News and Analysis

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

 


 

Canberra man jailed for almost eight years over role in over $1m trustee fraud – 26 March 2018

Canberra man Timothy Stewart McLeod has been sentenced for almost eight years’ jail after it was discovered he was part of a scheme that earned over $1 Million dollars from vulnerable clients of the ACT’s Public Trustee. Three other men have received similar sentences for their roles in the fraud. 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-26/canberra-man-jailed-for-role-in-public-trustee-fraud/9588744

Aussie scalper arrested and charged with fraud after Ed Sheeran ticket scam – 20 March 2018

A 33 year old Queensland man has been charged with two counts of fraud, after allegedly duping Sheeran fans with fake tickets to the singer’s Brisbane concerts. The State Crimes Command’s Financial and Cyber Crime Group made the arrest after an investigation into computer hacking and fraud.

https://www.theindustryobserver.com.au/aussie-scalper-arrested-and-charged-with-fraud-after-ed-sheeran-ticket-scam/

Multi-factor authentication tabled as a solution to Australia’s $443 million online card fraud problem – 8 March 2018

Recent data from the Australian Payments Network has revealed that over 80% of Australia’s card fraud results from CNP (Card Not Present) transactions. In an initiative to combat such fraud, the Australian Payments Network is looking into measures such as multi-factor authentication, and dynamic CVV numbers.

https://mozo.com.au/credit-cards/articles/multi-factor-authentication-tabled-as-solution-to-australia-s-443-million-online-card-fraud-problem

ASIC to crackdown on private investigators in general insurance claims – 6 March 2018

ASIC will now request insurers to provide more data and information about the use of surveillance. This comes amid concerns about the risk for financial inducements if surveillance results in a declined claim concerns in the highly unregulated private investigator industry.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/financial-services/asic-to-crack-down-on-private-investigators-in-general-insurance-claims/news-story/21e009f93de9395ea40f2d700ee527f1

Big banks in spotlight for opening round of royal commission hearings – 26 February 2018

The first round of hearings in Royal Commission into the Australian banks are set to begin in March. Lead by Kenneth Hayne, the probe will initially focus on case studies in areas such as home loans, car loans, credit cards, add-on insurance, credit offers and account administration.

https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/big-banks-in-spotlight-for-opening-round-of-royal-commission-hearings-20180226-p4z1uf.html

Shock AU claims: detective breaks silence on fraud scandal news – 22 February 2018

In a development in the long-running investigation into the Australian Workers Union fraud scandal that arose in 1998, the now retired detective who handled the case has broken his silence. David McAlpine has called for a fresh probe into the incident, after his investigation was overturned due to political interference.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/industrial-relations/shock-awu-claims-detective-breaks-silence-on-fraud-scandal/news-story/a9656ee99b753dc0bbfe08e461ec8480

‘It’s going to be really bad’: Jordan Belfort slams cryptos as ‘pump-and-dump schemes’ – 13 February 2018

The real-life Wolf of Wall street Jordan Belfort is predicting that the cryptocurrency market will soon come to an end, with investors being ‘left holding the bag’. He describes the craze as a ‘pump-and-dump’ scheme.

http://www.news.com.au/finance/money/investing/its-going-to-be-really-bad-jordan-belfort-slams-cryptos-as-pumpanddump-schemes/news-story/80f292d0a378ac0c79fed84ff64357f2

Australia’s new payments platform: How voice biometrics can help prevent fraud – 7 February 2018

With the roll-out of Australia’s new payments platform, further security measures are likely to be needed to reduce the likelihood of fraud from the instantaneous money transfer. To mitigate the risk, Australian banks are looking at biometric security measures, such as voice and facial recognition software.

https://www.computerworld.com.au/article/633090/australia-new-payments-platform-how-voice-biometrics-can-help-prevent-fraud/

Western Union scam victims urged to seek compensation from $US568 million fund – 23 January 2018

