Posts Tagged ‘fraud’
A Pennsylvania woman was sentenced to 15 months in prison after fraudulently soliciting $600,000 in student loans mainly used to pay for cosmetic surgeries.
Meredith Shuster, 36, of Cranberry, Pa., a suburb north of Pittsburgh, used her parents’ identities to solicit the loans. She then used about half the money on a series of cosmetic surgeries to alter her appearance, prosecutors said. The other half went toward myriad personal expenses…
Shuster’s lawyer argued she suffers from a condition called “body dysmorphic disorder” that caused her to feel compelled to constantly change her appearance.
Federal prosecutors said because nearly half the money went toward other expenses, the diagnosis wasn’t relevant and Shuster deserved to serve prison time.
U.S. District Judge Mark Hornak ordered the prison term, $632,613 be paid to the federal government in restitution and a 5-year probationary period upon Shuster’s release.
State Sen. Ronald Calderon accepted bribes from a Southern California hospital executive who ran an alleged workers’ compensation scheme that brought the executive tens of millions of dollars, according to a sealed FBI affidavit obtained by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit.
In exchange for payments to family members, Calderon, a Democrat who represents a suburban district here, protected the interests in Sacramento of Michael Drobot, who ran a busy spinal surgery clinic in Long Beach, Calif., the affidavit says. The document says Calderon ensured that changes to state law would not injure Drobot’s lucrative business of providing spinal fusion surgery, which joins two or more vertebrae.
The California State Compensation Insurance Fund, a quasi-governmental organization that makes payments on workers’ compensation claims, filed racketeering charges against Drobot and his medical companies earlier this year. The complaint alleges that he received $161 million through inflated surgery room and spinal implant reimbursement fees in what the state calls “multiple fraudulent schemes.” The allegations are contained in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Santa Ana, Calif.
Until now, Calderon’s alleged behind-the-scenes role in the workers’ compensation payment controversy has never been revealed…
You actually had the balls to say – Mission Accomplished!
A court in Milan has banned Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s former prime minister, from holding public office for two years, following his conviction for tax fraud…However, the ban must be approved by parliament before taking effect.
Earlier this month, a cross-party panel of the Italian Senate recommended his expulsion from the chamber.
If he is expelled from parliament, Berlusconi will lose his immunity from prosecution in a string of criminal cases.
Berlusconi had threatened to topple the coalition government over the issue but backed down during a confidence vote…
He will also spend a year under house arrest, or doing community service – his preferred option, according to a request he formally submitted last week.
The votes on his expulsion and ban on holding office are expected to take place within the next few weeks.
He was sentenced to four years in prison, automatically reduced to one under a 2006 pardon act. He was also banned from holding public office for five years.
That sentence was upheld in August.
As erratic as the course of justice may be in Italian politics, by comparison, this case is one more example of the ineffectual and cowardly attitude towards politicians in the United States. Liars and frauds like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney committed inexcusable crimes against humanity – and left taxpayers with a bill for trillions of dollars.
The financial cost is conveniently forgotten by Republicans. The ethical failure is ignored by both of the TweedleDeeDum parties we are allowed. Add to this Obama’s legalization of government snooping into the lives of ordinary citizens and you need no explanation as to why America’s international reputation for corruption continues to grow.
A vice admiral who is second in command at the United States Strategic Command, which oversees nuclear war-fighting forces for the military, has been suspended amid an investigation into his possible involvement in illegal gambling, officials said on Saturday.
The officer, Vice Adm. Timothy M. Giardina, is a highly decorated sailor with more than three decades in the Navy. The suspension occurred on Sept. 3, but was not announced publicly, said Capt. Pamela Kunze…
The Strategic Command was first alerted about the issue in mid-July. A month earlier, Admiral Giardina became the target of an inquiry being conducted by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation into possible use of counterfeit gambling chips at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa, said David Dales, the head of the Southwest division of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
Mr. Dales said the criminality in question involved poker at the casino, but said he could provide no further information. The agency’s investigation is still open and no state charges have been filed against Admiral Giardina, Mr. Dales said…
The commander of the Strategic Command, General C. Robert Kehler, has submitted a recommendation to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that Admiral Giardina be reassigned, Captain Kunze said. It has not been determined what, if any, additional actions will be taken. The leadership of the Strategic Command is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
The Strategic Command, based at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, oversees a web of military efforts including the military’s space and cyberwarfare operations. It also controls the country’s nuclear arsenal.
Oops! It may sound silly to some that questions of security are raised; but, whenever behavior occurs that could place someone at risk for blackmail any security system has to be examined. He may only turn out to be dishonest.
