10 stories this week:


Sydney man charged after allegedly obtaining $60k from ‘elaborate’ rental scam – 17 November 2023
Scott Maxwell Jeffries allegedly stole money from prospective tenants. It is alleged he would advertise properties on social media and ask potential tenants to pay him a bond. Mr Jeffries was charged with 34 offences, including obtaining a financial advantage by deception, dealing with the proceeds of crime, and using a fake identity.


Andrew Spira pleads guilty to fraud and drugs charges in Darwin, handed $39K fine – 17 November 2023
Andrew Spira, a Sydney entrepreneur who concocted an elaborate plan to flee Australia, became a drug-dealer in South-East Asia, hijackrf a yacht and fundrf an armed militia, has pleaded guilty to a string of fraud and drug charges in Darwin. He was handed a $39,000 fine and an 18-month good-behaviour bond.


Fake celebrity scam ads hijack Facebook accounts to target Australians – 18 November 2023
ABC News has uncovered multiple examples of multinational companies having their Facebook pages compromised by scammers. These include DoorDash in Australia, a network of pages run by Ethiopian Airlines, and the Paddington Bear movie, along with a series of politicians and musicians. Meta claims to be constantly tackling scams through a combination of technology, such as new machine learning techniques and specially trained reviewers, to identify content and accounts that violate policies.


How cybercriminals are using bogus login pages to steal your banking information – 18 November 2023
Russian cybercriminals have a sophisticated new malware campaign, with Australians specifically in their sights. Unsuspecting victims are being swindled with bogus login pages on their banking apps, which appear authentic to even the technologically savvy eye. If you punch in your details into the wrong page, your bank details are sent directly to scammers. This is a relatively new malware called Octo and it’s the latest offering from cybercriminals which can be privately purchased on the dark web.


Colombian singer Shakira reaches deal with Spanish tax authorities before fraud trial – 20 November 2023
Colombian singer Shakira has reached a settlement with Spanish tax authorities to avoid a trial over charges she failed to pay $24.18 million in income tax between 2012 and 2014. The prosecution substituted jail time for a fine of half of the amount owed, more than 7.3 million euros.


Craig Robert Dale pleads guilty to defrauding remote Kimberley community of Warmun – 21 November 2023
Craig Robert Dal, a convicted fraudster has pleaded guilty to ripping off $2.7 million from a remote WA Aboriginal community. Dale offered to build staff housing for the community and reconstruct a burnt building. He demanded payment up-front and the community paid a total of $2,770,275 into his personal bank account. None of the work was done, and Dale spent the money on himself, mainly for gambling.


Former NSW Labor minister Joe Tripodi to be prosecuted for alleged misconduct in public office – 21 November 2023
Former NSW government minister Joe Tripodi will be prosecuted for misconduct in public office for allegedly leaking a “highly confidential” Treasury document to development firm Buildev, which benefited the company. At the time, Buildev was part-owned by former billionaire Nathan Tinkler.


Swyftx says Binance CEO Zhao Changpeng conviction a ‘line in the sand’ – 22 November 2023
The founder of Binance Zhao Changpeng, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has pleaded guilty to money laundering charges and stepped down as CEO, triggering concern for Australian consumers. Several of Australia’s largest cryptocurrency trading platforms, including Swyftx, use Binance to complete trades on behalf of Australian consumers.


Female WA Corrective Services officer guilty of indecently assaulting colleagu – 23 November 2023
An officer at a prison in regional Western Australia has been found guilty of indecently assaulting a colleague at work, in a trial that heard of a “toxic” culture at several of the state’s corrections facilities. The case centred on two female workers and the offender was fined $3,000.


Perth Mint avoids fine over ‘compliance issues’ with anti-money laundering laws – 23 November 2023
The Perth Mint has escaped being fined for “compliance issues” with anti-money laundering laws, instead agreeing to a voluntary undertaking. The Mint was legally required to carry out rigorous checks on the sale of gold to high-risk customers and examine the source of their funds, but is alleged to have failed to do so.