Following the loss of millions of dollars between 2004-2017, Western Union has been ordered to repay up to $568 million (US) to victims who were subjected to fraud and scams whilst transferring funds through the company. Much of the fraud occurred through a failure of Western Union to provide checks and balances in combating money laundering.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-23/western-union-scam-victims-urged-to-claim-586m-compensation/9351978

ANZ, regulator settle on suspected frauds affecting Esanda customers – 18 January 2018

ANZ has reached a settlement with Australia’s corporate regulator over suspected third party fraud, and has agreed to pay a $5 million fine. The fraud allegedly occurred when car finance brokers submitted loan applications to Esanda on behalf of customers between 2013-2105. 

https://www.reuters.com/article/anz-bank-settlement/update-1-anz-regulator-settle-on-suspected-frauds-affecting-esanda-customers-idUSL3N1PD20B

Sydney nightspots caught up in Plutus tax scam – 15 January 2018

Popular nightclubs and restaurants in Sydney have been identified as users of Plutus Payroll, the company at the forefront of one of Australia’s largest tax frauds. Many payments made to the group have not been sufficiently documented to confirm they were for wages, leading to investigations into several restaurant and hospitality groups.

http://www.afr.com/news/policy/industrial-relations/sydney-nightspots-caught-up-in-plutus-tax-scam-20180114-h0i9yy

Ipswich developer used ‘black market’ to move millions in Vietnamese cash – 8 January 2018

Ipswich golf resort developer Richard Turner has allegedly been using black market intermediaries to move millions of dollars of cash real estate deposits from Vietnam into Australia. It is believed Tturner used the funds to loan himself hundreds of thousands of dollars for personal expenses.

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/investments/ipswich-developer-used-black-market-to-move-millions-in-vietnamese-cash-20180108-p4yybo.html

Google Home, Amazon Echo: The tech threat of smart devices this Christmas – 20 December 2017

Cyber security expert Paul Haskell-Dowland warns that although internet connected home devices alone do not pose a threat to security – there is a risk that they could be used as a portal to personal information. This information is then sent into the cloud, with permission given to people that we don’t know to process the data. 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-20/google-homeamazon-tech-devices-threat-to-personal-data/9273550

Suspended Queensland chief scientist Suzanne Miller charged with 31 more fraud offences – 19 December 2017

Corruption authorities allege that suspended senior government employee Suzanne Miller spent more than $30,000 on a government corporate card for personal items. This is following previous fraud charges between 2014-2017, whereby Miller dishonestly gained around $45,000 in benefits from using private health insurance of the Queensland Museum.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-19/suzanne-miller-faces-more-charges/9274240

Companies get extra incentives to disclose bribes: no charges – 30 November 2017

The US Justice apartment is extending a bribe enforcement policy implemented under Obama’s presidency. The U.S will consider reduced penalties for companies that come clean about wrongdoings, a change that is at the core of the new guidelines of the Foreign Corrupt Practices act, which prohibit payments to foreign officials to gain or retain business.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-29/new-u-s-incentive-for-self-reporting-bribes-no-penalty-at-all

Don Burke: Gardening guru speaks out against indecent assault and sexual harassment allegations – 27 November 2017

Australian TV Personality Don Burke has spoken out on A Current Affair and the 7:30 report regarding allegations of inappropriate behaviour and sexual harassment claims. Several of Burke’s co-workers, journalists and acquaintances have reported various incidents of indecent behaviour, The personality admits he has made some mistakes in life, but has denied allegations of sexual harassment. 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-03/canberra-woman-jailed-over-four-year-fraud-of-non-profit-company/9117560

Canberra woman who traded in work vehicle to buy own car jailed over $160,000 – 27 November 2017

Trisha Mooney, 44, has been sentenced to three years in jail after defrauding her Canberra employee, Transport Industries Skills Centre, of $160,000. Mooney used her corporate credit card to pay for personal expenses, used her position to make unauthorised payments to herself and traded in a car owned by her employer to purchase a personal car. The fraud was discovered by the CEO during an internal review of finances.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-03/canberra-woman-jailed-over-four-year-fraud-of-non-profit-company/9117560

