| |

fraud

In a criminal prosecution brought by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, ASIC, the financial regulator, two out of five criminal charges brought against an alleged fraudster were dropped because the witnesses in those cases became "unavailable." The charges related to conducting an unauthorised financial services business and to soliciting moneys which were used improperly.

Nevertheless, the accused has pleaded guilty to the remaining three charges at the door of the court before his trial commenced yesterday.

It's a long and convoluted story across years and jurisdictions as well as various enforcement agencies.

From an SEC press notice, 13th July 2021 (slightly edited)

"The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced [proceedings] against special purpose acquisition corporation Stable Road Acquisition Company, its sponsor SRC-NI, its CEO Brian Kabot, the SPAC’s proposed merger target Momentus Inc., and Momentus’ founder and former CEO Mikhail Kokorich [alleging] misleading claims about Momentus’ technology and about national security risks associated with Kokorich. "

BIScom Subsection: 

"So far this year scammers have stolen more than AUD7.2 million from Australians by gaining access to home computers, an increase of 184 per cent compared to the same period last year." So says the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Contrary to the common "phishing e-mail" approach, many instances start with a phone call. And just to make it worse, they are targeting phones: you know, those things that contain your financial apps and are used as "tokens" or for SMS confirmations by your bank.

CoNet Section: 

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued civil proceedings against Matthew J. Skinner of Santa Clarita, California and five entities he owns and controls – Empire West Equity Inc., Bayside Equity LP, Longacre Estates LP, Freedom Equity Fund LLC, and Simple Growth LLC – for conducting four unregistered and fraudulent real estate investment offerings between 2015 and 2020, through which, it is alleged, he raised more than USD9 million from over 100 investors.

The USA's Securities and Exchange Commission has frozen the accounts of a foreign registered fund operated by two US residents.

BIScom Subsection: 

Ross Andrew Hopkins of Killara, New South Wales, Australia, has been sentenced in the District Court of New South Wales to a maximum period of six years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of four years following his conviction on a guilty plea for using clients' funds for his own benefit.

BIScom Subsection: 

It's a telephone number and it's cropping up in all kinds of places, including a PayPal / Target / Apple iPhone scam that arrived in our own mailbox this morning.

CoNet Section: 

I am so blessed. This chap has purloined money from a cryptocurrency account and wants to send it to me. So he chose an address at antimoneylaundering.net.

FCRO Subsection: 

If you were to receive mail from a government URL, you'd give it the time of day. Everyone would.

But this fake investment scam uses an address owned by the government of Paraguay as its spoofed "from" address. And, of course, it uses a free any anonymous e-mail address to collect responses from its victims.

And behind the spam-scam is a far more sophisticated scheme. We scrape away the stinky stuff and lay bare the fraudulent scheme.

FCRO Subsection: 

Australia: the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission has issued a public warning notice about the conduct of Postage Ink Pty Limited in relation to the unsolicited supply of labels and ink cartridges and other consumables for postage meters to business customers.

BIScom Subsection: 

How often do you read something and find out that it's not what you thought it was when you started?

For all those that leapt on "Melbourne" - it's almost certainly not the one you were thinking of.

Melbourne, Florida is where this story is developing.

FCRO Subsection: 

If you want to be ripped off, e-mail the following:

*NAME: MR MARTIN COOK
EMAIL: **martincoookuk@gmail.com*
or martincoookuk@sim.it

FCRO Subsection: 

There's an actor called Zachary Joseph Horwitz. He's also known as Zach Avery. He lives in a place called Berverlywood. Honestly. It's not Beverly (sic) Hills and it's not Hollywood. Actors, at least the good ones, are skilled at creating an illusion. What you see is not supposed to be real.

So what happens when an actor takes those skills away from the stage? The answer is... he gets arrested for fraud. And then the Federal Bureau of Investigation gets excited and issues a media release worthy of a hyperbolic - and grammatically dubious - studio. But under that, there's actually a good story.

FCRO Subsection: 

In 2015, I wrote "Cleaning up the 'Net." It was an action plan to reduce incidence of financial and other crime committed over the internet.

One of the main principles of the book is that those that provide services to internet users - including domain name registrars and others - were enabling and profiting from crime.

Is 2021 the year when someone listens and starts to take seriously the ease with which criminals can, for example, register domain names that even the most basic know-your-customer would establish is more likely than not to be used for some improper purpose?

On the weekend when, at last, the USA gets laws to require at least some degree of declaration of the ownership of companies, is there an appetite to tackle this even bigger problem?

Hint: it's not...

FCRO Subsection: 

Pages