News and Analysis
The following are articles relevant to the Professional Investigator. Click on the title to make a comment or join the conversation.
Human right groups claim the recent raids and warnings to the media are attacks on freedom of the press and an attempt to intimidate both journalists and whistleblowers. Some discussion on how the Government is quietly defending the raids and Australia’s new espionage laws.
Online crime is considered by fraudsters to be highly profitable, with minimal risk of arrest. Evidenced by the fact, than 60,000 scams have been reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch website and more than $35 million in losses has been recorded already in 2019.
Australian tax officials are investigating a dozen transnational high-end tax avoidance schemes detected by the J5 (Joint Chiefs of Global tax Enforcement) The J5 consists of criminal intelligence communities from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States who are committed to collaboration in the fight against international and transnational tax crime and money laundering.
The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal directed that a verdict of ‘acquittal’, be entered for charges of tax evasion and money laundering, for former finance professor and Macquarie bank executive Dr Tony Castagna and accountant Robert Agius. This was mainly because the events took place 10-20 years ago, the men had faced a lengthy trial and had already spent time in jail.
A new report by a leading cybersecurity firm finds that 83% of healthcare organisations have been a target for criminal hackers due to the premium that black markets place on private health information—and in particular, the credentials of physicians that can be used to facilitate health insurance fraud.
ASIC spotlight on Sterling First firms over ‘serious allegations’ of misconduct before collapse – 5 June 2019
A WA property investment and management group (Ferrier Hodgson) that went under last month, was being investigated by the corporate regulator and facing “serious allegations” of misconduct. The allegations include misleading or deceptive conduct, unconscionable conduct and breaches of conduct.
A former senior manager and a former manager at the CBA have been charged with fraud after allegedly misappropriating nearly half a million dollars from the bank’s internal accounts to personal accounts.
Australian National University has detected a data breach that resulted in the copying of staff and student data stretching back 19 years. The compromised data includes names, addresses, birth dates, phone numbers, personal email addresses, emergency contact details, tax file numbers, payroll information, bank account details, passport details and student academic records. Australia took quick action after the breach, but in the process of remediation destroyed forensic evidence that may have provided more clues about the attackers.
The Australian Federal Police turned up on the doorstep of the Newscorp journalist Annika Smethurst, in reference to her 2018 article that reported that the defence and home affairs ministries had discussed vast new powers to allow the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) to spy on Australian citizens. News Corp Australia said that the raid was outrageous and seeks to punish a journalist for reporting a legitimate news story that was clearly in the public interest.
ATO whistleblower facing 161-year prison sentence says he ‘almost died from the stress’ – 3 June 2019
Former ATO worker Richard Boyle became an internal whistleblower in 2017. Mr Boyle alleged ATO staff were instructed to use an aggressive debt collection practice on taxpayers without consideration of their circumstances. He has broken his silence on the personal toll of speaking up and facing a prison sentence of 161 years if found guilty.
Concerns are raised about how facial recognition technology is used to police society in different parts of the world. The need for regulation is discussed as well as its breach of civil rights
According to ASIC’s investigation, Daniel John Renneberg failed to act in the best interests of clients, including advising them to set up self-managed super funds with “completely unsuitable” limited recourse loans. Consequently, Renneberg has been band from providing financial services for five years.
A man and a woman have been charged over alleged separate frauds against the same financial institution totalling more than $500,000. They allegedly fraudulently lodged reimbursements and transactions from the institution’s internal accounts to personal accounts and will appear in court.
Simone Semmens, a former television newsreader has denied she deliberately withheld more than $1.8 million in GST payments during a lucrative 10 year career of property development in Melbourne.
A senior manager at the Commonwealth Bank, who stole almost half a million dollars (to fund a gambling habit), decided not to report a member of his team for fraudulently transferring an alleged $64,000 to her personal account, just in case his own fraud was discovered.
The private details of almost 100,000 Australian bank customers have been exposed in a cyber-attack on the real-time payments platform PayID. PayID allows the instant transfer of money between banks using either a mobile number or an email address. There is a risk that the stolen data could be used for fraud on a mass scale.
Jeremy Lee, a sawmill worker Queensland, refused to have his fingerprints scanned for a new security system introduced by his employer to replace swipe cards. He was sacked and he lodged an unfair dismissal claim that was rejected. He then won his appeal before a full bench of commissioners. Great article that discusses about the vulnerability of biometric data.
From fingerprint scanning to voice recognition, biometics is set to shake up how we identify individuals and personal information. Perth is already trialling facial recognition surveillance technology at its airport as part of a new $1 million Smart Cities trial.
A 56-year-old Brisbane businessman was sentenced in the Brisbane District Court to four years and six months jail for tax fraud, after being convicted of obtaining $596,736 for goods and services tax (GST) fraud and personal income tax return fraud.
Anglican church’s accountant, Vanda Gould, has been accused of over $383 million tax fraud. He has been accused of engaging in off shore operations, money laundering, tax fraud and possibly insider trading.
Businesses offering initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto-assets need to ensure they’re complying with Australian consumer and corporation laws. ASIC has stated that simply selling such products offshore won’t stop the regulator from enforcing business’ domestic obligations.
New ASIC clarifications on crypto-assets mean that even “safe” cryptocurrencies may be classified as financial products. Wallet providers, exchanges, intermediaries and many other crypto-related businesses may require an Australian Financial Services Licence to handle financial products. The laws apply to any business with Australian customers, even if the business is based overseas.
Police allege ‘Joel Cheeseman’ (Merivales former construction lead) authorised fraudulent invoices amounting to nearly $230,000 to be paid by Merivale to his bank account. He has plead guilty to the charges.
A New York University has published a study to detect manipulated photos. The ‘Neural Imaging Pipelines – the Scourge or Hope of Forensics’ study identifies a photos origin and whether it has been manipulated since its original state.
A 49-year-old Gold Coast man has been formally charged with a series of fraud and money laundering offences, involving more than 30 fraudulently trading businesses.
Three men were recruited and sent to Australia for an international syndicate, which set up several Australian companies to acquire EFTPOS machines. These were then used to attempt to make fraudulent credit card transactions.
A recent email scam tricks victims by mirroring the official ANZ online banking website. Without realising, customers hand over their vital banking data, including their username, password and answers to secret questions. The scammers then have all they need to take your money.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is using drone detection equipment at major airports and events around the country to monitor drone use and enforce safety rules. Drones must not to be operated within 5.5 kilometres of a controlled aerodrome, over Sydney Harbour, or over people or populated areas such as sporting events, concerts and public gatherings.
Payroll fraud is often not reported in the media and is managed by internal HR processes. Even when cases are made, they often remain unprosecuted due to the minimal chance of recovering funds. Article outlines seven controls that should be in place to protect against payroll fraud.
Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency are known for their security, however like most high valued items, there will be scammers that will try to steal it. Great article explaining how hackers try and get your cryptocurrency and how you can protect it.