First charges laid in Unaoil bribery scandal – 18 November 2017

In November this year, UK corruption investigators laid the first chargers in the Unaoil oil scandal, that originated from leaked letters and emails in 2015. Monaco based company Unaoil was exposed as a facilitator running a global network of middlemen fronting for western companies seeking lucrative contracts. The fraud office has also issued extradition requests for the Ashani family, who own and run the firm.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/first-charges-laid-in-unaoil-bribery-scandal-20171117-gznelf.html

Former Supreme court judge named new head of Victoria’s anti-corruption watchdog – 15 November 2017

Justice Robert Redlich is set to become the new Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption commissioner from January 1 2018. Bringing nearly 50 years of experience, Redlich will be installed for a 5 year term, replacing Stephen O’Bryan.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/former-supreme-court-judge-named-new-head-of-victorias-anticorruption-watchdog/news-story/56ae4c321a5fd3094bed7daf294407d3

AMP workers among almost 50,000 staff affected by data breach. – 2 November 2017

A third party contractor has allegedly released personal data of almost 50,000 Australian workers from AMP, Department of Finance, Australian Electoral Commission and National Disability Insurance Agency. The breach is said to have included the names, passwords, phone numbers, email addresses, credit card numbers and salaries.

http://www.afr.com/technology/amp-workers-among-almost-50000-staff-affected-by-data-breach-20171102-gzdl1w

Invitation for EOI – Provision of Apprenticeship and Traineeship Regulatory Field Services in Victoria

The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) is a statutory authority in Victoria’s Education and Training portfolio. The VRQA’s purpose is to regulate for quality learning outcomes in safe and well-governed environments.

The VRQA has published an Invitation for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the Provision of Regulatory Field Services on the Tenders Victoria website.

Click here to found out more >

How labour hire villains make millions from Australia’s ‘’modern slavery’ market. – 1 November 2017

A parliamentary inquiry has heard that almost $1 million every month is being skimmed off illegal Malaysian migrant workers. It is believed the labour contractors are getting away with such blatant exploitation because authorities are not taking enough notice of the inquiry.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-11-01/exploitation-or-slavery-of-tongans-malaysians-in-horticulture/9102676

Record number of Australians tip off government on welfare cheats – 31 October 2017

The number of welfare tip offs across the nation are currently on the rise, increasing by over 10,000 from 2013-14 to a total of 109,798 tip offs in 2016-17. Human services minister Alan Trudge has said more efforts will be put into cracking down on welfare fraud.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/record-number-of-australians-tip-off-government-on-welfare-cheats/news-story/ad2e1d8f676341ba1bf5c075e1252429

Airbus warns of potential Financial hit from fraud problems – 31 October 2017

European aircraft maker Airbus is currently under investigation by French and British authorities, after the company itself detected and alerted authorities to irregularities concerning third-party consultants. The company has raised concerns that the investigations could impact their financial statements, however this is yet to be confirmed.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/37683176/airbus-warns-of-potential-financial-hit-from-fraud-probes/

Adani: DFAT facing questions over possible secret requests for foreign cash to fund controversial mine – 26 October 2017

Questions have been sparked over DFAT documents relating to requests for foreign government financing for the controversial mine and rail project. It is believed there have been ‘secret’ deals under consideration between Australian government officials and foreign finance companies regarding the project.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-26/bureaucrats-to-be-grilled-over-adani-funding/9086262

Salim Mehajer sued by Jason Tran claiming damages for apartment development – 24 October 2017

A first home buyer is suing the Sydney property giant Salim Mehajer for compensation after purchasing an off-the plan unit in one of Mehajer’s developments. According to Tran, soon after he placed the deposit, he was informed that work on the building had not yet started, and Mehajer had filed an application to reduce the size of the unit.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-24/salim-mehajer-sued-for-damages-over-apartment-plans-switch/9081058

