News and Analysis

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Four charged in relation to the importation of 2.3 tonnes of counterfeit Australia Post pre paid satchels – 31 July 2020

The AFP allege the Western Sydney syndicate ordered fake post packages from a Chinese company, between September 2018 and June 2019, and sold them to the public and businesses on eBay. Australia Post estimates the fraud cost the organisation approximately $2 million.

‘Australia’s Jack Ryan’ under investigation for threatening to kill police, prosecutor – 26 July 2020

Simon Smith, a Melbourne cyber security specialist and forensic detective is under investigation for threatening to kill two police officers and a prosecutor, involved in reviewing his activities. Simon claims the police and prosecutors have ulterior motives because he gives evidence against them in court.

Smart Alex and the not-so-cunning plan: inside the alleged $17m tax fraud – 25 July 2020

More information revealed on taped conversations relating to the alleged ‘labour hire’ tax fraud and money laundering syndicate, which reaped $17.5 million that should have gone to the Tax Office.

BBB Tips: Coronavirus contact tracing scams – 24 July 2020

Contact tracing scams are now becoming very common. A consumer may receive an unsolicited text message, email or social media message informing them they have been exposed to COVID-19, instructing them to self-isolate, and providing a link to download malware to their device. Alternatively, a robocall may inform the consumer of COVID-19 exposure, and when the consumer elects to speak to a representative, the caller will ask to verify personal information — potentially leading to identity theft.

Cartel investigator took ‘no notes’, sent documents to personal email – 24 July 2020

The lead investigator (Michael Taylor) for the competition watchdog’s blockbuster criminal cartel case against ANZ and Australia’s biggest investment banks, sent several documents related to the case to his personal email address and did not take any notes in his official notebook about the investigation.

(Access to digital version of AFR required to read article.)

Wire-wearing Novartis whistleblower gets $US109m award – 24 July 2020

The former Novartis sales representative Oswald Bilotta, whose whistleblower lawsuit against the drugmaker led to a $678 million settlement with the federal government earlier this year will receive an award of $US109.4 million. He accused Novartis in 2011 of routinely paying illegal kickbacks to doctors.

No jury for Gatto defamation trial after lawyer bungle – 19 July 2020

Mr Gatto launched legal action in April last year over claims an ABC story had falsely accused him of threatening to kill gangland lawyer Nicola Gobbo. However, the Supreme Court of Victoria has ruled that a defamation trial due to start next week between Mr Gatto and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation will not be heard before a jury, but by a judge alone, after his lawyers bungled the paperwork.

ASIC’s two-year wait before Regal raid – 18 July 2020

The corporate regulator spent almost two years plotting its investigation into Regal Funds Management before it called in the Australian Federal Police to raid the high-profile hedge fund’s office in Sydney.

(Access to The Australian required to read this article.)

Clive Palmer charged with fraud and corporate misconduct offences – 17 July 2020

ASIC has charged businessman and former federal MP Clive Palmer with fraud, relating to two payments worth more than $12m. The fraud and corporate misconduct offences carry lengthy prison sentences and were over the alleged diversion of at least $10m to the benefit of his Palmer United party, in the weeks before the 2013 election.

Twitter hackers shifting money in bitcoin wallets leave digital trail – 17 July 2020

A Twitter breach allowed hackers to tweet a Bitcoin spam message from high profile accounts such as Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates to all their followers. They posted a double-your-money bitcoin scam, alongside a bitcoin wallet code for people to drop their digital currency into. The wallet received more $172,000 within a matter of hours. Soon after, the funds started moving around wallets.The company has also revealed personal information of some of the world’s wealthiest people was leaked during the attack.

ASIC to fast-track Westpac probe, prepares for wave of wind-ups – 13 July 2020

ASIC’s chief enforcer has promised to expedite its investigation into Westpac’s handling of alleged money laundering breaches, as a similar investigation into Commonwealth Bank, drags on three years after the scandal was first made public. The investigations focus on potential breaches of continuous disclosure obligations in relation to the money laundering breaches admitted by Commonwealth Bank in 2018 and Westpac in 2020.