in Perth as the US prepares extradition proceedings over his alleged involvement in a text message scam. He was charged by New York authorities in July 2016 with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. It is alleged Mr Tsvetnenko charged hundreds of … Continued

22 February 2019

Former AFP employee sentenced over $50,000 fraud

A former AFP employee has been sentenced to six months prison for using his Commonwealth credit card to gamble. The man has also been ordered to reimburse the Commonwealth the $45,000.

22 February 2019

Cinema employee to face court over $220,000 fraud allegations

A man will face court charged with alleged fraud against a cinema company in the Hunter and Central Coast Regions between 2010 and 2017. Police will allege the 40-year-old man used a company credit card to fraudulently create and register three businesses, accumulating $220,000 in fraudulent charges over seven years.

22 February 2019

EU blacklists Saudi Arabia for poor control on money laundering

Saudi Arabia is to be included in the EU’s blacklist of countries that pose a threat to the bloc because of their minimal control over money laundering and terrorism financing. The EU’s decision to include Saudi Arabia on its blacklist still needs to be endorsed by the bloc’s 28 member states before being formally adopted.

22 February 2019

Lawyer jailed for $10m fraud

A junior lawyer who impersonated a company director as part of a $10 million fraud scheme has been sentenced to six years imprisonment after pleading guilty to six count of obtaining financial advantage by deception. Brody Clarke impersonated the son of media mogul Bruce Gordon to fraudulently obtain $6.9m.

22 February 2019

Queensland Government employee sacked over alleged ‘sophisticated’ fraud

A staff member of Trade and Investment Queensland, located in Seoul, has been sacked for alleged serious fraudulent activity relating to Queensland Government funds used to support international operations.

22 February 2019

Malaysian Government demands Goldman Sachs repays US$7.5B for 1MDB Fraud

The Malaysian Government is seeking US$7.5b in compensation from Goldman Sachs in relation to the work it did in helping 1Malaysia Development Berhad, which US prosecutors allege was a slush fund for the former Prime Minister. 1MDB was a sovereign wealth fund created to attract foreign investment, however regulatory investigations have revealed embezzlement on an … Continued

22 February 2019

Luxury Property developer jailed for GST fraud

A luxury property developer from Sydney has been sentenced to six years imprisonment and has been ordered to pay $2m in reparations after being found guilty of GST fraud. The GST refund claims were justified by false invoices for the purchase of high-value equipment and project management services.

22 February 2019

Project Manager found guilty of fraud

Paul Galbraith has been found guilty of siphoning £513,200 from his employer to fund a lavish lifestyle. It was found that he submitted invoices from a non-existent company for work that had not been done on a business development. Galbraith claimed the money he received was an ‘off the book’ bonus. The trial heard that … Continued

22 February 2019

US$14m uncovered in Social Security Benefit Fraud

West-Virginia Attorney General, Patrick Morrissey, has announced the disability fraud unit has uncovered another $14m in Social Security fraud. Morrissey is also seeking changes to state legislation to allow his office to prosecute fraud within the Medicaid program.

22 February 2019

Former NSW RSL president charged with fraud

Disgraced former NSW RSL president Don Rowe has been charged with fraud following a police investigation. He has been accused of misusing his corporate credit card to cover personal expenses following a 2017 ICAC inquiry.

22 February 2019

Alleged murderer faces fraud charges

An accountant accused of murdering his wife is now also facing unrelated charges of stealing more than $6m from clients. Ahmed Seedat allegedly stole money from more than 20 people who had deposited funds into accounts linked to him to invest on their behalf. He has been charged with 20 counts of stealing as an … Continued

21 February 2019

Toyota cyber-attack leaves employees unable to access emails

Toyota Australia’s email servers have been targeted by a cyber-attack, resulting in employees being locked out of their emails. An investigation involving federal authorities is underway into who perpetrated the cyber-attack.

21 February 2019

UBS ordered to pay billions for helping French clients evade tax

A French court has ordered UBS to pay more than €3.7b in fines for helping wealthy French clients evade tax authorities. The court convicted UBS of aggravated money laundering and illegal bank soliciting. The assets illegally concealed by French clients in Switzerland in 2004-2012 allegedly amounted to some €10 billion (A$16 billion). The court ordered … Continued

20 February 2019

Crime syndicate hacks 15,000 medical files and demands ransom

A cyber-crime syndicate has hacked and scrambled the medical files of about 15,000 patients from a specialist cardiology unit at Cabrini Hospital and demanded a ransom to be paid in cryptocurrency. The attack is now the subject of a joint investigation by Commonwealth security agencies. Melbourne Heart Group has been unable to access some patient … Continued

18 February 2019

Illawarra man sentenced over $429,000 fraud

An Illawarra man who stole $429,999 from his employer has been sentenced to 750 hours of community service and three-years’ imprisonment to be served as an intensive corrections order. He pleaded guilty to five counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception after he made 82 unauthorised transactions from the business accounts of Imperial China … Continued

2 February 2019

David Ross, who conned at least 700 investors, to face parole board

Conman David Ross, who fleeced at least 700 investors of NZ$115 million through a Ponzi scheme, will face the parole board next month. Ross was the director of Ross Asset Management and was jailed for more than ten years in 2013 following investigations by the NZ Serious Fraud Office and Financial Markets Authority. At the … Continued

17 December 2018

New Zealand Ministry of Transport fraudster to be paroled and deported

A former Ministry of Transport senior manager who was jailed for stealing NZ$725,000 of taxpayers’ money has been granted parole and will be deported from New Zealand and is banned from returning. Joanne Harrison, 52, was jailed for three years and seven months last February after pleading guilty to three charges of dishonestly taking or … Continued

25 October 2018

ASIC to embed officers into major banks following banking Royal Commission findings

Following the laying bare of financial services sector misconduct by the Royal Commission, on 7 August 2018, the Turnbull Government announced additional funding of $70.1 million to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The additional funding is intended to assist the regulator to set a new strategic direction on proactive enforcement and increased onsite … Continued

25 October 2018

Association of Certified Fraud Examiners releases 10th Report to the Nations on occupational fraud and abuse

The 10th ACFE Report to the Nations was published in August 20181. The 2018 report included statistics and other learnings pertaining to 2,690 occupational fraud cases from 125 countries (a total of 38 reports were received in relation to occupational fraud cases in Australia). The 2018 iteration had some interesting findings in relation to the … Continued

25 October 2018

International Organization for Standardization (‘ISO’) to meet in Sydney 5-9 November

There are several standards (defined as a highly-structured benchmark guidance issued by a standard setting agency) that are relevant to financial crime and financial crime control. Standards Australia, Standards New Zealand and International Organization for Standardization have issued a number of governance-related standards that represent useful guidance on how to prevent, detect and respond to … Continued

25 October 2018

Legislation update – October 2018

In each issue of Making Headlines, we monitor and report on emerging and developing legislation touching-on issues of financial crime and the implications for business. In this issue we look at the status of four relevant bills currently before Federal Parliament: Modern Slavery Bill 2018  Unexplained Wealth Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting … Continued

25 October 2018

Inside the mind of an occupational fraudster

We noted in the December 2017 issue of Making Headlines that University of New South Wales and FCX are collaborating in a two-year project researching occupational fraud in Australian business The project aims to explore several key aspects of occupational fraud by conducting a series of interviews with up to 65 perpetrators of white-collar crime … Continued

10 October 2018

New ASX corporate governance guidelines for listed entities effective from 1 July 2019

A widely referenced governance-related publication in Australia is Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations of the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) first published in 2003. The third iteration of this document released by the ASX Corporate Governance Council in March 20141 espouses eight ‘central principles’: Lay solid foundations for management and oversight Structure the board to add … Continued

6 September 2018

Former AATSIC Chairman facing fraud charges

Former head of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Geoff Clark has been charged with historic fraud offences. Victoria Police announced that “Fraud and Extortion Squad detectives have charged four people as part of an investigation into alleged historical criminal matters”.

5 September 2018

Blood-testing group Theranos to dissolve following fraud scandal

Theranos has been ordered to dissolve and return remaining cash to its creditors, after the former CEO and COO has been charged by the DOJ with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. Elizabeth Holmes and Ramesh Balwani knowingly oversold the capabilities of their blood-testing system, which produced … Continued

4 September 2018

Phone faker charged with fraud

A 42-year-old Kingaroy woman was arrested for creating a phone account with another woman’s identification details and has been charged with falsely representing herself to be another person and two counts of fraud.

4 September 2018

Canberra mum-of-two accused of fraud ‘spent $30k using fake accounts’

A Canberra woman accused of setting up fake bank, health insurance and phone accounts and using them to rack up tens-of-thousands of dollars in expenses is now facing 16 additional counts of fraud. It is alleged Karen Milliken used the names of strangers and her ex-partner to create phone numbers, bank accounts, private health insurance … Continued

3 September 2018

QLD cop stood down over fraud allegations

A Queensland police officer has been stood down pending an investigation into allegations of misconduct. The senior sergeant is facing allegations of fraud, disobeying directions, providing false and misleading information, and failing to comply with police policy while performing his duty.

28 August 2018

Queensland farmers charged with $20m fraud

Two farmers who allegedly defrauded a Queensland government irrigation scheme of more than $20 million have faced court. John Norman was charged with six counts of aggravated fraud and six counts of fraudulently producing or using a false record. His CFO was also charged with four counts of aggravated fraud and four counts of fraudulently … Continued

26 August 2018

Comerica scrambles to address fraud in prepaid benefits program

Comerica Bank has shut down a component of its prepaid card program for federal benefits recipients after a recent spate of fraud cases. Fraudsters have exploited security flaws in Comerica’s Cardless Benefit Access Service to drain accounts belonging to federal beneficiaries, including retirees who receive Social Security benefits and veterans who rely on disability payments … Continued

23 August 2018

ShaverShop hit by $327,000 fraud

Shaver Shop has revealed it was defrauded $327,000 by a store manager who sold stock through Daigou channels (‘Daigou’ is sourcing product in Australia and selling into China) at prices significantly below cost, by falsifying transactional records. The fraud contributed to a 27 per cent drop in the company’s full-year profit to $6.6 million, driving … Continued

22 August 2018

Online payments fraud in Australia explodes to $476m

The official aggregated figure for online payments fraud on all Australian cards has hit a whopping $476 million for the 2017 calendar year, surging from $418.1 million in 2016. Online fraud on all cards now accounts for 85 percent of local card fraud volume and is up from 78 percent in 2016. The leap in … Continued

19 August 2018

Executives at Russia’s Energia Space company charged with attempted fraud

The deputy director and two other top executives of Russia’s Energia Rocket and Space Corporation have been arrested on suspicions of attempted fraud. Russian media have reported that a dozen Russian space industry employees are suspected of having sent classified information about Russian hypersonic weapon projects to Western security services.

19 August 2018

Scottish fraud suspect put on FBI’s ‘most wanted’ list

A Scottish securities broker has been added to the FBI’s “most wanted” list for his suspected involvement in a precious metals scam. It is alleged James Ward has taken USD400,000 from would-be investors in gold, silver and platinum. The FBI say 12 or more people parted with money over a three years period, but no … Continued

19 August 2018

Record £1.1bn recovered in international benefit fraud after government crackdown

A record £1.1 billion was recovered by the government last year in a clampdown on international benefit fraud by UK citizens, according to new figures. The fraudulent claims include people continuing to receive certain UK benefits while living abroad, deliberately failing to declare property overseas or being in receipt of a UK disability benefit while … Continued

18 August 2018

Martin Shkreli’s Company Lawyer Sentenced to 18 Months for Fraud

Evan Greebel has received an 18-month prison sentence for aiding the Pharma Bro in an $11 million fraud. He was convicted last year of helping Martin Shkreli steal $11 million to repay investors after the hedge-fund-manager-turned-drug-executive, lost their money in risky trades. The judge also ordered Greebel to pay $10.5 million in restitution to Retrophin … Continued

18 August 2018

Major universities hire ex-immigration agent to crack down on international student fraud

Major universities are cracking-down on fraud and misrepresentation in the booming international student market by outsourcing background checks to a small Australian start-up, Probitas Quad. The firm has been swamped with interest from universities keen to lure lucrative international students from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ghana and western Africa. The push to recruit from less … Continued

17 August 2018

CCC uncovers bribery and fraud on big health jobs

Former senior WA Health bureaucrats face possible criminal charges after a major investigation uncovered one of the biggest corruption scandals in the State. The Corruption and Crime Commission has alleged contractors lavished executives at the North Metropolitan Health Service with “expensive meals, boozy lunches, overseas travel and even home renovations” in return for scoring “tens … Continued

16 August 2018

Fraud Charges over Queensland ‘Back to Work’ Grants

A 51-year-old man and a 43-year-old woman allegedly obtained more than $300 000 through fraudulent claims to the Queensland state government’s ‘Back to Work’ grants. Police said the pair allegedly submitted and attempted to submit applications to the Queensland Treasury Department claiming more than $1 million worth of the grants over 12 months.

16 August 2018

Former poker player jailed for $58m fraud

A former professional poker player will spend at least nine years in a Victorian jail after scamming the Commonwealth Bank of nearly $58 million. William Jordanou pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy to defraud after fraudulently obtaining $58 million from the Commonwealth Bank in loans using false documents between 2010 and 2014. He also … Continued

15 August 2018

Prosecutors press fraud case against Manafort

Prosecutors have aggressively pressed their bank and tax fraud case against Paul Manafort, presenting testimony and documents to try to prove U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman deceived his lead bookkeeper and a bank about his finances. Prosecutors have attempted to portray Manafort as a tax cheat and a liar who hid much of … Continued

15 August 2018

Accountant accused of $863,000 Heron Island Resort Fraud

An accountant accused of defrauding Heron Island Resort of more than $863,000 has been refused bail in Gladstone Magistrates Court. Police allege Mr Yu oversaw more than 33 fraudulent transactions over that period, stealing at least $863,420. While Mr Yu could not directly approve the transfer of funds, police allege he simply substituted his own … Continued

14 August 2018

RAMS founder to fight tax fraud charges

RAMS Home Loans founder John Kinghorn will head to a trial to contest criminal charges of tax fraud. The charges are that Mr Kinghorn told the ATO he did not control any unlisted company outside of Australia in 1997, thereby limiting the tax office’s ability to assess his income liability; and from 2004 to 2007 … Continued

13 August 2018

Growing number of phones hijacked in ‘port-out fraud’

Mobile phone numbers are being hijacked and unsuspecting victims are losing thousands of dollars from bank accounts in a ‘port out’ scam. Scammers use ‘port out’ fraud to steal a victim’s personal information and use it to switch their mobile number to another phone company. This information is then used to request a password reset … Continued

12 August 2018

Man charged with 71 fraud offences

A man has stolen $380 000 in four months using a TSS World Wide Money Transfer. He has been charged with 71 counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception.

