14 stories this week:


Did the royal commission fix banking or are banks back to behaving badly? – 26 November 2022
It has been five years since then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a royal commission into scandals and misconduct in the banking industry. Of the 76 recommendations, many have been implemented but there is still a lot of work still to be done.


‘You can’t be responsible for everyone’s decisions’: Westpac boss pushes back on scam reimbursement – 29 November 2022
Westpac chief executive Peter King has pushed back against calls for banks to reimburse a larger number of scam victims, saying that while lenders were working to fight scammers, customers also had to take some responsibility. The bank normally only reimburses victims when they have not followed the industry’s code of conduct.


EY caught up in alleged Australian coal quality scam – 29 November 2022
According to MP Andrew Wilkie, he has received thousands of documents from a whistleblower said to be an executive within the coal industry, which shows that miners TerraCom, Anglo American, Glencore and Peabody together with the Macquarie Bank and auditor EY as intermediaries engaged in activities to inflate the quality of Australian coal exports – thereby increasing its price and minimising pollution-related import restrictions.


How Can Australia Better Protect Whistleblowers? New Report Explains – 29 November 2022
A new report from Griffith University, the Human Rights Law Centre, and Transparency International Australia highlights 12 “areas of reform” in which Australia’s parliament could bolster whistleblower protections and get up to speed with “international best practice.” The report notes that Australia has in the works a National Anti-Corruption Commission, but states that “this highlights big gaps in federal whistleblower protection. The report also displays statistics about current whistleblowers in Australia and contains information about the detriment that whistleblowers experienced, like being fired from their job, facing harassment from co-workers or managers, etc.


Police investigating Melissa Caddick’s disappearance were ‘short-staffed’, inquest hears – 29 November 2022
The detective who took over the investigation into alleged fraudster Melissa Caddick’s disappearance has told an inquest he didn’t re-interview her husband, as he felt he “wasn’t a credible witness”, and accepted there were “major discrepancies” in his version of events. The inquest heard Ms Caddick had life insurance, that included suicide cover, but Detective Sergeant Foscholo’s understanding was Mr Koletti may not have been listed as a beneficiary. Hearings have run over time again, so another date has been set for February.


Security agencies take advice after Chinese camera ban in US, UK – 30 November 2022
Australia’s national security agencies have begun restricting the use of surveillance equipment manufactured by two Chinese firms in government facilities amid a similar block in the US and UK over data security concerns. The Department of Home Affairs, ASIO, and ASD are now scrutinising the use of surveillance cameras from Hikvision and Dahua, with some confirming the Chinese made technology now poses an unacceptable risk and is avoided wherever possible.


Star Entertainment sued by AUSTRAC for alleged money-laundering breaches – 30 November 2022
Star casinos are facing massive fines, with the anti-money-laundering regulator AUSTRAC launching a Federal Court action seeking civil penalties. AUSTRAC alleges Star failed to implement legally required monitoring of money-laundering risk. Each individual breach can attract maximum penalties of between $18 million and $22 million.


ICAC passed on Daryl Maguire evidence to ‘relevant agencies’ before conspiracy charge – 30 November 2022
Australian Border Force confirmed it had charged Daryl Maguire with conspiring to commit an offence, alleging it was linked to “visa and migration fraud”. Maggie Logan, has also been charged with 12 counts of causing the delivery of a document with a false statement under the migration act. It is alleged the duo furnished visa applications “containing statements or information that was false or misleading” on the Commonwealth, allowing non-citizens to remain in Australia.


Vic woman ‘sorry’ for part in $10m fraud – 30 November 2022
Jasmine Vella-Arpaci, a Melbourne woman wrote to her victims, telling them she’s sorry for her major role in a cyber crime syndicate that targeted $10 million in Australian superannuation and share accounts. The group succeeded in defrauding $3 million from superannuation accounts and $238,000 from share trading. There were further attempts to obtain $1.8 million from super funds and $5.7 million in shares.


‘Orchestrated attack on the banking system’: Property fraudster jailed – 30 November 2022
Sheree Becker has been jailed for three-and-a-half years for taking out fraudulent loans against the ANZ Bank on behalf of low-income customers, who could not afford them. Becker had signed up people on low incomes, including one on Centrelink benefits, to her vendor finance scheme.


Microsoft scam drains elderly couple’s $249,000 savings as Bendigo Bank fails to block transactions – 1 December 2022
An elderly couple who lost a quarter of a million dollars in a sophisticated online scam have slammed Bendigo Bank for failing to block the suspicious transactions. Two of their banks, NAB and HSBC, immediately blocked the attempted withdrawals when they noticed the unusual payments.


Former bank employee Sara Daizli facing 237 fraud charges – 2 December 2022
Police allege a former bank employee used her role at the bank to open accounts in fictitious names and swindle hundreds of thousands of dollars. Police claim Ms Daizli siphoned money into her bank account under a false name and allegedly made fraudulent loan applications to ANZ and St George banks.


Hackers declare ‘case closed’ as they leak more Australian health data – 1 December 2022
Hackers appear to have ended their extortion bid as they dump more customer data from insurer Medibank, which had refused to pay $9.7 million in exchange for hackers keeping the stolen records off the internet.


Aussie bitcoin mogul sentenced in the US, advisers slam DOJ – 1 December 2022
Australian bitcoin mogul Greg Dwyer, has been sentenced to one year probation after being found guilty of violating US banking laws while he was a senior executive at troubled cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, as his advisers slammed authorities for their heavy-handed approach to his charges.


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