Gone in 15 seconds: why faster bank transfers make Australia and even bigger target for email fraud – 19 October 2017

Concerns have been raised over the potential increase in business email compromise (BEC) fraud attacks that could result from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s New Payments Platform (NPP), due to be implemented in January. The near real-time funds transfer will mean that funds could disappear from accounts before victims even realise they have been targeted.

https://www.cso.com.au/article/628854/gone-15-seconds-why-faster-bank-transfers-make-australia-an-even-bigger-target-email-fraud/

Former Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese, ex-CFO Guy Elliott charged with fraud by SEC – 19 October 2017

Mining giant Rio Tinto and two of its former executives have been charged with fraud, after it was discovered they allegedly inflated the value of coal assets acquired in 2011. The CEO and CFO failed to follow accounting policies and comply with company policies, and have been charged with violating the anti-fraud, reporting, books and records and internal control provisions of the federal securities law. 

http://www.smh.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/former-rio-tinto-ceo-tom-albanese-excfo-guy-elliott-charged-with-fraud-by-sec-20171017-gz2zhi.html

Boris Trajkov, ‘Captain’ of childcare centre spent $300,000 of charity’s money on alcohol and lingerie – 17 October 2017

76 year old Boris Trajkov has been ordered by a court to repay more than $1 million dollars after spending funds from a charity he helped found on alcohol and lingerie. The organisation also operated a childcare centre, for which Trajkov received payments in cash, failing to bank majority of the funds and pay childcare staff.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-17/boris-trajkov-spent-childcare-centre-money-on-alcohol-lingerie/9055146?WT.ac=statenews_vic

From Melbourne to Mugabe: The Australian accused of sprawling production scheme – 12 October 2017

The Securities and Exchange Commission launched an investigation last year into a corruption case against Och-Ziff (A New York Hedge Fund) employee Vanja Baros. Baros allegedly orchestrated $400 billion dollars in bribes from Och-Ziff investment funds, used to secure government favours in several African Countries.

http://www.smh.com.au/business/from-melbourne-to-mugabe-the-australian-accused-of-sprawling-corruption-scheme-20171010-gyyfqn.html

Study: Whistleblower rewards programs discourage whistleblowers – 11 October 2017

A recent study has suggested that financial incentives for whistleblowing can delay reports of fraud, by hijacking the moral motivation to do the right thing. Furthermore, the study also found that such rewards can distort the reporting process.

http://www.fcpablog.com/blog/2017/10/11/study-whistleblower-reward-programs-discourage-whistleblower.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+fcpablog%2FsLbh+%28The+FCPA+Blog%29

Former Hockeyroo Kate Hubble feigned cancer to cheat charity in elaborate scheme – 10 October 2017

A former Hockeyroo has pleaded guilty to falsifying claims that she was terminally ill, in order to receive a $73,000 salary from a benefactor through cancer charity Redkite. Kate Hubble forged numerous documents and letters from medical professionals to support her claims, however has since pleaded guilty to four charges of making and using false documents.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/former-hockeyroo-kate-hubble-feigned-cancer-to-cheat-charity-in-elaborate-scam-20171009-gyxa9z.html

Adanis tax haven ties to the British Virgin Islands have been revealed – 3 October 2017

The ABC’s Four Corners has uncovered Adani Group’s Australian operations tax haven ties, discovering that many key assets are owned in the British Virgin Islands. The company’s filings with AISIC fail to mention a company registered in the Islands, giving the group opportunities to fraudulently minimise their tax payments.. 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-02/adanis-tax-haven-ties-to-british-virgin-islands-revealed/9007714

Cyber security specialist shortages could leave Australia vulnerable to attack, experts say – 27 September 2017

The Australian government has estimated a need for over 11,000 cyber security specialists over the next 10 years. Experts believe meeting this demand will involve collaboration between the government and private sector, as well as the integration of cyber security into the school curriculum. 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-27/cyber-security-specialist-shortage-leaves-australia-vulnerable/8991776