News and Analysis

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NSW Adviser banned for second time. – 15 August 2019

Sydney-based financial adviser Tarandeep Aujla has been banned from providing financial services for three years for failing to act in his clients’ best interest, including inappropriate recommendations for insurance.

The surveillance found Aujla did not obtain adequate information from clients about their personal circumstances. ASIC had previously banned Mr Aujila in 2009.

‘It sounded legit’: Scammers gouge hundreds of thousands from WA victims as NBN rollout draws to a close – 14 August 2019

Suspected computer and telco plan-specific scams are on the rise, prompting NBN Co to launch a campaign to empower Australians to recognise and prevent scammers. WA residents lost $253,000 to National Broadband Network scams in the past financial year.

Criminal drone activity a ‘real concern’ – 14 August 2019

Airservices Australia, a government-owned corporation, plans to catch rogue drone operators by using low altitude detection and tracking technology, which is currently in development. Drones not only present safety issues due to technical failures or misbehaving operators, but there are ‘very real concerns’ they will be used for criminal activities.

Government opposes push to limit police access to automated vehicle data – 13 August 2019

The federal government has indicated that it opposes any move to implement new rules that could prevent Police from accessing data generated by automated vehicle technology  (cameras, speed, location etc) and cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS). They say the existing framework adequately protects privacy.

Coles exec helped himself to $2m for rent, luxury car loan, court told – 13 August 2019

A former Coles executive Aaron Baslangic, has been charged with theft and deception after he was accused of taking almost $2million from the supermarket giant, over a 5 month period. Coles discovered the questionable payments and falsified approvals when migrating to a new payments platform.

Gone into Bitcoin lately? Crypto scams are on the rise – 12 August 2019

Cryptocurrency and superannuation investment scams are on the rise, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission warning it expects Australians to be swindled out of a record $532 million in all kinds of scams by the end of the year. The ACCC said $14.76 million had been lost in crypto scams alone from January to the end of July — with broader investment scam losses reaching $36.95 million.

Tax office whistleblower launches crowdfunding campaign to help face off possible 161-year prison sentence – 12 August 2019

ATO whistleblower Richard Boyle has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for his legal costs. Boyle blew the whistle on the ATO’s debt collection practices in April 2018, after making an internal Public Interest Disclosure in October 2017. There are calls for whistleblower laws to be reformed, to better protect public servants.

Former Ipswich mayor Andrew Antoniolli spared jail time over ‘calculated and cunning’ fraud – 9 August 2019

Andrew Antoniolli misappropriated and fraudulently used the council’s community donation fund to buy charity items over 12 years. He claimed it was accepted practice at the council to buy auction items with council donation funds.   The magistrate sentenced Antoniolli to six months in prison, wholly suspended.

Eftsure raises $2.5 million to fund accelerated growth plans, fight against payment fraud explosion – 6 August 2019

Australian fintech company eftsure has just secured an additional $2.5 million in funding to accelerate its growth and meet the demand for its protection platform, a unique solution to electronic payments fraud. Since its inception, eftsure has protected over $6 billion in electronic payment transactions.$2-5-million-to-fund-accelerated-growth-plans,-fight-against-payment-fraud-explosion.html

Federal Government ‘concerned’ over Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, demands fine print – 6 August 2019

Facebook says its new cryptocurrency company, Libra, will allow money to be sent the same way as a text message. The Australian Privacy Commissioner is cautioning Facebook to learn from its mistakes and explain exactly how it will protect people’s financial information. Libra is planned to be launched in 2020.

Secret interviews reveal risky business for NAB’s top executives – 2 August 2019

It has been revealed that even during the Royal commission into banking, the National Australia Bank was still selling products that would trigger compensation for customers and that their systems lacked control and governance. Information was revealed by chairman Ken Henry and other NAB executives. This information however did not make it to EY reports that were requested by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), and instead have been leaked to newspapers.

Whistle blown on NAB relationship with auditors – 2 August 2019

National Australia Bank chairman Ken Henry and other executives last year told NAB’s auditor Ernst and Young, about serious shortcomings in risk management, yet the auditor did not include these details and other points of concern in its draft report. Labor MP Deborah O’Neill responded to the revelations by calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the relationship between the big banks and the nation’s largest accounting firms.

The technology that sent a million to internment camps is being used here – 29 July 2019

Facial recognition digital technology that will have the ability to link CCTV cameras nationwide with all citizens, has been approved for use in Australia. This is despite it being a highly flawed method of identifying people has unsuccessfully been trialed at the Commonwealth Games and takes away our rights to privacy.

BITCOIN FRAUD: Cryptocurrency escrow company head charged with stealing $7 million – 26 July 2019

Jon Barry Thompson used his company to induce investors to engage in cryptocurrency transactions by promising that his companies would act as custodians and thereby “minimise settlement default risk”. He is facing two counts of commodities fraud and two counts of wire fraud. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with help from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

‘We take full responsibility’: NAB discloses breach involving 13,000 customers’ driver’s licences – 26 July 2019

National Australia Bank had to contact 13,000 customers to advise them of a security breach involving customer names, dates of birth, contact details and in some cases driver’s licence numbers. The issue arose when without authorisation, data was loaded to the servers of two data service companies. NAB has also notified and is working with industry regulators, including the Privacy Commissioner.

Former Billabong boss struck off as lawyer over $13.5 million fraud – 25 July 2019

Recently paroled former Billabong surfwear boss Matthew Perrin who was Solicitor of the Supreme Court Queensland from 1996, has been officially struck off Queensland’s legal roll. The former high-flyer was convicted, after he forged his wife’s signature on mortgage documents and used those to defraud a bank of $13.5 million.

Facebook firm in its quest to launch Libra cryptocurrency – 25 July 2019

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg reaffirmed his commitment to the social network’s quest to launch Libra cryptocurrency, despite pushback from governments and critics. Global digital payment platform Libra would make it easy to spend or send money using Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) major global economies and central bankers raise serious regulatory and systemic concerns. Fraudsters are already trying to cash in on interest in Libra.–spt.html