11 August 2018

Interpol alert for St Ives Lawyers wanted for overcharging of South African clients

Interpol has an alert out on a South African father and son, who South African authorities allege have misappropriated up to 100 million Rand (A$10 million) from clients. Lawyers Ronald and Darren Bobroff are alleged to have systematically overcharged their clients in South Africa, laundered money through a trust account and stolen money before fleeing … Continued

10 August 2018

Fraud squad investigates Royal Institute of British Architects

The City of London Fraud Squad has begun an investigation into the Royal Institute of British Architects after it was accused of mislaying £1.1 million of members’ funds. City of London police said that the matter was being assessed by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau after a complaint had been made.

9 August 2018

Maori King’s offices raided in fraud probe

Fraud investigators have raided the offices of New Zealand’s Maori King as part of a probe into mismanagement of funds. Investigators seized documents and computer hardware during a search of the offices of the Ururangi Trust, a charity that supports the functions of King Tuheitia Paki, on Tuesday morning. The raid comes after the trust … Continued

9 August 2018

Senior SA public servant pleads guilty to fraud after ICAC investigation

A former South Australian senior public servant has pleaded guilty to multiple fraud and deception charges. Veronica Theriault was the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s chief information officer before being charged with deception, dishonestly dealing with documents and abuse of public office in September 2017.

9 August 2018

ANU student narrowly avoids jail term over ‘sophisticated’ health insurance fraud

A former Australian National University (ANU) student who committed health insurance fraud using the details of other foreign students has described himself as “greedy and stupid”. Borong Lui has pleaded guilty to three rolled-up charges under laws targeting money laundering and organised fraud, as well as handling the proceeds of crime. Lui received a suspended … Continued

8 August 2018

Six arrested for digital currency fraud in Thailand

A man and five women have been arrested on fraud charges for allegedly tricking people into investing in cryptocurrencies, promising high returns and then failing to make payments. About a thousand people invested in the company, which did not actually exist, but only about 50 filed complaints with the police. About 100m baht was lost … Continued

7 August 2018

Iraq to try election officials over fraud

Iraq will put five election officials on trial in relation to fraud during the country’s May legislative elections. The decision to put them on trial has been taken following recommendations made by a ministerial committee which issued a 28-page report after reviewing a series of complaints. The committee recommended the officials stand trial after coming … Continued

6 August 2018

Former New York Assembly Speaker receives 7 year corruption sentence

A judge has sentenced former NY State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to seven years in prison for federal corruption charges. Silver was convicted in a scheme involving Dr Robert Taub, an acquaintance who agreed to refer patients to Silver’s law firm. The deal netted Silver over $3 million in referral fees and injury claims. In … Continued

5 August 2018

ASIC chases an alleged international scam linked to FBI probe

ASIC is attempting to shut down an investment scheme that has allegedly siphoned off millions of dollars from unsuspecting consumers. Nearly $18 million of investor money held in accounts linked to Australian company AGM Markets has been frozen by the Federal Court as the ASIC investigates a complex web of companies behind local online investing … Continued

4 August 2018

Westpac banker banned over fraud

A former Westpac banker has been banned from engaging in credit activities after giving false documents to help clients obtain home loans. An ASIC investigation found that Martin Pudun knowingly or recklessly gave documents and false information to Westpac in relation to 24 loans. The former relationship manager was found to have helped in creating … Continued

3 August 2018

Police find evidence of bribery and fraud by Jerusalem Deputy Mayor

Israeli police investigators have uncovered evidence that Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman committed bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Turgeman is suspected of having accepted bribes to advance the interests of construction entrepreneurs in several Jerusalem locations, while also using his power to influence the Municipal Site Preservation Committee to allow for the breaking of … Continued

2 August 2018

Michigan State stops payments to survivors of Larry Nassar abuse amid fraud worries

Michigan State University has halted payments from a US$10 million fund it set up for counselling services for survivors of now-imprisoned former sports doctor Larry Nassar amid concerns about possible fraudulent claims. The school stopped making payments Wednesday after the Healing Assistance Fund administrator flagged the issue. As of June 30, school had distributed more … Continued

1 August 2018

Queenslanders warned about Jury Duty scam

Queenslanders are being told to watch out for a new scam circulating around emails, telling potential victims they’ve been chosen for jury duty. The phishing scam, which comes with the subject line “Australia Justice Invite”, encourages victims to click on a link to “register” for jury duty.

1 August 2018

Tap-and-go credit card fraud on the rise prompting warning from senior police

WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson has warned that tap-and-go credit card fraud is a growing problem with annual statistics highlighting the increase in fraudulent credit card use. From July 2017 to June 2018, the number of credit card fraud cases reported was 26,151, or an average of more than 500 incidents a week.

31 July 2018

21 sentenced in India-based IRS phone scam operation

21 people involved in a massive fraud and money laundering conspiracy were sentenced to up to 20 years in jail. The operation, based out of call-centres in India, targeted U.S. residents in telephone scams where they posed as representatives from the IRS. More than 15,000 U.S. residents were scammed out of hundreds of millions of … Continued

30 July 2018

NDIS fraud squad to investigate disability support fraud

The federal government has established a taskforce to crack down on fraud in the National Disability Insurance Scheme, warning that organised crime will seek to exploit the system without a greater deterrent. The taskforce of 100 personnel who will work with the Australian federal police, suggesting that while known instances of fraud were “minimal” the … Continued

29 July 2018

SEC charges Fyre Festival founder with fraud

The US SEC has announced that it has filed fraud charges against the organisers behind the failed Fyre Festival. Billy McFarland, two companies he founded – Fyre Media, Inc. and Magnises, Inc. – his Chief Marketing Officer Grant Margolin and independent contractor Daniel Simon were charged with violating the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities … Continued

28 July 2018

BitFunder founder pleads guilty to fraud

Jon Montroll, the operator of now defunct Bitcoin stock exchange BitFunder, has pleaded guilty to charges of securities fraud and obstruction of justice. The US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice has accused Montroll of operating an unregistered securities exchange, defrauding users of the exchange and making “false and misleading statements in … Continued

27 July 2018

Sydney trader in centre of US fraud bust

Jim Zhao is awaiting extradition to the US after being linked to a trillion-dollar stock market crash. The US operation has spanned 4 continents, captured 11 individuals and implicated at least 4 of the world’s biggest banks in a 7-year conspiracy to manipulate commodities markets in Chicago. Deutsche Bank, UBS AG and HSBC have agreed … Continued

26 July 2018

Judge forces alleged ICO fraudster to pay C$3.7million in Bitcoin

Dominic Lacroix, the subject of initial coin offer fraud charges, transferred C$3.7 million worth of bitcoins to a court-appointed administrator right in a Quebec City courtroom on July 6 as ordered by a judge. Canada’s financial markets authority and the US Securities and Exchange Commission claimed Lacroix was responsible for a fundraising scheme that had … Continued

25 July 2018

Apple investigating growing iTunes credit card fraud

Apple are investigating customer complaints after reports of customers in Singapore are noticing a high number of fraudulent credit card charges being made via iTunes. Two people have had at least $5000 drained from their account through iTunes purchases. The affected customers have been banking with several of the popular banks in Singapore, including UOB, … Continued

25 July 2018

NZ SFO raid on Māori King’s office focused on alleged financial misappropriation

The raid by the New Zealand Serious Fraud Office yesterday of the office of the Māori King is understood to focus on claims of financial misappropriation concerning one of the King’s close advisers. The Herald, which has been reporting on the case for the past 12 months, understands the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) probe … Continued

24 July 2018

France’s far-right patriarch refused questioning in EU fraud case

Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of France’s far-right National Front party, refused to submit to police questioning last month as part of an EU funding inquiry, claiming immunity as a European Parliament lawmaker. Le Pen is one of several party MEPs suspected of using European Parliament funds provided for assistants to pay more than 20 France-based … Continued

23 July 2018

PEXA says its platform remains secure following property fraud

Online property exchange service PEXA says its platform remains secure and has “robust fraud protections” following revelations of a significant theft of funds involving its system. An individual lost $250 000 from the settlement of her property after someone accessed the PEXA account of her conveyancer and transferred the funds into an account accessible by … Continued

22 July 2018

President Trump assigned a task force to investigate cryptocurrency fraud

President Donald Trump has assigned an official task force to investigate pervasive fraud within the cryptocurrency industry. According to the executive order, the group’s primary goal is to investigate financial fraud levied not only against the government, but against the consumer and financial markets as well. The committee is tasked with investigating cyber-fraud and any … Continued

21 July 2018

TV reporter faces charges over Plutus tax fraud

Another four men will be charged over the $144 million tax fraud case involving former Australian Tax Office executive Michael Cranston. Journalist Stephen Barrett is facing a blackmail charge for his alleged role in an extortion attempt linked to the alleged fraud. The 60-year-old former TV producer allegedly sought to blackmail two members of the … Continued

20 July 2018

US$13.5m insurance fraud alleged in Chicago

A Chicago vice president of an insurance underwriting group is accused of pocketing more than US$13.5 million from a corporate client by fraudulently issuing and collecting premium payments. David Ballard is charged with one count of wire fraud and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted. Court filings allege the money … Continued

19 July 2018

Former bank manager banned for fraud

Former National Australia Bank branch manager Rabih Awad has been banned from engaging in credit activities and providing financial services for seven years as a result of loan fraud. Mr Awad was found to have given NAB false payslips and letters of employment and entered false referee contact details in NAB’s lending systems in multiple … Continued

19 July 2018

Conman Anthony Kemp, jailed for role in NZ$15 million fraud, lived high life in New Zealand

A conman who played a key role in defrauding vulnerable people out of £8 million ($NZ15.3m) so he could go on cruises, gamble in casinos and live in a luxury apartment in New Zealand has been jailed for more than seven years. Photographs of Anthony Kemp, 62, laughing while he sailed on the QE2 cruise … Continued

19 July 2018

Conman Anthony Kemp, jailed for role in NZ$15 million fraud, lived high life in New Zealand

A conman who played a key role in defrauding vulnerable people out of £8 million ($NZ15.3m) so he could go on cruises, gamble in casinos and live in a luxury apartment in New Zealand has been jailed for more than seven years. Photographs of Anthony Kemp, 62, laughing while he sailed on the QE2 cruise … Continued

18 July 2018

Former Wallabies great denies taped call linking him to market manipulation

Former Wallabies great Simon Poidevin, the managing director of Sydney-based stockbroking giant Bell Potter, has denied a taped telephone call implicates him in a plan to manipulate the price of a freshly-listed company as he fights a decision by the corporate regulator to ban him from providing financial services for five years. In 2017 ASIC … Continued

17 July 2018

Identity fraud scheme steals over $250 000

Police have uncovered a sophisticated mail fraud scam in Sydney’s south-west that stole over $250 000 from individuals and a number of corporate groups. The fraud syndicate allegedly stole mail, ported mobile phone numbers and tricked employees into giving out identifying information to open bank accounts and take out credit cards in the names of … Continued

16 July 2018

Fake paramedic guilty of forgery and fraud

A man who posed as a qualified paramedic, and gave 133 flu injections while working at a Queensland mine, has received a suspended jail sentence, after admitting to five counts of fraud and forgery. Calvin Wahlberg admitted he forged two paramedicine degrees to get a job at a private medical company despite being little more … Continued

15 July 2018

Nationals MP to face fraud charges ahead of election

Victorian Nationals MP Tim McCurdy is set to fight fraud charges ahead of the 24 November Victorian state election. Mr McCurdy has been charged with four counts of making a false document, four counts of use of a false document, attempt to obtain property by deception and obtain property by deception. He is alleged to … Continued

14 July 2018

Sara Netanyahu charged with fraud

The wife of the Israeli Prime Minister has been charged with fraud and breach of public trust. She is alleged to have improperly spent more than $100,000 on food for the residence between 2010 and 2013, falsifying documents to justify special catering when a chef was already on staff. Recordings between an attorney and a … Continued

13 July 2018

Two former NAB employees banned for loan fraud

Former NAB employees Danny Merheb and Samar Merjan have been permanently banned from engaging in credit activities and providing financial services following an ASIC investigation. The financial services regulator has permanently banned the individuals for “recklessly” giving the bank “false payslips, letters of employment, bank statements and statutory declarations” in home loan applications.

12 July 2018

Irish Man jailed for social welfare fraud

An Irish man who carried out a ‘sophisticated’ and ‘elaborate’ social welfare fraud over 5 and a half years has been jailed for 18 months. The fraud involved a €55,000 Jobseekers Allowance and €47,000 Rent Allowance. John Stokes was charged with 343 counts of theft committed between 2008 and 2013.

