11 stories this week:


‘Entrenched’ fraudster jailed over $1.2 million rort – 1 September 2023
Samir Mustum, has pleaded guilty to dozens of fraud charges for his role at the helm of a fraud syndicate, which used real people’s names to obtain credit, home loans and hundreds of mobile phones. He enlisted others to help create fake documents, including false IDs, payslips, bank statements and cards, to steal a total of $1,265,000 in property and credit from Telstra and banks including ANZ, NAB and Westpac.


Melbourne woman Ashlee Frost jailed for ‘exploiting pandemic’ through sophisticated travel agent scam – 1 September 2023
Ashlee Frost, exploited the COVID-19 pandemic and has been jailed for defrauding victims out of more than $600,000 by scamming her employer and others. She would regularly cancel flight and accommodation bookings she made using the company-provided credit cards of the six executives. When credits from the cancelled bookings were reimbursed to her, she would sell them on at a discounted price.


Bearbricks are ‘the sweet spot’ for crooks seeking to launder money, experts say – 2 September 2023
When Singapore police executed simultaneous raids on premises across the city-state as part of a money laundering investigation last month, they seized more than a billion dollars’ worth of property and assets including 60 colourful, mostly plastic figurines in the shape of a pot-bellied bear ie Bearbricks. If a Bearbrick is worth, say, $100,000, the money launderer can purchase it with their dirty money with relatively little suspicion and then on sell to dealers who buy and sell and who are not regulated.


Former Hurstville mayor Philip Sansom says he was taken by surprise by ICAC corruption findings – 2 September 2023
Philip Sansom a former Hurstville councillor, has been found by ICAC to have acted corruptly for accepting return flights from a Chinese property developer in 2014 and potentially contravening “section 249B(1) of the Crimes Act. The offence deals with corruptly receiving or soliciting a benefit as an agent (including councillors) and carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.


Scandal after scandal: Is corporate Australia facing moral bankruptcy? – 4 September 2023
Roy Morgan’s, recent research shows that Business leaders, just like politicians, have shown an alarming arrogance in the face of corporate scandals and its time that many companies checked the packaging on their executives for a use-by date. Its survey released last week showed that Australians had never been more distrusting of corporate Australia.


ASIC to take Westpac to court over financial hardship failures – 4 September 2023
Westpac is being taken to court after the corporate watchdog alleged it failed to respond to 229 financial hardship notices, within the required 21 days. ASIC further claims Westpac didn’t do enough to investigate and rectify systems issues affecting its online hardship notification process.


The ICAC begins ‘preliminary investigation’ into former NSW minister Tim Crakanthorp – 7 September 2023
ICAC has begun a probe into whether former New South Wales minister Tim Crakanthorp breached the ministerial code of conduct. Mr Crakanthorp was referred to the ICAC in August and stripped of his portfolios after failing to disclose family property holdings in the Hunter region. It sparked a review of planning decisions for major renewal project in Newcastle.


Dodgy dealers could wind up in jail for odometer scams – 7 September 2023
Any SA dealer found guilty of winding back a car odometer could be jailed for up to two years or face a maximum fine of $30,000, under legislation to go before state parliament before the end of the year. For those found to be operating while unlicensed, the proposed penalty for a third or subsequent offence would be increased from one to two years behind bars with the maximum fine climbing from $100,000 to $250,000. The changes would give SA some of the toughest penalties across the country. Only Queensland and NSW impose jail sentences for unlicensed dealing and only Queensland and Victoria have jail as an option for winding back an odometer.


Luxury cruise liner MS Caledonian Sky under investigation by Fair Work Ombudsman – 7 September 2023
A luxury cruise liner that was arrested off Western Australia’s north coast over a management dispute, is now under a separate investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman for underpaying employees over a six month period. Australian Pacific Touring (APT) has rejected the allegations of wage theft and the baseless criticisms of its practices.


An alleged love scam has cost three men nearly $500,000, and there may be more victims – 7 September 2023
An alleged romance scam has left three men duped out of almost $500,000 and a trio facing a string of fraud charges. Police believe there are more people across Australia that may have been defrauded by the same alleged perpetrators.


Australia’s top police met with Clearview AI after it was slammed for breaking nation’s privacy law – 7 September 2023
Article details how the AFP leadership has continued to meet with Clearviews company’s CEO, even after the information and privacy commissioner’s directive to stop the use of Clearview AI’s controversial technology, due breaking privacy laws. Greens Senator for NSW and digital rights spokesperson David Shoebridge said the continued meetings were deeply troubling.


ASIC sues AustralianSuper over duplicate member accounts – 8 September 2023
ASIC is suing Australia’s biggest super fund over its failure to consolidate the accounts of more than 90,000 members, It is alleged that AustralianSuper failed to have adequate policies and procedures in place to merge duplicate accounts despite their duty to act in members’ best interests, costing those individuals a collective $69 million.