Federal prosecutors have documented at least 350 instances of faulty background investigations done by private contractors and special agents for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in recent years, illustrating what some lawmakers call systemic weaknesses in the granting of federal security clearances.
Reuters calculated the total by reviewing court documents and press releases from prosecutors for 21 cases resulting in convictions that involved the making of false statements from December 2004 to March 2012.
These are the cases government officials have cited to assert that action is taken against investigators who falsely claim to have reviewed records or done interviews for background checks submitted to OPM. Not all the cases identified a specific number of fabrications.
The 350 falsified reports represent only a small percentage of the number of background investigations conducted each year, either by OPM’s own investigators or a handful of private contractors it uses for most of the work.
The Government Accountability Office testified to a congressional committee in June that OPM received over $1 billion to conduct more than 2 million background investigations for government employees in fiscal 2011…
Dearman is the one who doesn’t get up and dance
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has accused a former Oklahoma investment adviser and wedding singer of raising at least $4.7 million through various illegal schemes with the help of a Bartlesville businesswoman. The pair then used investors’ money on gambling and other personal expenses, as well as to pay off earlier investors, according to a court filing.
The SEC filed a civil suit against Larry J. Dearman Sr., 40, of Tulsa, and his friend and business associate Marya Gray, 50, of Bartlesville. The Bartlesville-based wireless service provider Bartnet Wireless and northwest Oklahoma convenience store chain Quench Bud’s also were named as defendants in the lawsuit, as well as shell company The Property Shoppe Inc….
The lawsuit claims Dearman fraudulently obtained millions of dollars from more than 30 clients. Dearman promised his clients he would invest their money into various businesses owned or controlled by Gray, the lawsuit says. Instead, Dearman and Gray used investors’ money to gamble and for personal expenses as well as to pay off other investors in a Ponzi-type scheme, the SEC claims.
Dearman stole an additional $700,000 from some of his clients “through various ruses,” the SEC said in the lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Tulsa.
“Dearman and Gray were able to lure these clients in part because many of them had known him and his family since childhood, thought of him as an active member of their church and knew him as a popular local wedding singer,” the SEC claims…
Gray gambled away more than $1.1 million over the course of the scheme, which lasted from 2008 to 2012, the SEC claims in its lawsuit.
Kind of gives you a clearer picture of the gullible voters in Oklahoma who keep on re-electing sleazy conservatives like Tom Coburn and James Inhofe. Quote the King James bible enough, blather about bringing free money to Oklahoma – blame everything bad on furriners and the federal government – you got it made.
Real estate tycoon Donald Trump was sued Saturday by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for $40 million. The lawsuit claims The Apprentice star helped run “Trump University,” a phony program that promised riches and apprenticeships in real estate but never delivered.
Instead, what it did deliver was useless seminars that came with a Trump-size price tag, costing students up to $35,000. Schneiderman said students didn’t even get to meet Trump but got their picture taken in front of a life-size picture of him.
Students were worse off financially after they studied with instructors who were “hand-picked” by Trump because of the high costs of the seminars. They would take the initial three-day program then were told they needed more instruction to be successful. If they signed up for “Trump Elite,” they would get individualized coaching until they made their first real estate deal. That one-on-one instruction came with a price between $10,000 to $35,000. When students tried to cancel their memberships, the program wouldn’t do so in a timely manner. The $40 million will serve as restitution.
The attorney general is suing the “university,” Donald Trump as chairman, and the “university” president for persistent fraud, violating federal laws of consumer protection, illegal and deceptive conduct. Complaints from 2005 through 2011 are included in the lawsuit…
Another case of a crook hustling the fools who believe in his ideology. Trump’s regurgitation of ancient Republican slogans haloed by idiot box presentations of his crap reality TV show brought in the suckers like ants to spilled sugar. As soon as they realized they were being snookered, they tried to get their money back – to no avail. This con artist kept every penny he could steal.
It’s easy for some to say they got what they paid for. But, the core of the fraud remains unethical and close to criminal. Trump lied to get people to pay for something they never received. Hopefully, he will now get some of what he deserves.
U.S. investigators uncovered evidence that banks reaped millions of dollars in trading profits at the expense of companies and pension funds by manipulating a benchmark for interest-rate derivatives.
Recorded telephone calls and e-mails reviewed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission show that traders at Wall Street banks instructed ICAP Plc brokers in Jersey City, New Jersey, to buy or sell as many interest-rate swaps as necessary to move the benchmark rate, known as ISDAfix, to a predetermined level…
By rigging the measure, the banks stood to profit on separate derivatives trades they had with clients who were seeking to hedge against moves in interest rates. Banks sought to change the value of the swaps because the ISDAfix rate sets prices for the other derivatives, which are used by firms from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System to Pacific Investment Management Co…
That may run afoul of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which bars traders from intentionally interfering with the “orderly execution” of transactions that determine settlement prices.