11 July 2018

Former Melbourne solicitor charged over $17.2m fraud

A former Melbourne solicitor has been charged with misappropriating $17 million between 2003 and 2013. According to Fraud Squad detectives, Mr Sidaoui falsified mortgage applications to the tune of $15 million under other people’s names, including members of his own family. The allegedly falsified loans came from major financial institutions including the NAB, Commonwealth Bank … Continued

10 July 2018

MPI refers evidence of serious staff misconduct to SFO

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has referred evidence of serious staff misconduct to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the ministry says. The evidence came to light as a result of Official Information Act requests from RNZ asking for MPI correspondence with Thompson and Clark. MPI said in a statement it has also referred the … Continued

9 July 2018

Kiwis jailed in the UK over NZ$600k super car fraud

Two New Zealanders have been jailed in the UK for defrauding customers out of more than £300,000 (NZ$579,000) for super cars that never arrived. While working as car brokers in Warwickshire, David Chandler, 49, and Nicholas O’Neil, 47, took deposits for high-end super cars but never put in the orders, instead fobbing off their customers. … Continued

8 July 2018

Auckland finance firm, director, worker charged with laundering Edward Gong’s hidden NZ millions

An Auckland finance firm, its director and an office worker are facing charges over allegedly laundering more than NZ$53 million belonging to a Chinese businessman who denies running a NZ$200 million pyramid scheme from Canada. The pair and the firm are accused of knowingly or recklessly failing to conduct customer due diligence for Xiao Hua … Continued

7 July 2018

Hamilton finance company chasing NZ$4 million from former employee

A Hamilton New Zealand finance company is chasing more than four million dollars from a former employer who has since allegedly fled the country. A High Court judge has ruled there was “substantial support” for claims Richard Whitham transferred the money to his personal bank accounts in May, granting former employer WorldClear, a freezing order … Continued

6 July 2018

Banker, lawyer and wife of a property developer guilty over NZ$54m mortgage fraud

A banker, a lawyer and the wife of a property developer have all been found guilty over a $54 million mortgage fraud scheme that involved bribes and more than 100 property transactions across Auckland and Hamilton, New Zealand. After a three-month trial concluded last month, Justice Sarah Katz delivered her verdicts this morning. The trial … Continued

5 July 2018

Pharmacy fraudster faces penalty

A South Melbourne pharmacy owner is facing criminal charges after admitting to lodging 71 fraudulent PBS claims. Between October 2012 and January 2014 the pharmacist lodged 71 PBS claims with the Department of Human Services, for pharmaceutical items, namely insulin, which were not dispensed to any patients. Fraudulent benefits were paid into a bank account … Continued

4 July 2018

Upcoming events

FCX sponsors a number of financial crime control events throughout the year including some events that are specific to particular industries. The following events will be delivered by FCX in the September and December quarters. If you would like more information about any of these events, click on the link and we will send further … Continued

4 July 2018

Legislation update

In each issue of Making Headlines, we monitor and report on developing legislation touching on issues of financial crime and the implications for business. In this issue we look at legislation that will amend the Criminal Code Act in relation to foreign bribery and the Corporations Act in relation to whistleblower protection. Accessing super to … Continued

4 July 2018

ACCC highlights serious financial crime in ‘Scam Awareness Week’

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) hosted Scam Awareness Week in the week of 21 – 25 May. Scam Awareness Week is an initiative of the ‘Scams Awareness Network’ which is comprised of “government regulatory agencies and departments in Australia and New Zealand that work alongside private sector, community and non-government partners to raise … Continued

4 July 2018

Police in Victoria and New South Wales harness social media in the investigation of crime

Police in Victorian and New South Wales have recently launched a new social media initiative called ‘Eyewatch’ aimed at harnessing the power of social media to identify and locate suspected offenders. 54 police regions in Victoria and 58 regions in New South Wales are now covered by Eyewatch along with a range of specialist areas. The … Continued

4 July 2018

AUSTRAC seeks closer liaison with the ‘big four’

The June quarter saw CBA agree to a fine of $700 million following an AUSTRAC investigation into the bank’s failure to report more than 53,000 cash deposits into its “Intelligent Deposit Machines” above $10,000 as well as failing to monitor transactions in more than 778,000 deposit accounts and other breaches of Australian AML-CTF laws. The … Continued

4 July 2018

The impact of the Federal Budget on financial crime in Australia

The Federal Budget was brought down on 8 May 2018. Promises of tax cuts were met with general approval by the Australian population as was the announcement of the decision to spend $75 billion on infrastructure projects around the country over the next ten years. The budget also increased funding for aged care, education, airport … Continued

4 July 2018

Royal Commission continues to hear allegations of serious financial crime in the banking sector

The Royal Commission hearings into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry continued in the June quarter and Royal Commissioner, the Hon. Kenneth Hayne AC QC, appears to be on track to submit his interim report at the end of September despite industry and special interest groups calling for the Royal Commission to … Continued

4 July 2018

Financial crime trends in the June quarter

In each issue of Making Headlines we review financial crimes posted to FCX during the quarter.  Our purpose is to identify emerging financial crime threats and to offer options for mitigating those threats. In the June quarter we saw a number of ‘new economy’ financial crimes around the globe as well as in this country, … Continued

22 June 2018

Commerce Commission warns Christchurch vehicle financier over dealer’s conduct

A vehicle financier has been warned by the Commerce Commission after complaints were made about several loans issued by a prominent Christchurch car dealer. The commission launched an investigation into the compliance of Dealer Finance Limited (DFL) after complaints were made about three loans issued through Nigel Thompson Motor Company (NTMC) between September and December … Continued

21 June 2018

Agencies hitting back against scammers are fighting a never-ending war

New Zealanders are affected by scams every day and estimates show the cost of cybercrime to this country could be NZ$400 million to NZ$500 million every year. Agencies such as Netsafe, police, the Financial Markets Authority and cyber security watchdog CERT NZ make up a multi-agency group dedicated to scam and fraud prevention – ever … Continued

20 June 2018

Former travel agent jailed for fraud seeks to have prison term cut

A former travel agent jailed for stealing more than NZ$700,000 from 91 victims has appealed against the length of her prison sentence. In February, Nadene Cheree Chapman was sent to prison for three years after pleading guilty to two charges of using a document to gain pecuniary advantage and one of theft by a person … Continued

19 June 2018

Sydney fraud gang busted – 100 charges laid

Six people have been charged with more than 100 fraud offences in the greater Sydney area following a year-long investigation. Police say the syndicate was responsible for porting mobile phones, stealing mail and using the identification details of more than 100 people to fraudulently obtain about A$250,000.

18 June 2018

Volkswagen fined €1 b in diesel emissions scandal

Volkswagen has been fined €1 billion by German authorities in connection with the diesel emissions scandal. Prosecutors concluded Volkswagen failed to properly oversee the activity of its engine development department, resulting in some 10.7 million diesel vehicles with illegal emissions-controlling software being sold worldwide. This fine is additional to penalties imposed on Volkswagen by the … Continued

17 June 2018

Two former Roadrunner Transportation executives charged with fraud

The US DOJ has charged two former executives of Roadrunner Transportation Systems with allegedly participating in an accounting and securities fraud scheme that resulted in a loss of more than US$245 million in shareholder value. Both men were charged with three counts of securities fraud and other violations for allegedly carrying out a scheme between … Continued

16 June 2018

Brothers running US$100m health fraud scam jailed

Two brothers who admitted to bribing doctors in a US$100 million health care scheme were sentenced to prison. They pleaded guilty to conspiracy to bribe doctors and money laundering through their New Jersey company, Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services. David Nicoll, considered to be the orchestrator of the seven-year scheme, received a six-year sentence for his role … Continued

15 June 2018

Former TEEMCO CEO pleads guilty to tax fraud

Gregory Lorson was charged in April with one-count Information with wilful failure to collect and pay over federal payroll taxes to the IRS. The former president of TEEMCO, LLC, pleaded guilty Friday to federal tax fraud for not paying to the IRS the federal payroll taxes withheld from wages of employees for five years.

14 June 2018

Israeli PM’s wife to be indicted for misusing public funds

Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, is expected to be indicted in the coming week in a corruption case related to misuse of public funds, one of several ongoing corruption probes against her and her husband. She is facing allegations that she misappropriated tax payer funds to pay for meals at the Prime … Continued

13 June 2018

Half of Irish companies hit by fraud

A recent report from PwC has shown Fraud and cybercrime have hit record levels with almost half of Irish companies being targeted over the past two year, up from 26% of companies in 2010-11. 61% of incidents have involved cybercrimes, with this figure being twice the global average.

12 June 2018

Theranos CEO steps down following fraud indictment

Elizabeth Holmes has announced her decision to step down as CEO of Theranos following a DOJ announcement that both Holmes and Ramesh Balwani, former COO, have been indicted on wire fraud charges. Federal prosecutors indicted Holmes and Balwani on nine counts of wire fraud and two counts each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

11 June 2018

Ronaldo guilty of tax fraud

Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed to plead guilty to four counts of tax fraud, and pay a fine of €18.8 million to avoid a prison sentence. Prosecution had accused Ronaldo of having used shell companies outside Spain to hide income made from image rights and avoid paying tax.

10 June 2018

Vero Beach real estate attorney guilty of bank fraud

A US federal jury has convicted a Vero Beach real-estate and probate attorney on two counts of bank fraud and one count of conspiracy for a mortgage fraud scheme. The mortgage fraud scheme involved covering incentives that were offered and paid to buyers, hiding and misrepresenting the amount of paid seller incentives, which included cash … Continued

9 June 2018

Aussie Mortgage fraud triggers A$80 billion class action

Lawyers’ representing up to 300,000 litigants are planning an A$80 billion action against mortgage lenders, mortgage brokers and financial regulators in a class action that would dwarf previous actions. The class action has A$75m backing from UK and European investors.

8 June 2018

Bill to prevent casino financial fraud

Micronesian Senate President Arnold I. Palacios introduced a bill that aims to prevent casino financial fraud in the commonwealth. The bill has been designed to ensure the Saipan Casino is protected from fraudulent misuse of financial instruments.

7 June 2018

Former Epix Exec faces sentencing in US$7.7 million fraud case

The former Epix executive who was indicted in 2016 for stealing nearly US$8 million from the premium cabler is due to be sentenced on Friday. Prosecutors are seeking a prison term of 4-5 years for the former chief digital officer of Epix, following his guilty plea to one count of wire fraud.

6 June 2018

Man jailed for fraud after claiming to be Grenfell Tower Victim

A fraudster who claimed his father had died in the Grenfell Tower fire to receive emergency money and a free stay at a hotel has been jailed for 18 months. Mohammad Gamoota had told council officials that he was been living with his father on the 24th floor when the fire ripped through the building. … Continued

5 June 2018

Cayman Court finds Saudi companies complicit in $126 billion fraud

A Cayman Islands court has found that two Saudi businesses were complicit in a US$126 bn fraud that it described as one of the “largest Ponzi schemes in history”. The court ruled that Ahmad Hamad al-Gosaibi & Brothers knowingly entered into a Ponzi scheme that fraudulently obtained about US$126bn in loans from more than 100 … Continued

4 June 2018

7 sent to prison for Multimillion dollar fraud

Seven people have been sentenced to prison terms after pleading guilty in Florida to orchestrating a variety of fraud scams that took in more than US$7 million from more than 400 victims across the U.S. The defendants opened bank accounts established in the names of shell corporations which would receive the proceeds of various fraudulent … Continued

3 June 2018

Florida man admits to impersonating Saudi prince in fraud scheme

A South Florida man has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and impersonating a foreign government official after having been caught pretending to be a member of the Saudi royal family as part of a scheme to defraud world-be investors. Anthony Gignac was pretending to be a Saudi royal alternately named Khaled Al-Saud, Khalid Al-Saud, … Continued

2 June 2018

WA pair jailed over gas company fraud

Two men who spent more than four years fraudulently obtaining A$465,153 from a gas company, where one of them worked in marketing, have been jailed. A firm called J&R Media Marketing was set up and invoiced Kleenheat Gas, who was Justin Magatelli’s employer, for placements that never occurred. 52 separate invoices were submitted and paid, … Continued

1 June 2018

Canberra mother charged with 8 fraud related offences

A Canberra mother has allegedly used other people’s names and addresses to establish phone numbers, personal loans, bank accounts and healthcare packages, racking up a bill of more than A$30,000. Karen Milliken also allegedly used the fake accounts to buy school books and uniforms, whilst also establishing a private healthcare account in other names, using … Continued

31 May 2018

CBA reaches A$700m agreement over AUSTRAC AML allegations

The Commonwealth Bank has negotiated a settlement of the explosive anti-money laundering case against it, agreeing to a A$700 million fine. The allegations against the CBA included thousands of breaches of anti-money laundering rules. The bank has admitted that it failed to properly file more than 53,000 reports to AUSTRAC over cash deposits worth more … Continued

30 May 2018

Sydney phone scammers busted in Sydney over A$1m fraud

Three men who are allegedly part of a syndicate that stole more than A$1 million through identity fraud now face 80 charges after they were arrested last week. Police allege the syndicate transferred more than 100 mobile phone numbers to different providers and used the identification details of 200 people to fraudulently obtain the money. … Continued

30 May 2018

NZ$720,000 fine for Allan Hawkins’ Auckland loan company

Auckland lender Budget Loans, and its sister company Evolution Finance, have been fined NZ$720,000 for “cynical and deliberate” repossession tactics. “In some cases Budget Loans stripped houses almost bare,” according to the Commerce Commission, which took the case. In some cases, Budget Loans had no right to repossess items, many of which the commission said … Continued

29 May 2018

Scammers Caught out – insurance fraud costs A$2.2b

Statistics from the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Australia have revealed that fraudulent insurance claims – including home and contents, motor vehicle and small business cover – cost the industry $2.2b annually. The spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Australia has said most insurance frauds occur through exaggerated claims.

28 May 2018

Consultant behind Auckland hotel development pleads guilty to involvement in NZ$41m fraud

An Auckland consultant has admitted he played a role in fraudulently securing a NZ$41.1 million bank loan to fund a property development. Self-employed consultant Stephen Foster pleaded guilty in the High Court in Auckland on Tuesday to obtaining credit by deception on behalf of a company, Emily Projects, between 2008 and 2010. Foster was one … Continued

27 May 2018

Mother and daughter ‘rip-off’ IRD to the tune of NZ$1.3 million

A mother and daughter have ripped of Inland Revenue to the tune of NZ$1.3million through filing fake GST returns. Wairoa woman Moehau Smith, 69, and her daughter Christine, 35, have admitted filing 49 false returns over two years, and face the prospect of a stint in jail when they are sentenced next month. The Smiths … Continued

26 May 2018

Crypto Scams comprise 0.6% of Australian frauds

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released a report on trends within the scam economy during 2017. The report identifies cryptocurrency related fraud to comprise less than 1% of the scam activity recorded in Australia last year. The ACCC report also shows that cryptocurrency scams peaked during December where average reported losses jumped … Continued

25 May 2018

ACCC: A$340m lost to fraud in Australia

More than A$340m was reported as lost to the ACCC in 2017 by Australian victims of fraud schemes. Investment fraud has taken over as the category with the highest amount of financial losses at A$31.3m, a 33% increase from 2016. In total, A$2.1 million in loss was associated with cryptocurrencies. Businesses reported a total loss … Continued

28 March 2018

Nigel Murray lost his job in Canada before taking up CEO at Waikato DHB

A damning investigation into Dr Nigel Murray’s spending shows the former Waikato District Health Board chief executive was stood down from his top job at a health authority in Canada months before he secured the role in Hamilton. And the critical information was missed in checks by former DHB chairman Bob Simcock during Murray’s recruitment … Continued

27 March 2018

Ponzi scheme fraudster jailed

A Christchurch man who cheated investors out of NZ$17 million through a Ponzi scheme has been sentenced to eight years in prison. Paul Clifford Hibbs, 49, was sentenced in the Christchurch District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to four fraud related charges. Hibbs owned two investment companies – Cameron Gladstone Investments Limited and Hansa Limited, … Continued

26 March 2018

Waikato DHB chairman told to fire Nigel Murray if unauthorised spending found

The man responsible for overseeing the expenses of Dr Nigel Murray was told if any deliberate wrongdoing was found he should terminate Murray’s employment as the Waikato District Health Board chief executive. Former board chair Bob Simcock assured Assistant State Services Commissioner Geoff Short there was nothing in a draft report of the DHB’s initial … Continued

25 March 2018

Former manager convicted of fraud is sentenced to home detention

A former assets manager for a publicly funded health provider who pleaded guilty to fraud has been sentenced to eight months home detention at the Auckland High Court.

