News and Analysis

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

 


 

Alleged family day-care fraud more disciplined than outlaw motorcycle gang: police – 12 September 2019

17 people have been charged over their role in operating a fake home family day care business. Police allege the business created false timesheets and rostering, mock children’s play areas and advertised photographs of children who were never in care to fraudulently claim benefits. The syndicate allegedly gained $4 million in 10 months.

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/nsw/mothers-arrested-in-raids-over-allegedly-fraudulent-family-day-care-scheme-20190911-p52q77.html

‘Australia is getting it wrong’: Whistleblower startup chief warns over lack of protections – 8 September 2019

Co-founder of whistleblower app Whispli says cases like that of ATO whistleblower Richard Boyle, who is facing 161 years in jail  will mean no one will want to speak out. Australia should actually value whistleblowers for who they are and what they are trying to do for society and not try to damage them.

https://www.theage.com.au/business/small-business/australia-is-getting-it-wrong-whistleblower-startup-chief-warns-over-lack-of-protections-20190905-p52ogx.html

Bonitas claims EY report “backfired” against Rural Funds – 9 September 2019

A court battle has begun between ASX-listed Rural Funds Group (RFG) and the short seller Bonitas Research. Allegations include that RFG was being used as a vehicle to siphon money to its fund manager, that board members had conflicts of interest, rental revenues from almond farms had been inflated and $900 million worth of assets are worthless.

https://www.businessnewsaus.com.au/articles/bonitas-claims-ey-report–backfired–against-rural-funds.html

Astounding forensic errors demand urgent overhaul – 6 September 2019

Victoria’s President of the Court of Appeal Chris Maxwell has called for a full review into forensic methodologies and the research and scientific standards underpinning them.  A research council stated that “many forensic tests have never been exposed to scientific scrutiny”. In Australia, forensic evidence has been falsely interpreted and used, wrongly, to obtain a conviction, such as in the Lindy Chamberlain case. 

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/astounding-forensic-errors-demand-urgent-overhaul-20190906-p52opl.html

Driver’s licences the ‘golden ticket’ of ID theft as authorities struggle to protect fraud victims – 6 September 2019

Identity theft is a growing problem in Australia, costing $2.2 billion per year. Losing your driver’s licence is a golden ticket to your identity. A victim in WA may always be exposed as it is impossible to change your licence number even after your identity has been stolen.  Experts are saying the system is failing victims and leaving people vulnerable to further abuse.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-06/drivers-licence-identity-theft-leaves-victims-exposed/11439668

Bank of Queensland, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank sued by ASIC over ‘unfair’ contracts – 4 September 2019

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

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-04/asic-sues-boq-and-bendigo-and-adelaide-bank/11477856

Millennials are most vulnerable to bank fraud, report reveals – 3 September 2019

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 bank outages, online fraud and data breaches.

https://bestinau.com.au/millennials-are-most-vulnerable-to-bank-fraud-report-reveals/

Unwell and resigning: Woman’s email to boss after fraud totalling thousands of dollars was exposed – 2 September 2019

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.

https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/courts-law/unwell-and-resigning-womans-email-to-boss-after-fraud-totalling-thousands-of-dollars-was-exposed/news-story/7b95dbbf6e3d9bd3a336da292a11f38e

What the new tax whistleblower laws mean for disclosure – 1 September 2019

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 legislation.

https://www.intheblack.com/articles/2019/09/01/tax-whistleblower-laws-and-disclosure

Google and Amazon use smart speakers for ‘surveillance,’ top tech investor says – 1 September 2019

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.

https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/amazon-google-smart-speaker-john-borthwick-122503661.html

Accused fraudster billed NAB for $2m after accomplice was sacked – 23 August 2019

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.

https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/accused-fraudster-billed-nab-for-2m-after-accomplice-was-sacked-20190822-p52jpi.html

Guilty plea strips NAB ‘Suit Club’ fraud bare – 21 August 2019

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.

https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/guilty-plea-strips-nab-suit-club-fraud-bare-20190821-p52j9f.html

A Disney whistleblower is accusing the company of overstating its revenue by billions – 20 August 2019

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 2009 alone.

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/whistleblower-sandra-kuba-disney-revenue-overstated-by-billions-2019-8

Treasurer steps up banking commission reforms after customers lose $201 billion – 19 August 2019

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 institutions over the past five years.

https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/finance-news/2019/08/19/treasurer-steps-up-banking-commission-reforms-after-customers-lose-201-billion/

Fraud accused: Justin Luke Yianakis taken to hospital for treatment – 19 August 2019

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, knowingly deal with proceeds of crime and dishonestly obtaining property by deception.

https://www.northerndailyleader.com.au/story/6328850/man-facing-67-fraud-charges-sent-for-treatment-in-hospital/

From money-laundering to sanctions busting: the real value of cryptocurrency may soon be clear – 19 August 2019

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.

https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/from-money-laundering-to-sanctions-busting-the-real-value-of-cryptocurrency-may-soon-be-clear-20190808-p52f1l.html

Aussie corruption-buster humbled by Indonesians – 17 August 2019

The Indonesian anti-corruption agency has gone from strength to strength with over 1000 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 – has survived, grown, and lifted the confidence of a country of over a quarterbillion people.

https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/aussie-corruption-buster-humbled-by-indonesians-20190816-p52hsz.html