The phone calls and e-mails emerging since Bloomberg News first reported in April on the rigging of ISDAfix add to growing evidence that banks have gained financially by distorting key financial gauges in world markets on everything from interest rates to currencies to commodities…
While the indexes under scrutiny are little known to the public, their influence extends to trillions of dollars in securities and derivatives. Britain’s markets regulator is looking into the currency market, where $4.7 trillion is exchanged each day, after Bloomberg News reported in June that traders have manipulated key rates for more than a decade.
RTFA if you’re interested in learning the dirty details. The process may seem complex; but, as usual, it boils down to banks and traders manipulating indexes, trades and sales to produce specific rates. Those produce profits for the firms – which is why the fraud. The traders in the firms get upwards of $7 million in commission for being good little crooks.
As parents and students struggle to keep up with rising college tuition and take on greater burdens of debt, universities are being challenged to justify the ballooning athletic fees they tack on to the bill.
In the 2010-11 academic year, the 227 public institutions in Division 1 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association collected more than $2 billion in athletic fees from their students — or an average of more than $500 per enrollee — according to research by Jeff Smith at the University of South Carolina Upstate.
These fees, which can exceed $1,000 a year, are often itemized as a “student activity” or “general” expense. That may explain why separate research, by David Ridpath of Ohio University, found that students were only dimly aware of the extent of the fees, and weren’t pleased once they found out how much they were paying.
Worse yet, institutions with high proportions of poorer students carrying substantial education debt appeared to be charging the highest fees. While all students must pay the costs of maintaining athletic programs, few actually benefit from the services they subsidize. In this sense, the fees are comparable to a regressive tax — and one that is more onerous for lower-income students than for the more affluent, who are able to attend schools where athletic fees are lower…
Moreover, the schools in low-athletic-fee conferences typically had better academic reputations, mostly in the top one-third in Forbes magazine’s ranking of 650 colleges and universities; the high-fee conferences schools were typically below average in those rankings…None of this would matter as much if students were affluent, enthusiastic about collegiate athletics and willing to pay for high-quality sporting entertainment…
For starters, about 41 percent of respondents either didn’t know, or were highly uncertain about, whether they paid the fees. The students said they might be willing to pay more for services such as student centers and health care, though, on average, they favored sharp reductions in the cost of intercollegiate athletics. The vast majority of students, 72 percent, said athletics had an “extremely unimportant” or “unimportant” part in their school choice or as a priority for their student fees; less than 10 percent ranked the athletic programs as “important” or “extremely important…”
University trustees, who are often alumni themselves, seem to view intercollegiate athletics as a way to generate school pride. Funding these programs with fees may please influential sports fans, but it often ignores the wishes of the students themselves. And more spending on sports doesn’t necessarily confer greater prestige. The University of Chicago, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Emory University and Washington University in St. Louis are doing just fine.
One of my all time pet peeves. While I think there should be PT departments involving students in lifetime sports – the kind of thing that will keep them healthy the rest of their lives – typical athletic departments in an American University are money pits. Often, creative bookkeeping is used to hide the real costs of the “amateur” sports participation, e.g., the cost of electricity for stadiums is billed directly to the cost of physical plant, stunts like that are common.
Spending the same money on quality education just might be meaningful to individuals seeking beneficial skills for the rest of their lives.
A former Rochdale Securities trader whose unauthorized purchase of about $1 billion of Apple stock caused the demise of the financial services company pleaded guilty on Monday to wire fraud and conspiracy.
David Miller, 40, entered his guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna Martinez in Hartford, Connecticut.
Miller faces a maximum 25 years in prison when he is sentenced on July 8, but under a plea agreement he could receive a term of five to eight years. The Rockville Centre, New York resident is free on bond…
Prosecutors said Miller bought 1,625 million Apple shares on October 25, 2012, the day the maker of iPads, iPods and iPhones planned to report third-quarter results, hoping to profit if the company’s share price rose.
But they said Miller falsely told Rochdale that the trade was for a customer that had in fact ordered just 1,625 shares.
When the bet backfired, Rochdale was on the hook for $5.3 million of losses on the extra 1,623,375 shares, leaving the Stamford, Connecticut-based company undercapitalized, the SEC said in court papers…
The SEC said as a result of Miller’s bets, Rochdale ceased operations and its staff left or was fired in November 2012. On February 25, Rochdale asked Connecticut, the SEC and other regulators to withdraw its registrations.
So much for counting on the industry kingpins to regulate themselves. So much for providing oversight – preventing deception and fraud. Things were sufficiently lax to kill the company providing the opportunity to commit the crime.