24 March 2018

Property consultant Stephen Gubb admits 14 frauds related to Rolleston’s Izone project

A property consultant who arranged for a real estate agent to fraudulently receive nearly $150,000 in commissions has admitted 14 charges. Stephen Rolf Gubb, from Wanaka, was a property consultant for Hughes Developments Ltd, which managed Rolleston’s Izone industrial park for the Selwyn District Council. Gubb was employed to sell Izone land, leases and design … Continued

23 March 2018

Conman Paul Encell denies having money hidden away

Paul Martin Encell has been jailed for five years for 33 fraud charges. Conman Paul Martin Encell has gone to jail saying he has nothing salted away and can pay nothing back to the victims who have lost NZ$750,000. Christchurch District Court Judge Tom Gilbert jailed the 52-year-old for five years on 33 fraud charges, … Continued

23 March 2018

Nigel Murray lost his job in Canada before taking up CEO at Waikato DHB

A damning investigation into Dr Nigel Murray’s spending shows the former Waikato District Health Board chief executive was stood down from his top job at a health authority in Canada months before he secured the role in Hamilton. And the critical information was missed in checks by former DHB chairman Bob Simcock during Murray’s recruitment … Continued

21 March 2018

Legislation update

In each issue of Making Headlines, we monitor and report on developing legislation touching on issues of financial crime and the implications for business. In this issue we look at legislation that will amend the Criminal Code Act in relation to foreign bribery and the Corporations Act in relation to whistleblower protection. Foreign bribery The … Continued

21 March 2018

FCX subscriber financial crime survey

A key objective of FCX is to identify and highlight financial crime risks that are specific to particular industry sectors. Since launching FCX in February 2016, we have initiated a program to capture information about financial crime risks from a range of sources and have used this data to catalogue financial crime risks by industry.   … Continued

21 March 2018

Alan Kohler interviews Matt Fehon on Qantas Talking Business

Forensic Partner, Matt Fehon spoke with Alan Kohler about financial crime and the work McGrathNicol is undertaking within the sector. This podcast was available on Qantas Inflight Entertainment in January. Listen to the podcast here.

21 March 2018

Cryptocurrency fraud – the crime of the century?

There has been intense interest in cryptocurrency in the last few years and growing interest in cryptocurrency speculation in an age where achieving a reasonable return from traditional forms of investment has become increasingly difficult.   Many new age investors, who in fact have no underlying transactional need for cryptocurrency, are now buying large quantities as … Continued

21 March 2018

Royal Commission hears allegations of serious financial crime in the banking sector

The Banking Royal Commission (or to give the commission its full title, the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry) commenced public hearings in earnest on 13 March 2018 in what the Commissioner, The Hon. Justice Kenneth Hayne, has referred to as the Round 1 hearings.  Round 2 public hearings … Continued

21 March 2018

Featured financial crime for the March quarter

In each issue of Making Headlines we feature a financial crime type posted to FCX over the previous 12 months. Our purpose is to focus on emerging financial crime threats and to offer options for better mitigating those threats.   In the December 2017 edition of Making Headlines, the financial crime featured was ‘Advisor Fraud’ (financial … Continued

21 March 2018

Financial Manager Hemo Thompson Pleads Guilty to Fraud

A woman who defrauded the New Zealand government of three-quarters of a million dollars while working in a senior role at the Ministry of Transport has again been denied parole. Joanne Harrison was sentenced to three years and seven months’ jail in February last year for fraudulently using documents for pecuniary advantage. Former Financial Manager … Continued

16 March 2018

Serial fraudster John Fagan vows to live a more simple life

A notorious criminal who once rang Sir Paul Holmes live on air while on the run has vowed to live a quiet life when released from jail. John Grant Fagan told Holmes and his listeners he was an “armed maniac”, but on Thursday his declarations were more modest. “I have to realise my limits and … Continued

8 March 2018

Police question Bureau of Meteorology staff over cryptocurrency operation

Two BOM employees are being investigated by the AFP for allegedly running an elaborate operation involving the use of the bureau’s powerful computers to ‘mine’ cryptocurrency. Federal police executed a search warrant at the bureau’s Collins Street headquarters in Melbourne and spoke to two IT employees. Read more…

5 March 2018

Sydney University staff disciplined for alleged inappropriate spending

University of Sydney staff have been given written warnings and counselling as part of disciplinary action in response to a review of alleged inappropriate spending on corporate credit cards. Internal documents reveal that individual spending items investigated included a $669 bill for a meal with staff and student ambassadors at the Opera Bar on January … Continued

4 March 2018

Florida business owner guilty of $1.7m tax fraud scheme

A Florida business owner has pleaded guilty in a federal court to a $1.7 million tax fraud and other charges related to his employment of undocumented immigrants. Federal prosecutors say he concealed the wages of undocumented immigrant workers to avoid paying income taxes as well as taxes for Medicare and Social Security. Read more…

3 March 2018

US film producer convicted of investment fraud

A California movie producer who headed a boutique merchant bank has been convicted on charges he defrauded investors in hedge funds overseen by a New York-based investment adviser out of $26 million. David Bergstein was found guilty of charges including investment advisor fraud and securities fraud. Read more…

2 March 2018

Australian crew aboard luxury yacht seized in Bali under $4.5b fraud investigation

An enormous luxury yacht and its crew – including two Australians – has been seized by police in Bali for having alleged links to an international money-laundering scheme used to fund Hollywood films and lavish lifestyles. FBI officials allege the large, modern vessel had been attempting to evade detection in Southeast Asian waters to avoid … Continued

1 March 2018

Banker jailed after stealing $265 000 in an elaborate fraud

A Brisbane banker created a false ANZ Bank employee number to set up a false account and withdraw $265,000 from a trust fund so he could speculate on the stock market. The owner of the account alerted the bank to the theft 18 months later when he was unable to withdraw funds, which had all … Continued

28 February 2018

Sydney lawyer charged over alleged $9.75m fraud

A junior lawyer at Sydney law firm allegedly stole millions from one of its clients, billionaire media mogul Bruce Gordon, before handing himself in to police. Brody Jack Clarke, who was sacked by the firm last year after the allegations came to light, was arrested in Sydney on Tuesday and charged with eight counts of … Continued

24 February 2018

Anbang insurances seized by Chinese regulators over alleged fraud

Anbang Insurance Group Co. has been taken over temporarily by the Chinese government after the founder, Wu Xiaohui, who has allegedly committed fraud which has sealed the downfall of a politically-connected dealmaker. This adds to the growing list of high profile names taken down by President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption in order to protect thousands of … Continued

23 February 2018

Former City of Ballarat manager jailed for three years for fraud

Luke Carey, the former city of Ballarat sport and recreation manager, has been sentenced to three years’ jail after pleading guilty to defrauding the council of $200,000 between 2013 and 2015. This comes after he ran a kickback scheme with his wife, Jasmine, using a false company where she was the sole director. Judge McInerney … Continued

22 February 2018

Contactless card fraud overtakes cheque scams for the first time

The release of the UK’s financial figures for the first half of 2017 has revealed that for the first time contactless card fraud has overtaken cheque scams. With the total hitting £5.6 million financial experts have warned that the raising of pinless payment from £30 will increase the number of contactless crimes. This was stated … Continued

21 February 2018

Punjab National Bank Branch closed, three more arrested in India’s biggest loan fraud

Indian jewellery billionaire, Nirav Modi and others have recently been accused of cheating the Punjab National Bank in India of $US 1.77 billion. Two arrested bank employees have also been arrested for colluding with the billionaire and his uncle to issue fraudulent letters. These were used by Mr Modi in order to raise loans from … Continued

20 February 2018

Labor councillor charged with more than $220,000 fraud

The NSW government has called for Labor councillor, Ray Harty, to step away from any public duties. The NSW Corrective Services Minister David Elliot stated, “Like any politician, once he is charged, he should step aside until he is given a clear verdict This comes after the 72 year old, who in 2012 received the … Continued

18 February 2018

Trump aide to plead guilty to fraud charges

Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates has agreed to plead guilty to fraud-related charges. Gates served as the deputy campaign manager for the Trump campaign. He was indicted for hiding millions in Ukraine-based payments from U.S. authorities. This plea deal is the latest development surrounding the Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference with the 2016 … Continued

17 February 2018

NSW man charged over $1.2m fraud

A 25-year-old man is facing a string of fraud charges after he allegedly stole more than $1.2 million from a medical supply company he worked for in NSW. The former manager allegedly created fraudulent invoices or fraudulently altered invoices for payment into bank accounts he owned between July 2015 and February 2017. The man allegedly … Continued

16 February 2018

Missing $15,000 sparked fraud probe at Canberra Prison

Forensic accountants warned officials about a “perfect storm” of fraud risks after as much as $15,000 disappeared from the inmates’ trust account inside Canberra’s prison. KPMG auditors were called in to investigate the Alexander Maconochie Centre’s detainee trust account after officials noted between $10,000 and $15,000 had potentially gone missing in 2016. Inmates at the … Continued

15 February 2018

Indian Celebrity Jeweller Accused of A$60 million bank fraud

India’s second-largest state-run lender has filed a criminal complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation that accuses Nirav Modi of defrauding the bank and causing it a loss of 2.8 billion Rupees (A$60 million). Last week, Punjab National Bank, publicly alleged that Modi was involved with a much larger fraud case – 1.77 billion Rupees … Continued

14 February 2018

Launch of Transparency International Corruption Perception Index for 2018

Transparency International Australia and Baker McKenzie invite you to attend the Australian launch of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). Every year since 1995, Transparency International has scored countries on how corrupt their public sectors are perceived to be. The CPI is the most widely used indicator of corruption worldwide. Last year, Australia was ranked … Continued

12 February 2018

How ‘greedy’ ANZ manager used junior staff to steal $300k

Tracey Cook accumulated more than $300,000 in fraudulent deposits using unwitting junior bank colleagues. Ms Cook worked as a senior manager of transaction processing at ANZ and was in charge of 162 employees who dealt with cheque processing and holding dishonoured cheques. The fraud involved “asking staff members, subordinate to her and whom she managed” … Continued

11 February 2018

Former Credit Suisse advisor gets 5 year jail term

Former Credit Suisse client adviser Patrice Lescaudron was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in a Geneva court for abusing the trust of clients and putting in place a fraudulent scheme that brought him tens of millions of francs. Lescaudron admitted in court to having falsified trades and hidden mounting losses. Read more…

10 February 2018

US arrests 36 people in $677m cyber fraud takedown

The US Department of Justice announced one of its largest-ever takedowns of a global cyber-crime ring saying it has indicted 36 people accused of trafficking in stolen identities resulting in more than $677 million in losses to consumers. The cyber-crime network, known as "In Fraud," operated a sophisticated scheme that facilitated the purchase and sale … Continued

9 February 2018

Brisbane man charged with betting fraud

A Brisbane man has been charged with making hundreds of thousands of dollars from fraudulent bets. Police allege the 31-year-old fraudulently gained more than $150,000 from betting outcomes as well as using his status as the employee of a betting company to channel money and place late bets on races around the country. Detectives from … Continued

9 February 2018

Russian nuclear scientists arrested in Bitcoin mining plot

Two engineers at a top-secret nuclear laboratory in Russia were caught using equipment to engage in cryptocurrency mining. With help from a supercomputer at the Scientific Research Institute for Experimental Physics, the two employees gained access to the offline machine and connected it to the Internet in a bid to start mining bitcoins. The research … Continued

8 February 2018

CBA provides for $375m fine over ATM fraud scandal

The Commonwealth Bank has set aside $375 million in expectation of a civil penalty resulting from legal action undertaken by AUSTRAC over the bank’s alleged aiding of fraud through its intelligent ATMs. The bank was accused by AUSTRAC last August of enabling $77 million of suspicious transactions over three years to flow through its fleet … Continued

7 February 2018

Businessperson lists Mosman mansion as he battles tax fraud charges

Millionaire businessperson and philanthropist John Kinghorn is selling his long-held Mosman mansion with the high-end listing coming as the founder of RAMS Home Loan seeks to clear his name after he was charged with defrauding the Australian Tax Office of $30 million. Kinghorn has pleaded not guilty to AFP allegations that he avoided paying more … Continued

6 February 2018

Canberra woman jailed over ActewAGL fraud

A former ActewAGL contractor was jailed after taking more than $12,000 from the company and its customers. The court heard Jessica Anderson had ActewAGL accounts in credit transferred into her own bank account. She would then call falsely claiming to be a customer in order to obtain refunds. In one instance, she borrowed the driver’s … Continued

5 February 2018

Alexis Sanchez fined over tax fraud

Alexis Sanchez has accepted a 16-month suspended prison sentence and been fined €590,065 for tax fraud relating to his image rights while a Barcelona player. He was found guilty of two counts of fraud and admitted concealing his image rights income from the Spanish tax office via companies based overseas. The sentence has been suspended … Continued

4 February 2018

Soaring card fraud presents a “shifting landscape”

A global payment solutions provider has warned SMEs of the soaring rates of chargebacks and card fraud, calling on merchants and banks to work together to fix the problem. The founder and CEO of Verifi, Matthew Katz, has identified Australia and New Zealand as hotspots for payment fraud and chargebacks. Mr Katz referred to data … Continued

3 February 2018

Mackay Woman arrested over $1.7 business fraud

Mackay Criminal Investigation detectives have swooped on a woman who allegedly embezzled $1.7 million while working for a local industrial business. The woman has been charged with fraud, forgery and uttering. Read more…

2 February 2018

China fines 19 banking institutions over loan fraud

China’s banking regulators have imposed a fine of 52.5 million yuan on 19 banking institutions over a pledge loan fraud case in the provinces of Shaanxi and Henan Provinces. The institutions have been punished for granting loans in excess of 19 billion yuan to criminals who illegally used low purity gold as pledges. According to … Continued

1 February 2018

Brisbane woman jailed for stealing $340,000 from her employer

A young woman who stole more than $300,000 from her employers to fund her lavish lifestyle and gambling addiction has been jailed for five-and-a-half years. Christina Tupu siphoned more than $340,000 from Electrolux and Toll Holdings between December 2015 and April 2016. Read more…

31 January 2018

Former South Australian public servant faces court over false CV allegations

A former South Australian public servant, who allegedly used fake credentials to secure a senior government job, will enter pleas in April. Veronica Theriault has been charged with deception and dishonesty offences following her appointment as Chief Information Officer in the South Australian Department of Premier and Cabinet. Read more…

30 January 2018

PwC India banned from auditing Indian companies for two years following Satyam Computer Services fraud case

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has banned PwC India from auditing Indian companies for two years following a finding that the firm failed to identify a US$1.7 billion financial statement fraud at Satyam Computer Services nine years ago. In a 108-page report, SEBI said PwC India’s audit unit had neglected to check … Continued

29 January 2018

Qantas Talking Business with Alan Kohler

Forensic Partner, Matt Fehon speaks to Alan Kohler about financial crime and the work McGrathNicol is undertaking within the sector. This podcast is available on Qantas Inflight Entertainment. Listen to podcast.

