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Financial Crime News

Fraud committed against Chinese in Australia has been a problem for a while as criminals use a variety of tactics. It is known, for example, that young foreign Mandarin speakers are recruited abroad to visit Australia for short periods, affecting tourism status, where they follow a script to commit fraud or extortion in a way similar to the boiler-room scams often run by Europeans in South East Asia. This year is is already far worse than the whole of last year.

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UK's HMRC secure conviction against PPI claims lead generator

David Buckley, 51, a company director of Basingstoke in England instructed Mahmood Sadiq Poptani, 60, an accountant of Swansea in Wales and together they diverted money collected on behalf of HM Revenue and Customs in respect of income tax and National Insurance deductions from the salaries of staff and value added tax. They are now in jail.

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There are some aspects of policing that are made more difficult than they should be by a range of factors. One of those factors is attitudes, on both sides, when a crime is committed by members of a "community" against others in that "community."

Intra-community crime is always difficult to investigate because the investigation is, almost always, conducted by someone from outside that "community." The reasons for this are many and varied. Without entering into the choppy waters of arguing that there should be no "communities," only "society," Nigel Morris-Cotterill examines why FCROs are in a difficult position when "communities" and offences within them are considered.

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At the Financial Crime Forum's 2006 forum in Hong Kong, one session dealt with the trade in endangered species. With the very recent and belated acknowledgement by international bodies that such conduct is, in fact, a financial crime, there is a welcome focus on the profits from such trade rather than solely on the animals and their products. In the USA last week, a bizarre offence came to court but this time, the defendant says, it was nothing to do with profit.

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Londoners, pay attention: slag isn't what you think it is. For those from mining communities, slag is what's left over after coal, etc. has been washed. It's poured into conical mountains and left lying around, in theory to dry but occasionally the slurry undermines it and it slides down whatever gradient it is sitting on, sometimes with terrible results, as in the Welsh mining village of Aberfan in 1966. What might be in those "ancient slag" heaps in addition to wet dust? A 77 year old Californian claimed to know and to have a method of extracting the good stuff.

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The USA's Inland Revenue Service, the IRS, has reported "a steep drop" in identity fraud related cases in recent years but it is still a serious problem.

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Amar Choudry, 38, of Linton Drive, Heaton, Bradford; Yasir Choudry, 30, and Qaisar Choudry, 28, of Duchy Crescent, Heaton; Faisal Choudry, 37, of Duchy Drive, Heaton; and Mudasar Alishan, 40, of Oakdale Drive, Shipley were this week convicted of involvement in the production and sale of clothing bearing counterfeit brands and other copyright breaches generating about half-a-million pounds. They were part of a group that has received suspended sentences for a highly organised system of criminal behaviour, on an industrial scale.

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Yet another case of false and fraudulent billing under the USA's Medicare system demonstrates how easy it is for medical practitioners to defraud both national and insurance-backed medical funding providers in the USA and elsewhere. Benjamin Rosenberg, D.D.S., 58, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to a sample count of health care fraud before U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt of the Central District of California. Sentencing will take place on May 23 before Judge Kronstadt. There weren't many big insurance companies he didn't defraud.

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Spammers have long been involved in directory fraud of one sort or another. Just as in the days of paper, letters are carefully phrased to make victims think they must make a payment. Then, hidden away at the bottom of the page is a note saying "this is not an invoice" and something along the lines of "you only have to pay if you want the service." These days, the spam-scammers also include something to tell you that they are complying with the USA's spam facilitation Act, mysteriously known as the Can Spam Act. And this one doesn't even tell victims what service they are supposedly subscribed to.

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Just because a CFO has his hand on the cheque book doesn't mean he can write cheques for anything he likes.

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The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission has been looking at how prices at petrol pumps move, with changes taking place in what, on the face of it, seems in concert. But, the ACCC says, there is in fact no evidence of collusion: it's simply price-watching and price-matching between operators. And if consumers take advantage of hints, there could be an enormous injection of discretionary spending from disposable income or a reduction in credit card debt across the country.

The news, then, is that what might have been suspected as a crime is not a crime at all.

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There is a fascinating case before the US Supreme Court relating to confiscation of assets used in furtherance of a crime as distinct from proceeds of criminal conduct. Oral argument took place last week and there is a transcript and recording here:

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2018/17-1091

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The fraud is old hat. The bitcoin address is, presumably, valid and enforcement agencies may wish to track and attack it. And, of course, any financial institution which has records of it should identify it as a suspicious account.

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It's that time again: PayPal spam-scam time. But even by the standards of badly constructed spam-scams, this one is bad. So bad it's funny and so bad that anyone who falls victim to it may just be too stupid to live. But the bigger danger is that it's not a phishing scam but a way of placing malware on victims' computers and if that happens they are being human not stupid.

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It's a story that has grabbed the headlines - a week after it was first published. One suspects that there was much fact-checking going on before a New York Times article that says US President Trump "participated..in outright fraud," a statement of such extraordinary bluntness that the mere fact that it appears in print is at least as shocking as the allegation itself. There are so many things to consider but in FinancialCrimeRiskOfficers.com, we are interested in a relatively narrow aspect of the story...

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