News and Analysis

The following are articles relevant to the Professional Investigator.   Click on the title to make a comment or join the conversation.



Ex-guide dogs boss avoids jail after stealing $200,000 to install a pool – 19 December 2018

A Melbourne man has avoided jail after defrauding a guide dogs charity of more than $200,000, so he could renovate his home and install a pool. He submitted false invoices to Guide Dogs Victoria (GDV), where he was a general manager, and misused the organisation’s corporate credit and fuel cards.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has issued a warning to consumers over scammers pretending to be from ASIC – 18 December 2018

ASIC has alerted Australians to be aware of scammers, impersonating ASIC representatives in connection with an overseas trading platform across stocks, foreign exchange, cryptocurrencies and indices markets. ASIC labelled investment scam as the “most lucrative method of fraud” and said consumers should be on high alert.

Dashcams, fitness trackers and smartphone cameras changing the game for police investigating serious crimes – 13 December 2018

The public’s insatiable use of technology has evolved into the perfect crime-fighting tool, creating “a web of surveillance”.  Police can now check location information from a suspect’s fitness tracker or smartphone to see if they were near a crime scene — even if location services are turned off. The Australian Parliament last week passed new encryption laws, forcing technology companies to allow police access to encrypted messages.

Police raid home of NAB chief Andrew Thorburn’s former chief of staff – 12 December 2018

Fraud squad police have raided the home of NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn’s former chief of staff Rosemary Rogers, as part of a bribery investigation sparked by an internal bank whistleblower. Ms Rogers is being investigated as part of a wider probe involving allegedly suspicious payments by executive events firm the Human Group to win contracts from the bank.

A corporate travel scandal at NAB is reportedly looking at more than $110 million worth of trips – 5 December 2018

Rosemary Rogers, the former chief of staff to three NAB CEOs, has had her bank accounts frozen as part of an ongoing investigation by the NSW Crime Commission, over potential kickbacks from a corporate travel company, The Australian reports it involves up to $113 million worth of company trips.

Investigation: How the Government is Punishing Bank Crimes with Tax Breaks – 30 November 2018

Article claims that ASIC would rather pursue Bank misconduct and corresponding law enforcement by “words” rather than prosecute or issue fines. The regulators arrange for the banks to: (1) recognise ASIC’s concerns without admitting wrongdoing; (2) accept a remediation process; and (3) make a tax deductible “Community Benefit Payment”.

China using computerised cars to track its citizens movements, habits – 30 November 2018

In China, more than 200 manufacturers, including Tesla, Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Mitsubishi and US-listed electric vehicle start-up NIO, transmit position information and dozens of other data points to government-backed monitoring centres on car owners. The Chinese government’s ability to grab data as it flows from cars, gives its academics and policymakers an edge over competing nations but raises privacy concerns.

NAB faces action over home loan fraud – 22 November 2018

ASIC is investigating sixty bankers over home loan fraud involving its ‘introducer’ program. The program pays people outside the bank such as financial planners and accountants for successful lending referrals.The inquiry previously heard several bankers created false documents and accepted cash payments from introducers, while some staff took bribes for fraudulent home loans with the money exchanged in white envelopes.

Whistleblower Rebecca Connor’s allegations referred to corruption watchdog – 21 November 2018

NSW Department of Planning Secretary Carolyn McNally has referred a whistleblower’s corruption allegations to the Independent Commission Against Corruption. The referral was confirmed by the department on Wednesday as Resources Minister Don Harwin failed to respond to questions in NSW Parliament about planning staff’s role in the secret Ridgelands mining company $5 million community fund, and its reduction to $500,000.

Calls for workplace whistleblower protections – 19 November 2018

There are calls for new regulations to protect workplace whistleblowers, after research found the vast majority of those speaking out face negative repercussions. Research drew on the experiences of 17,778 individuals from 46 separate organisations in Australia and New Zealand and found that of those who reported instances of unethical behaviour in their workplace, 81.6 per cent subsequently faced negative repercussions.

Whistleblower for ASIC says watchdog abandoned him to deal with online harassment alone – 19 November 2018

A former banker who is suffering repeated online attacks on his character and integrity after becoming a witness for ASIC (as part of its investigation of a $65 million property spruiking racket) has warned other people to “run like they’re on fire” if asked to provide evidence on financial scammers. The case has prompted further calls for a national whistleblower protection authority.