29 January 2018

Loan fraud lands ANZ in trouble

ASIC has brought regulatory action against ANZ over 320 finance loans that were sold to customers over two years until 2015. The loans were provided by three brokers to Esanda, a finance company that ANZ sold in 2015 for $8.23 billion, and were likely based on fraudulently altered paperwork and fraudulent payslips. Read more…

28 January 2018

Six Arrested in EU subsidy fraud scam

Five men and one woman have been arrested by police in Estonia last week as suspects in defrauding or aiding in the defrauding of the Agricultural Register and Information Board and the Environmental Investment Centre of more than 1 million Euros. Read more…

27 January 2018

Brett Favre hit with $16.75m lawsuit for alleged fraud

Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre is being sued over allegations that he conspired with business partners to fraudulently induce and investment company out of $16.75m. the lawsuit claims Favre and the executives of Sqor Sports made negligent and fraudulent misrepresentations in an event to secure Callais Capital Management’s investment. Read more…

26 January 2018

Rio Tinto executives want fraud case thrown out

Rio Tinto and two former top executives have asked a US court to throw out fraud charges relating to the allegedly deliberate concealment of the collapse in value of one of the company’s coal projects. Lawyers for Tom Albanese asked the court to dismiss the claim by the SEC that he hid a $US3 billion … Continued

25 January 2018

US Senator pleads guilty to wire fraud, money laundering, and bank fraud

Senator Jake Files has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, one count of money laundering and one count of bank fraud. According to court records, Files used his State Senate office to obtain General Improvement Funds “through fraudulent means and for personal gain”. Read more…

25 January 2018

Real-time payments bring increased cyber fraud risks, experts warn

A new “National payment system” is set to be introduced by Australia in early to mid-February. This new systems will eliminate waiting days of up to three days for bank transactions by allowing Australians to create a “payment id” through their phones, email or ABN. However, with the introduction of this new system, fraud experts … Continued

24 January 2018

Central Queensland woman appears in court for drought relief fraud charges

A central Queensland woman has made her first appearance in court in relation to 26 fraud charges. Police will allege the woman fraudulently obtained drought relief subsidies by forging and uttering invoices when applying for the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme between 2013-2015. Read more…

23 January 2018

Music teacher jailed over welfare fraud

A French music teacher who fraudulently claimed welfare payments while living in a penthouse apartment has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail. Daniel Daudet fraudulently claimed a total of €175,000 in unemployment benefits and other payments over a 12 year period. Read more…

22 January 2018

NRL player’s wife avoids jail over Centrelink Fraud

Jade Robinson has been sentence to home detention after pleading guilty to two counts of receiving a financial advantage from a Commonwealth entity. She was found to have fraudulently received $48,500 in Centrelink benefits over almost five years. Read more…

22 January 2018

Jury convicts Detroit cadaver dealer of wire fraud

Arthur Rathburn has been found guilty on seven counts of wire fraud, aiding and abetting, and one count of illegal transportation of hazardous materials. He was acquitted of two counts of wire fraud, aiding and abetting and one count of making false statements. Read more…

21 January 2018

Oklahoma man indicted in well service fraud scheme

The head of Oklahoma well servicing company, Platinum Express LLC, has been indicted for allegedly cheating an energy company out of $4.3m. Justin Fou st has been charged with wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. Foust is accused of allegedly billing the energy company for work that was never conducted. The indictment states … Continued

20 January 2018

Pakistani court convicts two Chinese nationals of ATM fraud

A Pakistani court has convicted two Chinese nationals for tampering with ATM machines, sentencing them to a year in prison. The two were arrested in 2017 while attaching a skimming device to an ATM. Read more…

19 January 2018

South Carolina school district seeks US$42.5 m in Insurance Fraud suit

South Carolina school district sued its former chief financial officer, insurance companies and others over what it claims was “a series of insidious schemes” through which the defendants defrauded the district and its taxpayers out of millions of dollars. The Berkeley County School District claims Brantley Thomas, the district’s former chief financial officer, and the … Continued

18 January 2018

French fraud officials investigate Nutella Deal

French authorities are to investigate whether a Nutella promotion that sparked brawls in supermarkets broke the country’s strict trading laws. France’s finance ministry said its Fraud Squad was launching an inquiry after the Intermarché chain offered a 70% discount on jars of the hazelnut and chocolate spread. The fraud squad will want to establish whether … Continued

17 January 2018

Former Tax Office employee facing fraud charges

Former Burnie Tax Office worker Nigel Gleeson appeared in the Devonport Magistrates Court on 28 counts of unauthorised access to restricted data. He pleaded not guilty to all charges, including one count of unauthorised recording of a tax file number and dishonestly influencing a Commonwealth Public Officer. Read more…

16 January 2018

Kansas City woman ordered to repay Medicaid fraud

A Kansas City woman has been ordered to repay $25,000 to the Kansas Medicaid program after pleading guilty to Medicaid fraud charges, computer crimes and welfare fraud. Read more…

15 January 2018

Plutus Payroll collapse leaves $100m black hole

According to a first report from liquidators, about $100 million appears to have disappeared from Plutus Payroll, the company at the centre Australia’s largest tax fraud case. The AFP closed down Plutus Payroll and nine other companies in May 2017. The liquidators are now investigating tens of millions of dollars that have been pumped-out of the … Continued

14 January 2018

Five more Chinese held in Karachi for ATM fraud

At least five Chinese nationals have been detained for their alleged involvement in ATM skimming frauds in Karachi. An additional four Chinese nationals were arrested from Defence while another was arrested from Bahadurabad. The police also claimed to have recovered around Rs2.9 million, skimming devices and ATM cards from their possession. Police high-ups allege an … Continued

13 January 2018

Fraud to blame for $2.8 billion welfare overpayment

Centrelink has overpaid welfare recipients by $2.84 billion in the last financial year. Human Services Minister Michael Keenan has blamed human error and fraud for the overpayments. The Human Services department has only recovered $1.64b. Read more…

12 January 2018

Banks face probe into Bitcoin fraud

Korean financial authorities plan to launch a special investigation into local banks that provided accounts to cryptocurrency exchanges as part of government efforts to prevent cryptocurrencies from being used in illegal financial activities and curb speculative investment. The Financial Intelligence Unit will work with the Financial Supervisory Service, Korea’s financial watchdog, to review accounts owned … Continued

11 January 2018

Real estate mogul pleads guilty to $22m fraud

Former owner of Kobra properties faces up to 30 years prison, a $1m fine and must pay up to $22.9m in restitution. Abolghasseni Alizadeh pleaded guilty to wire fraud, bank fraud, and making false statements to a federally insured financial institution. Read more…

9 January 2018

ADF can’t reclaim $4m swindled by personnel

Defence investigators have recovered only $1.1 million of the $3.9 million stolen from the ADF since 2013 through credit card fraud, entitlement abuse and dishonesty. More than 1,380 investigations were opened in the past five years, with about a quarter completed and resulting in criminal or disciplinary action. Senior officers and executive-level public servants have … Continued

8 January 2018

Sydney lawyer overcharges elderly woman $137,543

The Civil and Administrative Tribunal has ordered solicitor Victor Berger be removed from the roll of local lawyers, after finding him guilty of a wide range of offences, including overcharging a frail, elderly woman by $137,543, misappropriation of funds from various estates, and failing to disclose costs. Read more…

7 January 2018

36% of Bitcoin investors plan to commit tax fraud this year

The US IRS is increasing its efforts to catch capital-gains tax evaders, and the new US tax law will make it easier. When LendEDU questioned 564 bitcoin investors in November whether they’d be reporting their capital gains or losses on their 2017 taxes, just 64% affirmed that they would. Not only has the IRS signalled … Continued

6 January 2018

Guangdong police crack online fraud cases, detain more than 600 people

Police in China’s Guangdong Province have cracked multiple online fraud cases involving malicious mobile apps, busting 21 rings across the country and detaining more than 600 suspects. Authorities have also frozen illegal revenue of over 100 million yuan ($15.3m USD) and seized more than 400 computer servers in the coordinated operation carried out in 13 … Continued

28 December 2017

$1.5m Perth Mint Gold seized in US fraud case

More than $1.5 million in Perth Mint gold has been handed to US authorities after its owner, a Texas man, was jailed for 40 years for a fraud that netted millions of dollars. Matthew Simpson, 34, was chief executive of an internet provider in Dallas until an FBI raid in 2009 named him as an … Continued

16 December 2017

Whistleblower compensation and protection sorely needed

In October, the Australian federal government released the first piece of legislative reform aimed at encouraging corporate and tax whistleblowers to speak-out. The draft legislation, currently before the senate, aims to protect whistleblowers who may expose themselves to significant personal and financial risk, currently a significant barrier to whistleblowers speaking out. As part of the … Continued

14 December 2017

Future Submarines program hit by fraud allegations

Australia’s $50 billion submarine program has been hit by allegations of fraud, with a Commonwealth official being investigated for misappropriating funds. The investigation has been confirmed by senior defence officials following questioning during a Senate estimates hearing. Read more…

12 December 2017

Ex-Steelers Club GM facing jail over $800k fraud

Scott Miles has admitted to stealing in excess of $800,000 from the Steeler’s Club over a seven year period in order to fund his online betting addiction. The scam wasn’t sophisticated, but it relied upon the trust bestowed upon him by the club’s board of directors and what has been described as “loose governance” of … Continued

11 December 2017

Former NBA All-star sentenced to 2½ years jail for fraud scheme

NBA star Chris Gatling has been sentenced to 2½ years in prison for running a fraud scheme. He pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud. A police investigation found that Gatling owned and operated a telemarketing business that targeted vulnerable seniors and sold fictitious websites with promises of making thousands of dollars. He collected over … Continued

11 December 2017

Recent developments in whistleblower protection

A lot has been happening in whistleblowing in 2017 which will continue in 2018 and into the future. There is much for business to think about in terms of how to comply with proposed legislative changes but also how to build a more effective whistleblower protection regime.   In 2017 in Australia we saw: Release in … Continued

11 December 2017

Key financial crimes reported in the media

A number of significant financial crime cases, not only in Australia and New Zealand but from around the globe, were highlighted by FCX in the December quarter. One financial crime type that stood out is what FCX terms ‘Advisor Fraud’ i.e. financial crime committed by financial advisors who use their position, unlawfully or unethically, to … Continued

11 December 2017

New head of Australian Cyber Security Centre

Alastair MacGibbon was recently appointed to head the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC). Alastair has, for many years, been one of the leading figures in cyber security in this country. He is a former head of the Australian Hi-Tech Crime Centre and was last year appointed to the position of special advisor to the Prime … Continued

11 December 2017

ABC Earshot – The Full Cost of Fraud

FCX’s Matt Fehon and UNSW professors Free and Andon recently appeared in an episode of the ABC Radio National Podcast series Earshot. Matt provided an overview of his experience investigating fraud in the corporate sector and Professor Free provided an overview of his perception of occupational fraud based on his recent research. The podcast also … Continued

11 December 2017

FCX survey of financial crime by industry sector

One of the key objectives of FCX is to identify and highlight financial crime risks that are specific to industry sectors. FCX has initiated a program to capture information about financial crime risks from a range of sources: Our regular FCX industry seminars; Our monitoring of media sources; One-on-one meetings specifically for the purpose of … Continued

11 December 2017

Preliminary findings of occupational fraud research

University of New South Wales and FCX are collaborating in a two-year project to research occupational fraud in Australian business. The project aims to explore several key aspects of occupational fraud by conducting one-on-one interviews with up to 65 perpetrators of white-collar crime in the workplace and up to 35 corporate, government and not-for-profit victims. … Continued

11 December 2017

International Fraud Awareness Week – November 2017

In the week of 13-17 November, FCX hosted a series of events in Australia and New Zealand to mark International Fraud Awareness Week. The purpose of these events was to share collective experiences on the issue of employee fraud and corruption and then leverage that experience to enable participating organisations to better manage these risks. … Continued

10 December 2017

Understanding the risks and implications of fraudulent underpayment of wages and employee entitlements

A growing number of high-profile large Australian companies have been on the receiving end of adverse media attention alleging the deliberate underpayment of employee entitlements. The fallout from these allegations has resulted in significant financial impact not to mention lasting reputational damage for entities directly or indirectly caught-up in such conduct. Employers need to take … Continued

10 December 2017

20,000 Australians caught up in Bupa Global data breach

Bupa’s international health insurance arm was hit by a malicious act in its British office, putting the private information of almost 20,000 Australian customers in danger. The company has admitted that an employee had “inappropriately copied and removed some customer information” at its Bupa Global division, which provides international health insurance for frequent travellers or … Continued

