11 stories this week:
Qld government orders second inquiry into forensic DNA testing – 5 October 2023
The Queensland government has ordered a second inquiry into forensic DNA testing following revelations 37,000 cases need reviewing. It comes months after Judge Walter Sofronoff found during the first inquiry last year that a series of factors including “mismanagement” and “dishonesty by senior managers”, had led to the failures within the state-run DNA lab. The new inquiry was launched following the discovery that about 7000 additional serious crime and sexual assault cases needed to be reviewed, as a result of insufficient automated DNA extraction methods.
A credible person – 7 October 2023
Gillian blew the whistle on her pedophile boss, Swansea MP and minister for Aboriginal Affairs Milton Orkopoulos. She’d photocopied office documents that helped police convict Milton for terrible crimes against young boys. It cost Gillian her job as an electorate officer but she believes he could have been stopped earlier so that victims would never have been victims.
Employers should review messaging and training around whistleblowing policies: Freshfields survey – 7 October 2023
According to a recent survey, more managers around the world want the identity of a whistleblower revealed, with 63 per cent in favour globally. The report showed that as whistleblowing is in the spotlight, global businesses need the right policies and processes in place to deliver an effective speak-up culture and support employees.
Rampant identity theft is turning scam victims like Ben into scapegoats for criminals – 8 October 2023
Ben is just one of many Australians that have fallen victim to identity fraud, and had their own trust turned against them. Ben initially was a victim of a scam himself, paying $300 to a scammer. He made the mistake of sending a picture of his licence to what he thought was a genuine ticket seller. But when people started messaging him, claiming that Ben had also scammed them out of money, alarm bells went off. Ben soon realised his identity had been stolen, with multiple accounts using his name and photos appearing on Facebook.
The ASIC Senate Inquiry delivers a reminder that whistleblowers should be protected, not punished – 9 October 2023
Stephen Helberg, a trained auditor with 40 years’ experience attempted to inform ASIC about a known corporate syndicate allegedly “masterminded by Mr David Sutton, an Australian citizen, that misled and deceived thousands of investors, most of them in Australia, and continued the illegal activities for many years… and still actively misleading investors”. He said the media listened and ASIC only took action when the story became public. Helberg told the Senate he was speaking up in the hope that investors would be protected. ASIC said in a statement its investigation was continuing.
Hightrade: Former boss of Chinese construction company Li Zhang guilty of multimillion-dollar tax fraud – 10 October 2023
The former boss of Chinese construction company Hightrade has had his bail revoked after being found guilty over his role in a multimillion dollar tax fraud. Li Zhang was found guilty of two charges after a lengthy jury trial. The 60-year-old was accused of conspiring to cause loss to the Commonwealth through the plot.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison testifies against former billionaire in fraud case – 11 October 2023
Caroline Ellison, the tech executive who ran Bankman-Fried’s hedge fund while sometimes dating him, told the court he directed her to commit fraud. Her testimony could play a major role in convicting the 31-year-old, which could see him imprisoned for decades. Bankman-Fried was accused of stealing billions of dollars in FTX customer funds to plug losses at Alameda Research. He is facing eight criminal charges including wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit fraud on the United States. He has pleaded not guilty, arguing that while he made mistakes running FTX, he never intended to steal funds.
Online Phishing Scams And What To Look Out For – 11 October 2023
Phishing and identity theft are no joke, and unfortunately only becoming more and more common. Article details the tips and trips, to greatly reduce your chances of being scammed. It also lists some fantastic, comprehensive tools available to help you either avoid these scams, or help solve the problem should the worst occur.
Urgent Urgent Reform is needed for Australia’s inadequate whistleblower protections – 11 October 2023
Griffith University’s Centre for Governance and Public Policy, the Human Rights Law Centre and Transparency International, have jointly published a new report, Protecting Australia’s Whistleblowers: The Federal Roadmap. The report outlines 12 steps that the government must take in the months ahead to ensure Australia’s whistleblowers are able to tell the truth about wrongdoing without fear of retaliation. The Federal Government has indicated that significant reforms will be considered to the PID (Public Interest Disclosure) Act, and there is a golden opportunity during the review of the Corporations Act happening next year.
Trump ‘fraudulently obtained loans’: ex-bank official – 12 October 2023
A retired bank official has testified that Donald Trump obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in loans using financial statements that a court has since deemed fraudulent. A judge last month ruled the former president and his company, committed years of fraud by exaggerating the value of Trump’s assets and net worth on the financial statements he gave to banks, insurers and others to make deals and secure loans.
Ex-chief of collapsed stockbroker BBY charged – 12 October 2023
The former chief executive of failed stockbroker BBY Arunesh Narain Maharaj of Sydney, New South Wales, has been charged with aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring fraud. According to the ASIC, the alleged fraud centers on BBY’s unauthorized drawing of additional funds from an overdraft facilitation account held with St George Bank. Each offence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.