News and Analysis

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

 


 

Bank worker pleads guilty to $3.75m theft a decade after CBA failed to report crime – 9 February 2021

A former Commonwealth Bank loan officer has pleaded guilty to stealing $3.75 million via falsifying loan documentation. He blew the money on “a lot of” cocaine and a lavish lifestyle whilst the bank failed to report his crime spree to police, a decade ago.

https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/banker-pleads-guilty-to-3-75m-theft-a-decade-after-cba-failed-to-report-crime-20210209-p570wh.html

Memories of Madoff: New Ponzi scheme may have put $2.2 billion at risk – 6 February 2021

New York money management firm GPB Capital Holdings’ chief David Gentile was indicted for allegedly taking part in a Ponzi-like scheme that defrauded thousands of investors across the country and that regulators say may have put more than $US1.7 billion ($2.2 billion) at risk.

https://www.theage.com.au/business/markets/memories-of-madoff-new-ponzi-scheme-may-have-put-2-2-billion-at-risk-20210205-p56zwd.html

‘Porn King’ gives evidence in ex-employee’s $787k fraud case – 2 February 2021

Neva Lozzi is alleged to have transferred more than $140,000 into the bank account of her husband and into her young daughter’s bank account, disguised under another employee’s name. Her employer Con Ange, has denied he instructed her to do this to avoid paying tax. Mr Ange claims Ms Lozzi took advantage of his absence from the business while he was seeking treatment for motor neurone disease.

https://www.9news.com.au/national/porn-king-con-ange-gives-evidence-in-fraud-case-against-former-employee/725241ad-dde8-4692-b1d2-daffcf4ac2af

Identity fraud is costing Aussies billions as hackers use common tactic to take control of phone – 1 February 2021

One in four Aussies have fallen victim to identity fraud. But beyond the financial consequences, having your identity stolen can lead to refusal of credit or government benefits — and shockingly being wrongfully accused of a crime.

https://www.news.com.au/finance/money/costs/identity-fraud-is-costing-aussies-billions-as-hackers-use-common-tactic-to-take-control-of-phone/news-story/2764f5f204a0f535563057c9f695ffcc

FBI hits major ransomware operator – 29 January 2021

An alleged member of the ransomware group (Netwalker) behind the attacks on Toll Holdings and legal services firm ‘Law In Order’, has been charged by US authorities as the group’s dark net website was seized by police.

https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/fbi-hits-major-ransomware-operator-20210129-p56xqr#:~:text=An%20alleged%20member%20of%20the,website%20was%20seized%20by%20police.&text=The%20man%20arrested%20was%20a,US27%20million%20from%20ransomware%20victims.

(Access to AFR digital required to read full article.)

JobKeeper payments for prisoners, the dead and other fraud cases probed by ATO – 29 January 2021

Employers claiming JobKeeper on behalf of fictitious employees are being pursued by an ATO investigation. Documents obtained using a freedom of information (FOI) application show that, by the end of September, the ATO was investigating 5,974 cases of “inflated employees” in applications for the wage subsidy.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-29/ato-probes-jobkeeper-cash-for-prisoners,-dead-and-other-fraud/13096864

Two men extradited from Australia to United States over alleged $64 million scheme – 28 January 2021

Michael Pearse and Yongchao Liu have been extradited to the United States from Australia, to face charges over their alleged roles in a scheme to swindle hundreds of thousands of mobile phone users, out of more than 64.6 million. They allegedly used a practice called “auto-subscribing” to charge monthly fees for unsolicited messages about celebrity gossip, horoscopes, jokes, love tips and trivia, without customers’ knowledge or permission.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-27/men-extradited-from-australia-to-united-states-over-fraud/13096662

Government inquiry clears former Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate of wrongdoing, but reveals more corporate credit card spending – 27 January 2021

The federal government has published its previously unreleased report into former Australia Post chief executive Christine Holgate’s decision to gift four luxury watches to staff members. The report found that the gifting of the $20,000 watches to employees, did not amount to corruption or fraud but was “inconsistent with public expectations”.

https://womensagenda.com.au/latest/government-inquiry-clears-former-australia-post-ceo-christine-holgate-of-wrongdoing-but-reveals-more-corporate-credit-card-spending/

Australia: ‘Asian El-Chapo’ Arrested, Cyber-Fraud and Darknet Busts – 27 January 2021

The Australia’s Federal Police (AFP) said that a man had been detained in The Netherlands, at the request of Interpol, pursuant to an Australian arrest warrant issued in 2019 as part of ‘Operation Volante,’ a seven-year investigation into “a global crime syndicate operating in five countries.” The organisation is allegedly responsible for funnelling multi-tonne quantities of  drugs  to a dozen countries.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/13735-australia-asian-el-chapo-arrested-cyber-fraud-and-darknet-busts

Fraudster ex-NAB employee Rosemary Rogers jailed after multimillion dollar kickback scheme – 27 January 2021

The long list of luxury gifts a now-jailed Rosemary Rogers (former NAB CEO) received through a 5 year, multimillion-dollar kickback scheme have been detailed in court. They included cash, private jets, a luxury BMW worth $172,000, two boats, a caravan, domestic and international holidays and 1.85 million for renovations. The court heard Rogers paid the invoices knowing they were false and exceeded legitimate expenses.

https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/crime/fraudster-nab-executive-rosemary-rogers-jailed-after-multimillion-dollar-kickback-scheme/news-story/282e1f5367685078e98459c83cf42f5f

https://www.9news.com.au/national/former-nab-employee-rosemary-rogers-jailed-for-multi-million-dollar-fraud/a933dd0d-f957-47fd-af3d-17fd1df35de5

Australian pensioner helped internet scam that conned Devon men out of £275,000 – 26 January 2021

An Australian grandfather has been sentenced for his part in an elaborate internet scam which robbed two Devon men of their life savings. The sophisticated money laundering operation involved a bank account in Ghana, promises of repayment through the sale of gold, internet dating, African orphanages, and shadowy conmen.

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/australian-pensioner-helped-internet-scam-4928986

Sheffields United Australia sponsor linked to $588 million scam – 25 January 2021

The Australian finance broker, Union Standard International Group (USG), that sponsors English Premier League team, Sheffield United, allegedly scammed up to $588 million from Chinese investors, who thought they were putting their money in a high yield product that may never have existed. The money was instead allegedly used, to bankroll its sale of high risk financial betting products to customers around the world including Australia.

https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/sheffield-united-s-australian-sponsor-linked-to-588-million-scam-20210122-p56w2f.html

(Digital access to SMH required to read article.)

 

Dutch ‘money mule’ arrested for links to cybercrime syndicate stealing from Australian bank accounts – 25 January 2021

The Australian Federal Police has arrested a 22-year-old Dutch national in Queensland for his alleged role in a money mule network, suspected of laundering more than $3.5m stolen from Australian bank accounts.  It is believed that malware, was used to steal bank account details to extract funds from victims. The syndicate then uses the money mule network to transfer the stolen funds offshore.  

https://www.afp.gov.au/news-media/media-releases/dutch-%E2%80%98money-mule%E2%80%99-arrested-links-cybercrime-syndicate-stealing-australian