11 stories this week:
Griffith University: Most Deserving Whistleblowers Get No Protection New Research Shows – 12 November 2021
New research from Griffith University’s Whistling While They Work” project has revealed more than half of all public interest whistleblowers who experience serious repercussions for reporting wrongdoing receive no remedies for detriment they suffer, despite Australia’s long history of whistleblower protection laws and public sector policies.
ACCC probes flower industry over claims customers are being scammed into buying from ‘local’ florists – 13 November 2021
A whistleblower at one of Australia’s largest online flower retailers said she was trained to deliberately mislead customers. The conglomerate ”Roses Only” appears to give the false impression the businesses were local shops. The ACCC is investigating ‘deceptive’ practices in the flower delivery industry.
Forum executive to face court for first time – 13 November 2021
A hearing in March will hear from Forum Group director Vincenzo Tesoriero (Bill Papas’s business partner) about his role in allegedly scamming Westpac and other banks of about $400 million. Tesoriero is asking the court to end a freezing order on his assets, which include a vast portfolio of property and a luxury yacht.
Retirees lose $2.8 million to alleged fake bond scam – 13 November 2021
A US man living in Sydney’s east faced court on Saturday after being allegedly scamming retirees of more than $2.8 million via fake bonds, mainly through self-managed super funds and then channelling the money to his personal bitcoin account.
Government waits until after election to change whistleblower laws, support for protection high – 15 November 2021
New research shows that a majority of Australians want more legal protections for public servants to act as whistleblowers. Assistant attorney general Amanda Stoker told the National Whistleblowing Symposium last week, the federal government was preparing to amend the Public Interest Disclosure Act to better protect those in the public sector.
AFP raids Sydney EverBlu offices as part of ASIC investigation – 16 November 2021
The Sydney offices of controversial stockbroker EverBlu Capital were one of several sites in Sydney and the Gold Coast raided by federal police as part of a sweeping corporate investigation. EverBlu has come under scrutiny in the past, for its disclosure of paying influencers shares and stock options to promote listed companies in which it had advisory roles. Now its alleged they are entangled with cannabis stock ”Creso Pharma”.
Melbourne man who allegedly stole $1.4m from victims in international diamond scam charged – 17 November 2021
A 42-year-old man from Melbourne’s south-east claimed to own a diamond mine in Sierra Leone, West Africa, when he allegedly approached his victims and offered them the opportunity to invest in the mine. Once he received initial payment, the man allegedly asked for equipment and various gifts for his employees, before on-selling the items in an offshore shop.
Whistleblower ordered to end media crusade – 17 November 2021
Troy Stolz – a former compliance auditor with ClubsNSW – last year spoke out about a widespread and “alarming” failure to comply with money laundering laws in pubs and clubs across the state. Now he is being barred from continuing a media campaign against his former employer, while he is sued for leaking documents.
ASIC sues MLC for multiple insurance failures – 19 November 2021
ASIC claimed that MLC’s failure to implement appropriate systems and controls resulted in unpaid insurance benefits, premiums being charged without notice and underpaid refunds. It was alleged MLC’s conduct led to over $17.5 million in financial harm to over 260,000 customers
Former Labor MP Craig Thomson granted bail after being charged over alleged visa migration fraud – 19 November 2021
Former federal Labor MP Craig Thomson will “vigorously fight” charges over his involvement in an alleged multi-million-dollar visa migration fraud. Police allege Mr Thomson was the “prime facilitator” or common thread of the scheme between migration agencies and visa applicants.
Millennials forking out millions to online shopping scams – 19 November 2021
The rise in online shopping scams has been fuelled by the rapid growth of online shopping, with brick-and-mortar retailers closed throughout the pandemic due to lockdowns. A report published by Reviews.org found New South Wales residents had been hit the hardest by online shopping scams, recording a loss of $1.55 million to date through 2021. Victoria closely trailed behind at $1.51 million, while Queenslanders reported a loss of more than $888,000 to date.