1 December 2017

Californian lawyer admits running $50m visa-fraud scam

A Southern California attorney pleaded guilty to running a scam that authorities say collected more than $50 million from wealthy Chinese investors seeking green cards. She faces up to 45 years in prison when she is sentences in July 2018 on visa fraud, wire fraud and money laundering charges. Read more…

30 November 2017

Jet-Setting health boss Nigel Murray slammed in Audit NZ report

Nigel Murray resigned as Waikato DHB chief executive after investigators found evidence of unauthorised spending. Disgraced health boss Nigel Murray travelled on the taxpayers’ dime without approval and enjoyed overseas jaunts when supposedly on sick leave. The damning findings are contained in an Audit NZ report, part of which was released by the Waikato DHB … Continued

29 November 2017

Philippines’ second-biggest bank penalised for $35m fraud

The Philippine central bank sanctioned Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. after the regulator investigated an alleged internal fraud that cost the lender $35m. Sanctions ranged from a reprimand to the suspension of directors and officers who were complacent in their duties. The nation’s second-largest lender was also ordered to allocate $239.5m of its capital to … Continued

28 November 2017

Waikato DHB chairman Bob Simcock resigns follow weeks of public pressure

Waikato District Health Board chairman Bob Simcock has resigned this afternoon following mounting public pressure over his oversight of the chief executive’s excessive spending. His resignation as chairman and board member will take effect immediately, Health Minister Dr David Clark confirmed in a statement this evening. Simcock has come under scrutiny after it was revealed … Continued

28 November 2017

Queensland council officer charged over $219k fraud

A former employee at Queensland’s Central Highlands Regional Council has been charged with defrauding the council of $219,000. The 44-year-old is accused of submitting a series of false work invoices for payment to his employer. He was charged with one count of fraud following an investigation by the Crime and Corruption Commission and will appear … Continued

27 November 2017

ASIC targets Australian banks and brokers over mortgage fraud

ASIC is increasing surveillance of the $1.5 trillion home lending market, with individuals and a selection of large and small lenders under investigation for fabrication of documents and inadequate fraud detection systems. Read more…

24 November 2017

Returning to the basic concept of a company, collecting verified information, regulators focusing on policy effectiveness rather than box ticking & other ways to tackle the misuse of NZ companies

All around the world company regulators scratch their heads, befuddled at how they can combat the use of shell companies to hide beneficial ownership, avoid taxes, and enable crimes.  But could there be a very simple solution? Jack Blum, a Washington DC-based lawyer and senior adviser to the Tax Justice Network, reckons there is. And this, … Continued

23 November 2017

Government uses data matching to sweep prisons for welfare fraud

The federal government has turned its data matching efforts towards prisoners engaged in welfare fraud, and claims to have clawed back $3.2 million in the last year alone. Prisoners are not eligible for welfare payments, but many fail to inform Centrelink of their change in circumstances. The government has therefore been on a data matching campaign … Continued

21 November 2017

Uber hid 2016 data breach, paid hackers to delete stolen data

Uber has disclosed that hackers had stolen 57 million driver and rider accounts and that the company had kept the data breach secret for more than a year after paying the hackers US$100,000 to have the data deleted. The deal was arranged by the former-CSO Joe Sullivan. The hackers accessed data about Uber’s riders and … Continued

20 November 2017

The full cost of fraud

Our Forensic Partner Matt Fehon and UNSW fraud researcher Clinton Free speak to ABC’s Earshot about how and why people perpetrate fraud, as they follow the story of convicted fraudster. Read more… Learn more about UNSW and McGrathNicol Research into occupational fraud.

18 November 2017

First charges laid in Unaoil bribery scandal

The SFO (UK charges against two former managers of Unaoil come 18 months after being exposed as a facilitator of a global network of middlemen fronting for western companies including Leighton Holdings and Worley Parsons. Unaoil’s clients were seeking lucrative contracts in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. The SFO also revealed that it … Continued

18 November 2017

More Kiwis awake to dangers of online scam artists

The New Zealand investment watchdog, the Financial Markets Authority, believes increased awareness of the risks of online trading is behind a spike in scam complaints to it. The FMA received the highest level of complaints in October in over two years. A spokesman said it typically averaged around 10 complaints about fraud/scams or cold calling … Continued

15 November 2017

Former Supreme Court Judge named head of IBAC in Victoria

Former supreme court judge Robert Redlich has been named as the new Victorian Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commissioner from 1 January 2018 for a five-year term. Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings announced the decision, saying Mr Redlich was highly qualified for the job, “With his extensive knowledge of internal investigations and experience as a Special … Continued

15 November 2017

Court of Appeal upholds jail sentences in Auckland Transport corruption case

Murray Noone, left, and Stephen Borlase were each sentenced to five years in prison on corruption charges. A transport contractor and public official jailed for corruption have failed in a bid to appeal their prison sentences. Stephen James Borlase and Murray John Noone were each sentenced to five years behind bars, but argued that was … Continued

14 November 2017

Financial planner jailed for fraud

A former Brisbane financial planner who admitted to more than 20 fraud charges relating to the misuse of almost $10 million in clients’ self-managed superannuation funds has been jailed for his ‘disgraceful’ conduct. Bradley Thomas Sherwin was sentenced to 10 years for 24 counts of fraud, linked to a $60 million investment collapse. Read more…

13 November 2017

Balancing risk and opportunity of ‘BYOD’ in the workplace

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is an increasingly common business phenomenon where employees bring personally owned devices to their workplace and use those devices to access privileged company information and applications. It is important that businesses remember that unless they have complete control of their data and technology there will always be risks of IP being … Continued

11 November 2017

Sydney conman who scammed Kiwi out of $500K accused of A$5.6 million in scams

A Sydney conman who scammed a Christchurch man out of more than $500,000 is accused of conducting several similar scams around the world, fleecing his victims out of AU$5.6 million (NZ$6.1m) in total, it has been revealed. Daniel Albert was extradited from Auckland to Australia on Thursday to face charges relating to 35 counts of … Continued

10 November 2017

Australian Daniel Albert extradited from New Zealand over $5.6 million fraud charges

An Australian man has been extradited from New Zealand after allegedly defrauding at least 35 people from nine countries of more than $5.6 million through fraudulent investment schemes. The 51-year-old is alleged to have defrauded one man of $620,000 in 2012 with a fraudulent franchise venture called Glamour Nail. The elaborate schemes involved registered companies … Continued

7 November 2017

SFO decides not to lay criminal charges against Zespri over dual invoicing

Zespri chairman Peter McBride says it is satisfying the SFO probe into dual invoicing has closed. The New Zealand Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has decided not to lay criminal charges against Zespri over dual or false invoicing in China in a case which led to the imprisonment of its Chinese importer. SFO director, Julie Read, has … Continued

6 November 2017

Paradise Papers – ATO opens criminal investigation

The ATO has been working for months with international agencies to identify Australian clients of Bermuda law firm Appleby. The leak of 13.4 million documents, published by members of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, is larger than the Panama Papers leak in April last year and includes many large blue-chip Australian corporations and high-net-worth individuals. The … Continued

6 November 2017

Coincheck hacked in ‘world’s biggest cryptocurrency theft’

One of Japan’s largest digital currency exchanges says it is going to repay hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of virtual money after hackers broke into its network. Coincheck exchange said on its website it had halted sales and withdrawals of a cryptocurrency called NEM after hackers stole a reported 58 billion yen (equivalent to … Continued

5 November 2017

SAPOL internal fraud investigations double in a year

South Australian Police released its 2016-17 report to parliament last week which included figures on alleged corruption within SA public sector and complaints about SA Police. The audit committee uncovered 17 thefts by deception in-house compared with eight in 2015-16. The report states ongoing audit practices “ensure risks have been identified” and provide accountability. SAPOL’s … Continued

5 November 2017

Fake Netflix email scam

Netflix customers have been warned to look out for a scam designed to steal their identity and credit card information. The email is titled “Your suspension notification” and personalised with your name.  It claims your billing information has been invalidated and your Netflix membership is about to be cancelled. Read more…

4 November 2017

Canberra woman jailed for ‘largely inexplicable’ fraud

A Canberra woman who defrauded the non-profit training organisation where she worked of more than $157,000 spend on food clothes and a new car has been imprisoned for three years. She was the finance officer at the Transport Industries Skills Centre, when she processed hundreds of fictitious payments for herself and used her work-issued credit … Continued

3 November 2017

Allegations of Estate Agent Fraud put at $6m

A former LJ hooker franchisee accused of stealing millions of clients’ money has pleaded not guilty. She has been charged with 345 breaches of the Estate Agents Act, after consumer Affairs Victoria brought 22 new charges and withdrew 8 others. Ms Nguyen and Mr Ngo are accused of plundering trust accounts and stealing house deposits … Continued

3 November 2017

Australian Payments Fraud 2017

The world of payments has changed significantly in recent years, and the pace of change is accelerating. Rapid innovation in payments technology and services has created a more digital and connected environment. In line with global trends, cash and cheque use is dropping as consumers continue to choose digital payments. In 2016, Australians transacted $1,869,357 … Continued

2 November 2017

$500,000 parking meter theft in Melbourne

Parking meters near Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital and the Shrine of Remembrance have been emptied of gold coins, totalling $500,000. Victorian police swooped and arrested 4 men after a lengthy investigation. The men are maintenance and repair workers for the council-run company Citywide. Keys they were given to perform their jobs would have allowed access … Continued

2 November 2017

Former AFP member to face fraud charges

A former member of the AFP is charged with defrauding the Commonwealth. The AFP has said the he will face 64 counts of dishonesty, allegedly using his AFP credit card resulting in a loss of $47,270 to the Commonwealth. Read more…

31 October 2017

Dobbing in welfare cheats

Victorians are grassing on their neighbours over welfare fraud and dole bludging at a greater rate than ever before. 108,000 tip-offs nationwide last year resulted in 118 referrals to the Commonwealth DPP and recovered $40m in debt. More than 21,400 Victorians dobbed in welfare frauds in 2016-17. Data from the Department of human Services reveal … Continued

31 October 2017

RAMS home-loans founder charged over $30m tax fraud

The man who founded RAMS Home Loans and brought Krispy Kreme doughnuts to Australia has been charged over an alleged $30 million tax fraud spanning two decades. The AFP has charged John Kinghorn with fraudulently concealing his beneficial ownership and control of corporate entities, and avoided paying more than $30 million tax. He has also … Continued

30 October 2017

28 Chinese telecom fraud suspects repatriated from Cambodia

Twenty-eight telecom fraud suspects were repatriated from Cambodia to southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality. The suspects allegedly made telephone calls to people on the Chinese mainland cheating victims out of money by pretending to be law enforcement or with falsely promised high-return investments. Credit cards, computers, and mobile phones involved in the cases have been seized … Continued

29 October 2017

FBI charges 12 in multi-million dollar international money laundering and fraud scheme

The FBI has charged 12 individuals over a multi-million dollar international money laundering and fraud scheme. One indictment contains charges of: conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, money laundering, and conducting transactions in criminally derived property. Since 2008, approximately US$94m in fraudulent proceeds have been funded by a criminal organisation engaging … Continued

29 October 2017

Equifax identifies 2.4 million more data breach victims

The results of a continued internal investigation revealed that a further 2.4 million Americans were impacted by the Equifax data breach. In addition to Social Security numbers, the breach allowed criminals to extract the names of the issuing states for some driver’s licenses, credit card expiration dates as well as tax identification numbers, email addresses … Continued

27 October 2017

Financial director gets 9 years, ordered to repay $631,000

A former finance director who stole $1.2 million from a now-defunct conservative Dallas think-tank was sentenced to nine years in prison. He pleaded guilty to money laundering, misapplication of fiduciary property and theft of more than $200,000. He has been ordered to pay $631,145 in restitution to the National Centre for Public Policy. Read more…

25 October 2017

Whistleblower legislation – implications on your business

The Federal Government released its long-awaited draft whistleblower protection legislation on 23 October 2017. If passed as currently drafted, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Whistleblowers) Bill 2017 will create a single whistleblower protection regime within the Corporations Act 2001 covering the corporate, financial and credit sectors. It will also create a new whistleblower protection regime within existing taxation laws. The … Continued

24 October 2017

Salim Mehajer allegedly linked to NRMA fraud

NSW police are investigating several fraudulent insurance claims allegedly linked to former Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer. There have been a series of similar collisions allegedly involving cars registered to Mr Mehajer and his companies all of which have been claimed through NRMA. Read more…

22 October 2017

Whistleblower laws mount pressure on big companies

The Turnbull government is set to draft legislation on whistleblower protection reforms following the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) explosive legal action alleging fraud and misconduct against Rio Tinto.  The legislation, if passed as proposed, will require public companies and large proprietary companies to have a whistleblower policy in place or be subject to … Continued

21 October 2017

SEC sues Rio Tinto for fraud

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has accused Rio Tinto and two former executives of fraud. The SEC alleges Rio Tinto’s former CEO and CFO inflated the value of coalmines in Mozambique, which it acquired for $3.7 billion in 2011. The coalmine was subsequently sold for $50 million a few years later. The SEC also … Continued

20 October 2017

Former WA CEO jailed for fraud

A former CEO who stole more than $239,000 from the WA non-profit organisation he worked for, has been sentenced to two year’s jail after pleading guilty to fraud. The Garnduwa Amboorny Wirnan Aboriginal Corporation exists to promote and develop sport and recreation in northern WA indigenous communities and get youths participating in healthy activities; however, … Continued

19 October 2017

NSW accountant charged with fraud

POLICE have laid a fraud charge against an accountant who allegedly stole more than $500,000 from a client. The fraud charge relates to the accountant allegedly failing to pass on tax payments to the Australian Taxation Office. Read more…

17 October 2017

Domino’s customers targeted by scammers

Since late September, Domino’s customers have been sent phishing emails from seemingly randomised email addresses, using their names and the suburbs of domino’s stores in an attempt to prompt a reply. Although there is nothing in the emails to tie the data to Domino’s, a Reddit user recognised the suburbs as places they had ordered … Continued

16 October 2017

Whistleblower sparks Defence Department fraud investigation

Former Defence Department staff have been investigated after allegedly quitting for lucrative government contracting jobs they created for themselves. A whistleblower made the allegations of fraud and corruption in April last year in an anonymous email sent under the public interest disclosure scheme. It was alleged that Defence Department staffers colluded with contracting companies to … Continued

