Fraud News Update 08.28.14: In reviewing our weekly fraud news feed, we’ve noticed quite a few stories that tie nicely together with posts we’ve written on a particular topic. This presents us with an excellent opportunity to update stories or themes we’re focusing on each week and enhance the content provided to readers of the Fraud Solutions blog.
Cloth Cases Continue
At this point in time the sheer number of fraud news cases involving people who’ve reportedly dedicated their lives to the Lord’s would be humorous if it weren’t just tragically sad. We continue our effort to cover industries where people might think that fraud doesn’t occur. Yet, “blind trust” is usually a key ingredient in many fraud cases.
According to U.S. Attorney, Danny Williams, a local Tulsa pastor has been charged with embezzling almost a mil from the community center his church was building. Money was supposed to be used for facility development.
When in fact, the Minister is alleged to have been “spending the stolen funds on hotels, restaurants, gambling at casinos, liquor, automobiles and luxury items including a Rolex watch and a monogrammed mink fur coat with matching hat and gloves.”
I guess “thou shalt not get liquored up and gamble at casinos” aren’t part of the Ten Commandments. The marketing folks at Rolex, who makes such great watches, must constantly roll their eyes every time someone accused of fraud uses stolen proceeds to buy one of their classic time pieces.
Excuse me, but do you know what time it is? Sure, it’s “O fraud thirty!”
Pssst, Hey Buddy: Wanna Open Some Accounts and Cash Some Checks?
This fraud news story’s so ridiculous there’s not much to say. Reminds me of an old story where four undercover officers were driving down the road on their way to a pot bust when a guy in the car next to them held up a sign saying “want to buy some weed?” A creative advertising campaign to be sure but that scenario ended much the same way this one did. Badly.
Food For Fraud
Food stamp fraud is so rampant.
HOW RAMPANT IS IT?!
It’s so rampant that last week a guy tried to trade his food stamp card for sex! Oh, SNAP.
Speaking of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, in this fraud news a new GAO report states what we already know: food stamp fraud is rampant. “Americans receiving food stamps were caught selling and bartering their benefits online for art, housing and cash.” Apparently the government chose to leave SEX out of their findings?
In an ironic twist of fate, agents from the F.B.I and the Puerto Rico Police Department found fraud at The Lawman Gun Shop where owners falsified permits for concealed carry. Good thing they weren’t doing business as The Lawman Bomb Shop! Fraud news associated with firearms leaves a very unsettling feeling in our stomach for sure.
It Won’t Happen Here
This is the story we hear so often from employers when it comes to the lack of controls necessary to prevent embezzlement. We’ve written about embezzlement in past fraud news blogs with offenders having worked for the victim company for 7 years on average. There are a number of interesting facts alleged in this case:
1) The employee worked for Ohio’s largest health insurance company for a total of 43 years
2) The embezzlement went on for 16 years
3) The suspect cashed a total of 1,382 fraudulent checks.
Embezzlers can be quite creative given their inside knowledge of financial policies and procedures. The lengthy time this fraud went on certainly validates that fact. Think there were serious control failures? You betcha!
In an unrelated embezzlement case, this woman was not only a serial embezzler but the U.S. Attorney seems to be suggesting that her ex-husband, a former federal agent with ICE, was recently convicted in a mortgage fraud scheme. Fraud: It’s a Family Affair!
The Beat Rolls On In Joplin…Elsewhere? Not So Much
Added convictions continue to come in from the 2011 Joplin tornado disaster and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill as we recently commented.
In Connecticut however it’s a Charles Dickens (“Tale of Two Cities”) story as “the office of the chief state’s attorney has decided against pursuing criminal charges against any state employees, or private citizens, who received D-SNAP benefits they weren’t entitled to following Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.”
The New Face of Organized Crime
The Feds allege it’s THESE folks…stolen identities & smart phones = BIG MONEY! Not any more, the multi agency investigation dismantled the ring.
And lastly, a tribute of sorts to M*A*S*H and the very lovable Hawkeye Pierce, who created memorable TV with the fictitious Captain Tuttle episode, (From one of the more comedic eulogies, “Tuttle died when he jumped out of a chopper without a parachute”).
In West Virginia, an ever so real (Tuttle) just plead guilty to making a false statement to an F.B.I. Agent investigating the Equipment Division of the West Virginia Division of Highways. Lying to the Feds, not a very well thought out plan. Apparently this Tuttle didn’t read the instructions in the Martha Stewart cook book very closely.
Fraud News – The Bottom Line
Fraud – empowering people to break the law. It’s a way of life for some and every fraud has a story. At Fraud Solutions, fraud is our world and we’re passionate about prevention. Being proactive is key, so, follow us each week as we cover the fraud beat with added insights, information and unique commentary on stories making the fraud news.