News and Analysis
The following are articles relevant to the Professional Investigator. Click on the title to make a comment or join the conversation.
Ramon Abbas, lavish lifestyle was funded by hacking schemes that stole millions of dollars from major companies in the United States and Europe. It is alleged that he led a global network that used computer intrusions, business email compromise schemes and money laundering, to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from companies. Investigators seized A$58.8 million and, 13 luxury cars worth $AU9.7 million
Google says it’s banning ads from ‘stalkerware’ services that allow people to spy on and track others – 11 July 2020
In August, Google is barring ads from “stalkerware” services that allow people to spy and track others through their phones without their consent. Ads will no longer be allowed from companies promoting GPS trackers designed to spy on people or surveillance equipment “marketed with the express purpose of spying”.
The opinion in this article states that Australian Democracy is threatened, if the coalition government continues to prosecute whistleblowers, lawyers and journalists who have exposed wrongdoing, secrets and practices, which damage or embarrass the government and its agencies.
Facial recognition technology is expanding rapidly across Australia. Are our laws keeping pace? – 10 July 2020
With the spread of facial recognition technology Australia and other democratic countries, there are important questions about the legal implications of scanning, storing and sharing facial images. This is particularly important when it comes to private operators.
Warning over bitcoin scam using celebrities such as Dick Smith and Waleed Aly to ‘endorse’ product – 10 July 2020
An online scam using celebrity names to ‘endorse’ it, costs an elderly man more than $80,000 in life savings. A cybersecurity expert says there has been a 27 per cent increase in online scams over the past three months.
A lot of inexperienced people have turned to cryptocurrency as an alternative way to make money. This inexperience combined with more time spent at home on personal computers, has led to a significant increase in crypto-jacking. A good article explaining crypto-jacking and how this can be prevented.
Devyn Hammond has been sentenced to four years jail with two and a half years without parole, after she pleaded guilty to conspiring to cause loss to the Commonwealth and laundering almost $150million. The fraud involved Plutus Payroll skimming pay as you go tax and GST through a network of second-tier companies headed by dummy directors over three years.
(Subscription to AFR required to read this article.)
An auction for scandal-plagued Wirecard’s Australian and NZ operations is set to start next week as local customers scramble to distance themselves from the group.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=TAWEB_WRE170_a_GGL&dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theaustralian.com.au%2Fbusiness%2Ffinancial-services%2Fwirecard-anz-selloff-gets-underway%2Fnews-story%2F7226450841852c871af74ba720fa2f5b&memtype=anonymous&mode=premium Subscription to the Australian required to read the 2nd article
A gambler had his betting account frozen after losing millions — then another two companies came knocking – 9 July 2020
A former financial planner lost $8 million of his own and other people’s money betting on racing and sports. AUSTRAC, states that betting agencies like Tabcorp must comply with “know your customer” provisions. That means they must properly check identification documents and have a program in place to deal with high-risk customers.
A Queensland man used stolen identities to get his hands on fraudulent tax refunds and social security payments. He also made false Centrelink claims and impersonated customers and redirected payments to his bank account. In this article the ATO, describes ways to prevent identity theft.
A recent QLD scam involves an unknown person telling the resident that there is a warrant out for their arrest and that their name is linked to a series of criminal offences. Scammers typically ask for money to be sent via wire transfer as money cannot be easily traced.
A prominent African community leader in Melbourne is accused of dozens of serious financial crimes, including dishonestly obtaining $4.2 million and stealing $25,300 from a company that helps troubled youths.
(Subscription to Herald sun required to read article.)
Last year, Australians reported more than A$634 million was lost to scammers, a significant jump from $489.7 million the year before. Article discuss why fraud is so successful, how social and psychological techniques are used to deceive victims and how to defend yourself from fraud.
Richard Boyle, the former tax office employee turned whistleblower, who lifted the lid on aggressive and unfair targeting of taxpayers, has had 42 charges against him dropped, however prosecutors will proceed with the remaining 24 charges.
A doctor and the 46-year-old man were arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into compulsory third party insurance fraud syndicates. False medical certificates were being submitted to universities in suspected attempts to avoid fees under the NSW government’s student visa training scheme.
In May 2020, the Government announced the success of the testing of the mobile phone porting standard. The standard makes it mandatory for stronger identity checking, including multifactor authentication – to safeguard against mobile numbers being fraudulently ported or transferred.
Wirecard collapsed into insolvency last week after revealing one of Europe’s worst accounting frauds in decades. An investigation is underway into suspected false accounting and market manipulation by the group’s former chief executive Markus Braun and others.
K&L gates international Law firm, discuss federal and state government law changes in the area of employment and workplace health and safety, during covid-19. They review issues around what makes a “casual employee”, workplace manslaughter legislation changes, wage theft bills, Sexual Harassment in the work place and more.
The AFP has frozen approximately $200,000 in more than 50 accounts due to early access super scheme fraud syndicates. It seems that criminals were able to create fake MyGov accounts after they collected personal details of people from a tax agent.
Guy Sebastian’s former manager has been charged with defrauding the Australian Idol winner of more than $1 million dollars. Police believe there are more high profile victims of Titus Day.
Personal details of tens of thousands of Australians who fell for a fraudulent cryptocurrency investment scheme that used fake media sites and celebrity endorsements have been leaked onto the web.
AFP freeze millions in assets of public servants accused of conspiring to defraud the Government – 1 July 2020
Police have seized $7.8m in assets linked to three public servants who are accused of taking kickbacks to influence Department of Finance IT contracts
An investigation has been launched into the Freedom Foods financial position. The news comes after the food manufacturer announced a $35 million cost blow-out, related to expired products and after the CEO quit after being on leave.
Western Australia’s public sector has been hit by a multimillion-dollar corruption scandal, this time involving a Fremantle Ports manager and his family. It is alleged that maintenance manager raised false invoices and shelf companies to direct the monies to his own benefit.
A former accountant at the Schnitz food chain took more than half a million dollars from her employer to fund an extravagant lifestyle and now has been jailed for more than two years.
Small businesses are now at greater risk of internal fraud and article re-inforces the need to ensure background checks are performed on new staff
Former ACT Attorney-General Bernard Collaery and his former client, are charged with revealing that the Australian government engaged in the crime of bugging Timor Leste’s government building in 2004, to dishonestly obtain a financial advantage in crucial oil and gas negotiations.
The decision to keep the trial secret from the public raises serious concerns about the state of Australia’s democracy – both in terms of accountability and transparency.
Wirecard has collapsed owing creditors almost $5.8 billion, after disclosing a gaping hole in its books. Auditor’s EY said it was the result of a sophisticated global fraud involving parties across the world.
Five charged as part of ongoing investigations into $4.7 million business email compromise scam – 25 June 2020
NSW Police have charged five men as part of an ongoing investigation into an alleged $4.7 million business email compromise scam. Altered invoices had been sent to legitimate businesses for payment, before the funds were transferred into personal accounts.
Cyber criminals are targeting young Australians in scams and playing on their eagerness for a tax refund after the economic pressures of the coronavirus crisis.