15 October 2017

Gold trader investigated by ATO over tax fraud

Gold and diamond trader Alejandro Mendieta​ is the subject of a major investigation by the Australian Tax Office over his alleged involvement in a GST scam that has cost the Commonwealth government about $879 million in lost revenue. The alleged rort, which has been running since 2012, has seen gold traders, refiners and criminal syndicates exploit a discrepancy … Continued

10 October 2017

Former Hockeyroo feigned cancer to cheat charity in elaborate scam

Former Hockeyroo Kate Hubble has pleaded guilty to defrauding a cancer charity after she pretended to be terminally ill with cancer. While falsely claiming to be too sick to work, for more than two years Hubble’s $73,000 salary at cancer charity Redkite continued to be provided by a sympathetic Perth benefactor whose own daughter had … Continued

9 October 2017

Prison for $170m home loan fraudster

The man behind Australia’s largest ever home loan swindle has been sentenced to 5 years in prison for running the scheme that cooked-up $170m in fraudulent loan applications. Najam Shah has been sentenced to a minimum three years in prison following his guilty plea to one count of conspiring to defraud financial institutions. He was … Continued

9 October 2017

Prison for $170m home loan fraudster

Najam Shah has been sentenced to five years prison for running the scheme that created $170m in fraudulent loan applications. He was accused of running a sophisticated scam to draft applications for people who would otherwise struggle to receive a home loan. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to defraud financial institutions. Read … Continued

8 October 2017

London’s ‘cyber-court’ to tackle online fraud in financial sector

A new state-of-the-art court is set to open in London to tackle cyber-crime and fraud in the financial sector. Ministers say the court will enhance Britain’s reputation as a country where banking and finance is underpinned by the rule of law, and help the authorities tackle the growing menace of computer crime. The new court … Continued

7 October 2017

10 arrested in 35million pound tax fraud investigation

Ten people have been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs into a suspected £35 million pound tax fraud and money laundering scheme. More than 80 officers searched three private and 12 business addresses in both England and Wales. Investigations into the suspected offences are continuing. Read more…

6 October 2017

Standard Chartered face $1.4b probe in Guernsey and Singapore

Standard Chartered is under investigation over $1.4bn of private bank-client assets being transferred from Singapore to Guernsey ahead of the introduction of new tax transparency rules. The private bank is alleged to have failed to carry out proper vetting of the sources of the funds in question. Following claims by bank employees, the bank conducted … Continued

5 October 2017

Isle of Man gets tough on fraud with new legislation

Isle of Man’s new legislation to combat fraud comes into effect on November 1 and will boost its credentials for modernising and enhancing business conduct. The 2017 Fraud Act stands as an example of “modern laws” that boost the island’s reputation and international standing, according to Bill Malarkey. As well as specific clauses to combat … Continued

4 October 2017

Queensland Police swoop over alleged myTax fraud

Queensland cybercrime police have arrested a 35-year old man on charges of identity theft and tax fraud worth over $500 000. The man faces 106 fraud and identity crime charges linked to 63 allegedly fraudulent tax returns lodged by the ATO’s myTax system between September 2015 and July 2016. He is also alleged to have … Continued

2 October 2017

Government dumps Fuji Xerox contract

Fuji Xerox New Zealand has been suspended from one of its government contracts and completely dumped from another after more than $350 million in accounting irregularities were found at the company. Japanese parent company Fujifilm in June released an independent report which revealed "inappropriate accounting" in operations in New Zealand and Australia amounting to roughly … Continued

2 October 2017

Compounding Pharmacy owner pleads guilty to $10m health care fraud

The owner of a Decatur compounding pharmacy pleaded guilty to more than $10 million worth of health care fraud. Between February 2015 to January 2016, Lemley conspired with others at Medworx and Southern Compounding to defraud TRICARE, a U.S. Department of Defense health care program. John Lemley, the 51-year-old owner of the pharmacy was charged … Continued

1 October 2017

Guy stages 50 car crashes in fraud scam

The ringleader of an auto insurance scam involving as many as 50 staged car crashes has been sentenced to 4 years imprisonment and ordered to pay $207,000 in restitution. The ringleader and more than 15 individuals fraudulently collected between $6,500 and $30,000 in insurance payouts per crash, swindling insurance companies out of an estimated $600,000. … Continued

30 September 2017

Tesco Executives on trial for fraud

Three former Tesco executives are alleged to have been involved in a fraud where they failed to correct inaccurately recorded income figures, which were published to auditors, other employees and the wider market. They are accused of wiping $3.4b from the supermarket’s total share value.  Read more…

28 September 2017

Three men jailed for foreign bribery offences

Three men have today been sentenced to four years jail each, for conspiring to bribe a public official in Iraq. The three men were charged as part of Operation Blare, after conspiring to send $1.03 million AUD to the Iraqi Ministry of Industry and Minerals, in order to give their company Lifese unfair access to … Continued

27 September 2017

Police chase cash and property from Auckland Transport corruption case

Police are moving to seize property, cars and cash worth $8.6 million from a couple associated with corruption at Auckland Transport. Stephen Borlase, a former director of Projenz, which undertook contract work for Auckland Transport, was jailed earlier this year, along with Murray John Noone, a former director of transportation at the Rodney District Council and later an AT … Continued

26 September 2017

Home detention for lawyer involved in $40m alleged fraud

The actions of a lawyer involved in a fraud which misled ANZ into providing a property development with a $40 million loan were a "gross breach" of trust, a judge has found.  Timothy Slack, 55, was one of four men charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in relation to the development of the Waldorf Celestion Apartment … Continued

17 September 2017

16 million bank cardholders exposed to fraud risk over PIN loophole

Three bankcard providers are accused of putting customers at risk of fraud after it emerged that they are allowing shoppers to make card payments without PINs. Cardholders with Barclays, American Express and Co-op Bank are able to make payments with just a signature if they do not know their PIN. The three card providers have a total combined UK … Continued

16 September 2017

Court of Appeal acquits ex-Transcorp Managing Director of money laundering

Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has discharged and acquitted the former Group Managing Director of Transcorp Plc, Mr. Tom Iseghohi. The Court further dismissed entirely, the 32-count charge of money laundering brought against him by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. He was originally charged in 2009 over alleged fraud and money laundering in connection … Continued

15 September 2017

Attorney gets 8 years for involvement in mortgage scheme

A northern New Jersey lawyer has been sentenced to eight years in prison for her role in a mortgage fraud. Stephanie Hand was found guilty of money laundering, theft and conspiracy. Hand and her co-conspirators were found guilty of using stolen identities to steal more than $870 000 from the mortgage lender. Read more…

14 September 2017

Michigan family sentenced for defrauding IRS of $3.6million

Callista Chiwocha was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 10 years in federal prison for conspiring to defraud the government by filing false tax returns. In 2011, Callista and her husband filed 3,228 false tax returns on behalf of others with the IRS. They requested more that $4.5 million in federal tax refunds from the … Continued

13 September 2017

UBS warns of $500b of ‘liar loans’ in Australia

UBS Investment Bank has warned that up to a third of Australian mortgages could be based on factually inaccurate information. The global banking giant has followed up a survey of home loan borrowers that it first conducted last year, when it found evidence of widespread mortgage fraud. The latest detailed survey of more than 900 people … Continued

9 September 2017

Subcontractors sacked in Department of Human Services fraud investigation

100 subcontractors have been sacked as Department of Human Services conduct a massive internal fraud investigation. Many of the subcontractors were supplied by a labour hire company to work on IT projects within the departments. It has been alleged these subcontractors, or the company acting on their behalf, falsified time sheets, faked invoices and provided … Continued

5 September 2017

Both sides appeal Samsung Heir’s sentence

Jay Y. Lee, the grandson of the founder of Samsung, will this month begin legal arguments against his five-year prison sentence as he continues to profess innocence. Prosecutors are pushing to lock him up for a term closer to the 12 years they sought at trial, backed by politicians and critics of South Korea’s biggest … Continued

3 September 2017

CBA’s alleged transaction monitoring problems spark American probes

Financial crime experts say the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s failure to properly monitor transactions for money laundering and possible terrorism funding makes action from American regulators inevitable. US lawyers told Thomson Reuters that CBA was already responding to information requests from a number of US agencies with differing mandates and enforcement agendas and the announcement of … Continued

30 August 2017

UK Government considers next steps in Corporate Liability Laws

A proposal to toughen U.K. laws to make it easier to hold companies accountable for financial crime is still under consideration by the government after years of back and forth. Under current U.K. laws, a company can only be charged if prosecutors can demonstrate senior executives of a company were involved in the offence. The … Continued

29 August 2017

Woman faked her own death to collect $800k in life insurance

A Rotorua woman faked her own death, posing as another person to claim she was killed by a stray hockey ball, to collect $800,000 in life insurance. Mary-Rose Ponce Calderon was sentenced in the Auckland District Court in April to three years and two months in prison for the elaborate fraud.  Sentencing notes released on August 22 showed … Continued

28 August 2017

Kleenmaid’s $13m fraud trial begins

THE nine-week trial of businessman Andrew Eric Young, accused of defrauding Westpac of $13 million when Kleenmaid was insolvent, has begun. Read more…

28 August 2017

US investigates Oil Firm for allegedly bribing Nigerians with $100m

The United States’ authorities are investigating the China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, known as Sinopec, over allegations of bribe payments totalling $100 million to Nigerian officials to resolve a business dispute. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department, are investigating claims that lawyers acting as middlemen for Sinopec allegedly funnelled illicit payments to … Continued

27 August 2017

SFO investigating Formula One over bribery claims

Formula One has confirmed that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has begun a pre-investigation into the sport following a tip-off from a member of parliament. The allegations surround the Concorde Implementation Agreement, the contract that underpins F1, and shares sold to the FIA, which later netted the Formula One £62m profit. Read more…

26 August 2017

Nant whisky to be investigated by Tasmanian Police over alleged fraud

Tasmania Police have told investors, who purchased barrels of award-winning Nant whisky, only to be left thousands of dollars out of pocket, that they’re launching a criminal investigation into the saga. An audit of the business, carried out by the publicly-listed Australian Whisky Holdings after the company announced plans to acquire Nant last October, revealed … Continued

24 August 2017

Former University of Queensland employee charged with fraud

The Crime and Corruption Commission has charged a former UQ employee with two counts of fraud to dishonestly gain benefit or advantage, one count of forgery and one count of uttering. The CCC allege the fraud charges relate to the misuse of a university travel card, and the fraud and utter charges relate to the … Continued

23 August 2017

Canberra woman pleads guilty to fraud over plot to skim ActewAGL accounts

A former ActewAGL employee accused of stealing thousands of dollars from ActewAGL customers’ accounts, in a plan allegedly devised with her colleague, has pleaded guilty to fraud.   Jessica Anderson and Taylor Geoghegan were contractors when it’s alleged they found accounts in credit before transferring the money to bank accounts belonging to Ms Anderson. She pleaded … Continued

21 August 2017

US Lottery fraud mastermind faces 25-year prison sentence

Eddie Tipton, who netted more than $2.5million by fixing lottery games across multiple states, has been sentenced to 25 years imprisonment. Tipton admitted to masterminding the lottery-rigging scheme as part of a plea deal reached with the Iowa Assistant Attorney-General to resolve charges in all states from which he had won jackpots. Tipton agreed to … Continued

21 August 2017

Judge: Fraudster Miles John McKelvy’s evidence about Fantasy drug ‘absurd’

Miles John McKelvy faces a second stint in prison after judge rejects his explanation for importing Fantasy drug. One of New Zealand’s most "insidious" fraudsters said he thought he was importing an industrial cleaning agent, not a dangerous recreational drug worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. But a district court judge rejected the evidence of … Continued

20 August 2017

Marines allegedly involved in $67m health fraud

Federal authorities say Southern California Marines were recruited for a scheme that defrauded the government’s military health insurance provider out of $67 million. Investigators say Marines were recruited at up to $300 a month for a so-called medical study that involved phone consultations with a doctor’s office. A pharmacy in Bountiful, Utah, filled thousands of … Continued

19 August 2017

Mum jailed over Centrelink fraud spanning 4 years

Sylvia Mosby claimed $37,000 from Centrelink over 4 years despite being entitled to only $64. The Cairns Commonwealth Court was told that she had been working full-time and had only declared $74,000 of the $232,000 she earned between 2012 and 2016. Mosby pleaded guilty to obtaining a financial advantage for herself. She was imprisoned for … Continued

19 August 2017

Ministry of Social Development’s own detective stole nearly $360,000

A welfare cheat investigator created fake beneficiary identities to steal nearly $360,000 in a "highly unusual" fraud. Nabjeet Singh stole the money over 12 years and left for Australia after resigning from the Ministry of Social Development in 2011. An anonymous whistleblower tipped off the Ministry of SocialDevelopment in 2013. Singh was extradited back to … Continued

16 August 2017

Ex-broker sent to jail

Former mortgage broker, Michael Samra, has been sentenced in the Adelaide District Court to eight years imprisonment for deceiving investors. ASIC alleged that between 1 January 2009 and 31 July 2009, Samra through ALC Group deceived investors to lend money to be on-lent to builders and property developers, when in fact the monies were not … Continued

16 August 2017

Taxpayers spent $70 million with Fraud-hit FujiXerox

National Ministers have adopted "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" over FujiXerox, despite taxpayers spending $70m with the company since 2011, says New Zealand First.   “We know from Deloitte’s fraud report that bonus payments at FujiXerox skyrocketed from 2011 until it imploded last year,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of … Continued

15 August 2017

Iluka Resources caught up in African bribery scandal

A secret inquiry by Iluka Resources has captured a leading Sierra Leone presidential candidate, a cabinet minister and high-ranking official in an international bribery scandal. Iluka Resources uncovered the suspected bribe payments after it acquired one of the world’s largest Rutile mines through the takeover of Sierra Rutile Ltd for $375m in December 2016. The … Continued

13 August 2017

New Zealand’s Reserve Bank raises ATM money laundering questions

The New Zealand Reserve Bank has questioned banks over the use of ‘smart’ ATMs and the level of cash deposits they allow in the wake of the money-laundering scandal surrounding Australia’s Commonwealth Bank. NZRB warned in April that it sees smart ATMs as a high risk for money laundering and terrorism financing due to the … Continued

