News and Analysis
The following are articles relevant to the Professional Investigator. Click on the title to make a comment or join the conversation.
The investigation of a prominent journalist (Annika Smethurst) and government whistleblower over leaked government secrets has been dropped, ending a case which sparked wide-ranging debate over press freedom in the country.
Kenilworth funds own high-tech surveillance system, despite concerns over ‘being watched’ – 27 May 2020
A town in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast has become the first in the state to fund its own high-tech surveillance system to combat crime. The Queensland Council for Civil Liberties described it as “unjustified mass surveillance”
Indian call centre scam mastermind Hitesh Madhubhai Patel ran multiple call centres in India. On of Patel’s emails included a script for “Australian Tax Office Impersonation. He faces more than 20 years in prison.
Bank fraud charges in Newcastle for allegedly scamming elderly in Illawarra, Canberra, Central Coast and Southern Highlands – 26 May 2020
A MAN will face court after he was accused of defrauding 15 elderly residents across NSW, by allegedly stealing their bank card information by pretending to be bank representatives.
ASIC has been asked to investigate whether Regional Express (REX) Holdings broke the law by announcing plans to expand with capital city services without informing the ASX.
(subscription to AFR required to read the second article)
A Chinese national was charged with bank fraud, wire fraud, making false statements to a bank and major fraud against the United States. He created fake firms and claimed he was procuring virus tests and protective equipment and tried to get $US20 million.
Those responsible for the “misappropriation” of $8.69 million that led to the collapse of Winley Insurance Group in 2016 may not be charged. Affected insurers also haven’t bothered claiming” due to the lack of investigation and unlikelihood of being paid.
Scam: Aussie couple almost had $20,000 stolen, exposing serious flaws in federal government’s early access scheme – 21 May 2020
A Perth couple subject to a superannuation scam, describe how they were targeted, how they identified the scam, and how their experience suggests other major flaws in the scheme.
Back to work for pubs and clubs – but is a crime surge imminent in the new world of face masks and concealed identities? – 26 May 2020
Can the new normal of everyday people wearing protective masks make venues more vulnerable to crime? DNA protected premises technology and CCTV is a way to help identify criminals.
With large numbers of people working, studying, shopping and socialising online, there is an emergence of NBN related COVID-19 scams and scammers attempting to steal personal details and commit fraud.
The ACCC had more reports of phishing scams (where criminals trick you into handing over personal information) in April 2020 than in any previous month, playing on coronavirus-related fears and desperation as they target stimulus payments and government subsidies.
Danusia Giam is seeking compensation from Melinda and Robert Patterson and three related companies. She claims they took control of her bank accounts and fraudulently misappropriated about $1.4 million, and caused her about $1.3 million in losses from certain property transactions.
Jane Eccleston, an ASIC superannuation Senior Executive Leader has written an article saying financial advisers are part of the problem in scams targeting people’s super amid COVID-19.
Banks are fighting back against financial scammers by adding deceptive technologies to identify insiders that may be helping external attackers.
Hero Sushi has copped a record $891,000 fine for wage theft after workers were paid as little as $12 an hour – 19 May 2020
Three ‘Hero Susi’ franchises have been found underpaying 91 staff by a little over $700,000. Documents had been falsified to try to conceal the wrongdoing.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says Australians have lost nearly $300,000 to puppy scams in 2020 which is five times higher than average. Fake websites, ads on online classifieds and social media are used to take advantage of covid-19 lonely pet buyers.
A report prepared by a Global Consultancy firm reveals likely misconduct, false representations and a loan document that included a ‘cut and pasted’ signature of customer were undertaken by an AMP financial adviser.
Woman charged over ‘Australian first’ cybercrime after allegedly illegally exchanging Bitcoin – 15 May 2020
A 52 year old NSW woman is accused of being part of a syndicate profiting off the unlawful exchange of Bitcoin for cash. She was charged with three counts of knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime and breaching a requirement regarding digital currency exchange services.
Article discusses capital market frauds such as investment in Shell companies, Insider trading, Financial Statement Fraud as well as ASIC’s Roles and responsibilities and legislation requirements.
An interview with the Chief Technology Officer at Drew & Napier about information governance, describes how external counsel can assist organisations with electronically stored information and the current challenges for in-house lawyers who need to work with IT.
A 34 year old Perth woman has been charged with more than 120 counts of fraud and theft after she allegedly stole the personal details of dozens of people, to open bank accounts and establish lines of credit worth more than $500,000. She is charged with possessing identification material, gaining benefits by fraud and stealing.
Mark Pulvirenti who specialises in financial crime explains the latest trends in corporate fraud and corruption in Australia including recent regulatory developments, key steps to addressing suspicions of fraud or corruption in an organisation and tips on implementing robust fraud and corruption risk management processes.
Civil-rights advocates contend that the use of surveillance technologies such as the Covid-19 tracing App should be time-limited and cease when the pandemic is brought under control. It also discusses the risks of surveillance becoming an unstoppable ‘future’ global trend.
A study has revealed that data security is creating fear and trust issues for IT professionals and that they are more concerned about the security of their company’s financials and intellectual property than the security of their own home.
Industry Super Australia and Members Equity Bank have been called to front an “urgent” public hearing by a parliamentary committee, as part of its ongoing review into the four big banks and other financial intuitions. They will face questions around liquidity and what they have implemented to compact fraud.
Toll Group has revealed attackers have stolen current commercial agreements and employee data from at least one of its servers to publish it on the “dark web”. They are working with the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and Commerce Commission have launched a campaign to raise awareness of investment scams and pyramid schemes among Pacific communities in New Zealand.
Article explains that corporations are rarely found accountable in courts because the law generally requires proof of a highly blameworthy state of mind, on the part of the company. That is, prosecutors need to prove that the company intended, knew, or was reckless about certain misconduct, or was dishonest or predatory in its commercial activities.
Ellis Pinsky, an 18 year old high school student in York with 20 other co-conspirators, netting themselves a collective $US100 ($153) million in digital cryptocurrency over the last few years, by stealing mobile phone SIM cards to take charge of victims accounts.
It has been alleged that Augustine Nosti, who was the financial controller at Moriah College in Sydney, redirected 402 financial transactions from the private Jewish college into his personal bank accounts and defrauded the school of $7.4 million dollars over 15 years.