News and Analysis
The following are articles relevant to the Professional Investigator. Click on the title to make a comment or join the conversation.
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.
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.
Article outlines the key compliance issues facing the banking industry with the use of “digital banking”. It also describes the types of fraud experienced by banks, money laundering costs, cross border issues, risks with open banking and GDPR regulations.
Many Australian small business owners do not have processes in place to prevent the latest wave of scams, according to new research. On average they are loosing $38,845 and recovering less than half. Training staff in scam awareness and prevention is a key to prevent scams.
Peter Stratton, the former manager of Melbourne’s exclusive Lyceum Club has pleaded guilty to stealing furniture and defrauding the club of more than $350,000 since 2011, in a scheme understood to have involved skimming cash from tax receipts.
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.
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.
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.
Investors have been tricked into a Gold Coast cryptocurrency scam that cost them almost $3 million, and for some a comfortable retirement. Three men and two women from the Gold Coast have been charged with fraud and money laundering as part of a criminal syndicate.
‘Whistleblower’ parking Inspectors who were sacked after they explained they were told to give ‘preferential treatment’ to members of Auburn council are launching a rare case under NSW Public Interest Disclosure Act – the state’s whistleblower protection regime.
Australia’s corporate regulator (ASIC) wants to hear from the public about how companies can better protect whistleblowers and wants feedback on exempting public companies that are small not-for-profits or charities from being required to have a whistleblower policy. The public consultation closes on September 18.
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.
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.
David McGowan – Group Integrity Lead at ANZ discusses the rights and protections of whistleblowers and how the new legislation is designed to protect them.
164 Fake marriages organised by a global syndicate reaching from Australia to India were discovered by Australian Border force. Visas were cancelled and none of the applicants were granted permanent residency, despite some paying significant sums of money.
Article explains that in Australia there is no right to privacy outlined in the Constitution and to enforce our rights we need to rely on a variety of different laws; cases and legislation made by the Commonwealth and state governments, which all vary.
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.
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.
Leaked documents have revealed that the Bank of New Zealand has struggled to comply with laws meant to prevent criminals and terrorists laundering money through its accounts.
The Australian Institute of Criminology and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have got together to research the factors that make people vulnerable to consumer fraud. The article details reasons for online fraud, the possible solutions and initiatives that should be introduced in Australia.
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.
National security being used to stifle public interest journalism, former judges warn – 27 July 2019
Due to the freedoms of whistleblowers and the media coming under attack in a series of recent prosecutions, former judges, lawyers, and integrity experts push for federal anti-corruption body and protections for whistleblowers and the media.
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.
A new report has revealed that Retail theft in Australia and NZ has soared to a A$3.37 billion in the 17/18 financial year. Telecommunication stores suffered the highest average value of theft and organised crime-backed ‘micro-gangs’ are terrifying staff and customers.
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 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.