12 August 2017

CBA probed as ASIC boss slams bank culture

Commonwealth Bank is being investigated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission over how it responded to allegations it had violated money laundering and terrorism financing laws, and breached the Corporations Act. ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft told a parliamentary committee on Friday ASIC was looking at issues including whether CBA complied with its duties under … Continued

11 August 2017

Former executives sentenced in ‘Fat Leonard’ Navy bribery scandal

Two former Singapore executives for foreign defence contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) were sentenced to 3 and 5 years for their involvement in a multi-million dollar navy bribery scheme. The executives pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to submit false bids, claims and invoices to the US Navy, which contained false prices and information … Continued

10 August 2017

Trump Administration rolls back on oil industry anti-corruption efforts

The Trump Administration, in February, rescinded a pending Securities and Exchange Commission rule that would have required oil companies to disclose details of their payments to international governments in connection with oil and gas production. The administration has also withdrawn from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, another corruption-fighting effort in the oil and mining sectors … Continued

9 August 2017

ANZ pays further $10.5million to consumers for OnePath breach

ASIC has confirmed an additional $10.5 million in compensation for 160,000 superannuation customers who were affected by breaches within the OnePath group between 2013 and 2016. ASIC has been monitoring the resolution of a number of OnePath breaches. This has resulted in ANZ (parent company of OnePath) providing further compensation, mainly in relation to incorrect … Continued

8 August 2017

ASIC warns customers about scam emails

ASIC has again warned its registry customers to be vigilant of scam emails purporting to be from ASIC. Some customers continue to receive emails claiming to be from ASIC, containing attachments or links to fake invoices. Scammers use a variety of deceptive methods to elicit payments, spread software viruses, install spyware or malware programs to … Continued

7 August 2017

CBA blames reporting failure on software error

The Commonwealth Bank says its failure to notify AUSTRAC of more than 53,000 large cash deposits in its intelligent deposit machines was caused by a software error, which was not discovered for more than two years. Due to an unrelated software update in late 2012, a coding error occurred which meant the IDM’s did not … Continued

4 August 2017

Former NAB adviser charged with forging documents

ASIC has charged Shane Thompson with two counts of forging financial planning documents and he has appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court. ASIC alleges that between 27 December 2012 and 1 March 2013, Mr Thompson completed 22 false client change of adviser forms and submitted them to MLC Ltd to transfer National Australia Bank (NAB) … Continued

4 August 2017

Commonwealth Bank accused of 53 710 breaches of money laundering laws

Australia’s biggest bank has been accused of more than 53,000 breaches of anti-money laundering laws involving $77million worth of transactions. Fresh from securing a record $45 million penalty against Tabcorp for breaches of anti-money laundering rules, AUSTRAC has launched a civil action against CBA in the Federal Court for failing to report suspicious transactions, which … Continued

4 August 2017

Alleged wine fraud by Canterbury wine producer a threat to billion-dollar trade

New Zealand’s $1.6 billion a year wine export business is under threat from allegations a Canterbury winemaker sent thousands of bottles of wine overseas with fraudulent labels. Waipara wine company Southern Boundary Wines Ltd and three of its directors face more than 150 charges in a landmark case alleging wine made for their own and … Continued

3 August 2017

Samsung Chief in bribery trial

In his first testimony, Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong denied he knew anything about the corporate collusions the cemented his control of the group. Lee is charged with bribing ex-president Park Geun-hye and her confidante with $48.5m to facilitate a merger of Samsung subsidiaries. Read more…

3 August 2017

Immigration NZ staff investigated for corruption and fraud after visas issued to family, friends

Immigration New Zealand officials are being investigated for granting visas and residency to family and friends, a Herald investigation has found. The agency confirmed that four have been dismissed and two had resigned while under investigation for conflicts of interest. INZ received 208 allegations of staff fraud and corruption over the past five years, of … Continued

2 August 2017

Auditor-General resigns, saying his position is ‘untenable’

New Zealand Transport minister Simon Bridges says Auditor-General Martin Matthews’ resignation finalises "a very sorry saga". A report into Auditor-General Martin Matthews’ actions as head of the Transport Ministry will not be made public after he resigned hours before its expected release. Matthews was head of the Ministry of Transport during the time Joanne Harrison carried … Continued

1 August 2017

Man imprisoned over $6m fraud

Phnom Penh municipal court sentenced a shop owner to 18 months in jail for fraud and issuing false cheques. The man cheated a Chinese businessman of $6.2 million over a timber business deal. Read more…

31 July 2017

Macau billionaire convicted in UN bribery case

A Macau billionaire who wanted to build a United Nations center in Macau was convicted of paying more than USD1.7 million in bribes to U.N. ambassadors to get it done. He was found guilty of bribery, conspiracy and money laundering and faces up to 65 years in prison. Read more…

30 July 2017

Canadian couple loses $180,000 in binary options fraud

A rural Canadian couple who lost $180,000 to an online investment scam has little hope of ever seeing their money again The couple saw an ad for a company called WM Options about how a prominent Canadian public figure makes money. Over nine months they sent money to the company via credit card and wire … Continued

29 July 2017

Suspect caught writing fraud ‘to-do’ list

19-year old Phyllistone Termine was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for aggravated identity theft and access device fraud after investigators found a fraud “to-do” list. The scam involved converting the modern tax return scam to unemployment benefits — amassing names and Social Security numbers and getting benefits in multiple fraudulent filings, Termine admitted in … Continued

28 July 2017

Fraud arrest over elaborate scheme

The partner of former Bryon Bay businessperson Daniel Albert, whose failed Glamour Nail scheme allegedly cost unwitting investors millions of dollars, has been arrested and charged for fraud. Police allege she was involved in establishing fraudulent ventures and defrauded at least 35 people of more than $5.5million. Read more…

27 July 2017

Multi-million dollar Marlborough racing fraud comes to an end

A Marlborough racing scandal has finally come to a close, with the last man involved in a $6.9 million pokies fraud sentenced to home detention. Michael O’Brien has already been sentenced to four years and six months jail for the scheme, and his co-accused Kevin Coffey to 12 months home detention. Now the last man … Continued

25 July 2017

Queensland chief scientist sidelined over fraud charges

Queensland chief scientist Professor Suzanne Miller has been stood aside after being charged with fraud by the Crime and Corruption Commission. Court documents state between February 1, 2014 and July 24, 2017, Miller dishonestly gained approximately $45,000 in benefit for namely herself using private health insurance of the Queensland Museum. Read more…

24 July 2017

UK SFO joins inquiry into Rio Tinto’s ‘suspected corruption’ over Guinea mining rights

UK Serious Fraud Office has joined a global investigation into Rio Tinto’s dealings in the West African nation of Guinea. The investigation follows Rio Tinto’s self-reported concerns over a $US10.5 million ($13 million) payment made to a consultant negotiating with Guinea’s President Alpha Conde on the giant Simandou iron ore project in 2011. The SFO … Continued

22 July 2017

Switzerland’s ABB hit by $100 million South Korean fraud

Swiss engineering group ABB fell victim to a sophisticated criminal scheme at its South Korean subsidiary. The suspect is an executive who is suspected of forging documents and colluding with third parties to steal funds, estimating it would take a pre-tax charge of $100m for the affair. ABB claimed that he embezzled a combined $31.31million … Continued

18 July 2017

MacGibbon to lead Australian Cyber Security Centre

Australian Prime Minister has appointed his cyber security advisor Alastair MacGibbon as the head of the nation’s Cyber Security Centre following a recommendation from a review of Australia’s security agencies. The Australian Cyber Security Centre is a central body that houses 260 cyber security experts from across multiple agencies including ASIO, Defence, the AFP, the … Continued

18 July 2017

Vatican hospital corruption trial commences

Two men who used to run a Vatican-owned children’s hospital are facing trial, being accused of diverting nearly half a million dollars of funds to renovate a top cardinal’s luxury flat. The two men are charged with spending $481 000 in 2013 and 2014 on refurbishing the apartment belonging to Cardinal Bertone, the Vatican’s former … Continued

18 July 2017

Wellington Tenths Trust wins interim freezing order case against Lorraine Skiffington

Lorraine Skiffington had been charged with fraud but the charges were stopped due to her ill-health. The former partner of convicted fraudster Sir Ngatata Love has had her assets frozen pending a decision on a multimillion-dollar claim against her. Wellington Tenths Trust is seeking to recover $3.49 million that was paid into two companies associated … Continued

17 July 2017

Melbourne real-estate agent convicted of fraud

A Melbourne real-estate agent avoided jail after being convicted of fraud. She was found guilty of forging the signatures of tenants on bond claim forms and then directing payments in excess of $33,000 to her own bank account between February and June 2016. She was found guilty of 23 charges of obtaining property by deception. … Continued

17 July 2017

Cyber-attacks a wake-up call

Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan says recent global ransomware attacks must act as a wake-up call for the growing digital economy within Australia. The digital economy is forecast to contribute $139billion annually to the economy by 2020. Australia’s computer emergency response team, or CERT, handled 11,260 cyber security incidents in the past year, including 439 … Continued

15 July 2017

Canberra pair skim $13,000 from ActewAGL

A Canberra woman is accused of hatching a plot with a fellow employee to fleece thousands of dollars from ActewAGL customers. One has been charged with 15 fraud offences after it was alleged she skimmed in excess of $13,000 from customer accounts between March and May, while the other has been charged with knowingly being involved in … Continued

15 July 2017

Perth Trader extradited in GST rort case

A Western Australian financier has been extradited from New York over claims he tried to rip-off the Australian Taxation Office by lodging false GST rebate applications. Gary Parsons was secretly brought back to Perth in February to face court on 170 charges relating to allegations he prepared applications for rebates for businesses controlled by him … Continued

14 July 2017

US charging 412 in health fraud schemes worth $1.3 billion

U.S. prosecutors announced Thursday that they have charged more than 400 people with taking part in health care fraud and opioid scams totalling $1.3 billion in false billing. Among those charged are six Michigan doctors accused of a scheme to prescribe unnecessary opioids. A Florida rehab facility is alleged to have recruited addicts with gift … Continued

13 July 2017

Former TAFE IT manager pleads guilty to fraud

Former acting TAFE South Western Sydney Institute ICT manager Ronald Cordoba has pleaded guilty to charges of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception and dishonestly obtaining property. The charges against Cordoba arose from a public NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption’s inquiry that was held in August 2015. The ICAC said that between February and … Continued

13 July 2017

Australia a ‘place of choice’ for money laundering

ANZ Bank says a lack of political will has seen successive Australian governments fail to extend money-laundering laws to cover lawyers, real estate agents and accountants. Australia’s property market is an attractive haven for criminals, with estimates that billions of dollars of dirty money is being laundered through residential property. Australia’s anti-money laundering law does … Continued

12 July 2017

Bondi businessman charged over alleged $1.8million super fraud

A Bondi businessman accused of duping clients out of their life savings has been charged with 31 counts of fraud including knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime. Hamish McLaren was arrested following a six-month investigation into an alleged $1.8million fraudulent investment scheme. Prosecutors allege in Court documents that McLaren posed as a “legitimate investment … Continued

11 July 2017

SFO launches probe into Amec Foster Wheeler

The Serious Fraud Office is investigating Amex Foster Wheeler over its dealings with Unaoil over possible bribery and corruption through payments to intermediaries. The energy supports services group rushed out a regulatory announcement confirming the formal launch of a SFO investigation. Read more…

10 July 2017

Fraudster accountant found guilty of fleecing $2m from clients

Colin Oberg, a suburban Sydney accountant, who fleeced more than $2m from clients has been found guilty of 12 offences. He was found guilty of swindling money and funnelling the money to a professional gambler who laundered it through an Adelaide casino. Following the guilty verdicts, Oberg has been charged with further offences in which … Continued

9 July 2017

Police investigating fraud at ACT Agricultural Society

ACT police are investigating an alleged fraud at the not-for-profit Royal National Capital Agricultural Society, which runs a number of popular cultural events in Canberra including the Royal Canberra Show and the National Wine Show of Australia. No charges have been laid and it is not clear what the fraud investigation involves. Read more…

8 July 2017

$31m fraud scheme lands debt collector in prison

A US company’s chief financial officer was sentence for orchestrating a scheme to coerce thousands of victims to overpay their debts by more than US$31million. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud and has been sentenced to 7½ years in prison. Read more…

6 July 2017

Hackers linked to ransomware attack issue new demand

Hackers connected with the ransomware that devastated overseas banks, power stations, and even Cadbury factories in Australia issued a new ransom demand. The new ransom note was published on the Dark Web and demanded a payment of 100 Bitcoins, or $340,000, in return for a private security key that could decrypt any file locked by … Continued

5 July 2017

South Australian pair jailed over $150,000 TAFE scam

A woman consumed by ‘pathological altruism’ for her former partner has been jailed for at least 18 months for stealing more than $150,000 to fund his lifestyle. She used her position as manager at TAFE South Australia to transfer the money to her former partner using fake invoices for consultancy services between 2012 and 2016. … Continued

3 July 2017

Millions rorted from government R&D Scheme

Millions of dollars have been rorted from a federal government scheme introduced to encourage Australian companies to invest in research and development, including claims from bankrupts, a property spruiker and a disgraced businessperson. The Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive program is the government’s largest industry innovation package, providing about $3 billion in tax offsets … Continued

2 July 2017

Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal

Harvard business professor Eugene Soltes is on a years-long quest to discover why topflight executives become white-collar criminals. Driven by curiosity, he began to write to several former executives who were serving sentences for fraud, asking questions about their situations, “What were the most significant pressures they faced?” “How did the way they were compensated … Continued

1 July 2017

Europol launches new initiative to crack down on financial crime

Europol has teamed up with the Institute of International Finance to crack down on financial crime, cyber hackers, money laundering and terrorist financing. Backed by the Financial Action Task Force and a number of national regulators from EU member states, the effort is intended to identify ways in which law enforcement agencies can cooperate more … Continued

26 June 2017

Bernie and Jane Sanders, under FBI investigation for bank fraud, hire lawyers

Bernie and Jane Sanders have hired lawyers in relation to an ongoing FBI bank fraud investigation. The investigation alleges Jane Sanders distorted donor levels in a 2010 loan application seeking $10 million to purchase land to expand the College, while she was president of the now-closed Burlington College. Bernie Sanders is also alleged to have … Continued