Fraud News Update 10.16.14

 Fraud News

Fraud News

Fraud News Update 10.16.14: This week’s Fraud Solutions news update features: I Do – Really Means You Definitely Didn’t (Marriage Fraud), Marriage Fraud Revelation Rocks Oregon Governors Race (Even More Marriage Fraud), Trinity Industries (Guardrail Parts Fraud Allegations), Broadway Show Stopper (Rebecca: The Musical), Laying Down The Vocal Tracks (Financial Services Use of Biometrics).

Read on for more topical information and our insights, observations and unique commentary on the weekly fraud news.

“I Do” – Really Means “You Definitely Didn’t”

So, says this fraud news story about a conviction in a marriage fraud case out of Kansas. According to the U.S. Attorneys Office, “Jacqueline Michaelle Reed, 48, Manhattan, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud.”

Reed was part of of a conspiracy allegedly orchestrated by, “Master Marriage Manipulator,” Quong Bow (Q.B.) Low of Topeka. Low has pleaded guilty and sentencing awaits.

While researching this fraud news story, we stumbled on this ironic little twist from the past. Get this:

Kansans Complete Citizens Academy
Posted Saturday, November 24, 2007
By The Capital-Journal

Two dozen Kansans have graduated from the U.S. Attorney’s Citizens Academy in Topeka, a six-week course teaching academy members about the federal justice system in Kansas. The academy was sponsored by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Washburn University School of Law.

Academy graduates are:

(WAIT FOR IT)

(WAIT FOR IT)

(WAIT FOR IT)

You guessed it: Quong Bow Low (Topeka)

(Not sure if it’s the same “Q.B. Low” but if it is, the correlation to the above case is definitely an interesting one….perhaps Low’s a student of Sun Tzu (Know Your Enemy). Things that make you go hmmm…

Marriage Fraud Revelation Rocks Oregon Governors Race

No, Q.B. Low wasn’t working his sham “marriage magic” in the Pacific Northwest despite what it might appear. However, one might have thought so given this week’s timely announcement about Cylvia Hayes, fiancée (and main squeeze) of Governor John Kitzhaber of Oregon.

The details about Ms. Hayes 3rd marriage is certainly raising eyebrows during election season. For more on this fraud news story, and the Hayes marriage fraud bombshell, see the NY Times piece “Oregon First Lady’s Ex-Marriage Spills Into Race for Governor.”

“Holy Guardrail Deficiencies, Batman”

The dynamic duo would certainly be disturbed to see fraud allegations involving safety products designed to keep people alive in their daily travels on Gotham’s freeways. Perhaps, this is why the following fraud news story is particularly bothersome.

According to ABC News, “the company (Trinity Industries), that makes many of the guardrails found next to highways across the country, will defend itself in court next week against accusations of a massive cover-up and fraud against the U.S. government that the company’s accuser says is linked to dozens of gruesome injuries and deaths.”

Faulty parts? Profit driven manufacturing changes over safety concerns? Death and injuries as a result? Trinity: The union of the Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost… which is who you’ll be going to meet if these allegations are proven to be true and you hit one of the guardrails in question!

This story immediately reminded me of the Ford Pinto case, which has turned out to be one of the greatest white collar crime studies of all time involving automobile part defects, corporate cost savings and business neglect. The impact on the public in that case has been widely documented.

Is Trinity Industries the next Ford Pinto case? Did Trinity Industries sell the federal government faulty parts causing innocent people to die, or be maimed, as a result? Or is this just a big case of “sour grapes” from a scorned business adversary using the FCA as his legal weapon of choice?

Will the caped crusaders get to the bottom of the gruesome guardrail gripe? Will Trinity be vindicated in court? Stay tuned as the liability lawsuit unfolds – same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!

Off Off Broadway

This fraud news story highlights fraud’s diversity and how it unfortunately touches every part of American society including the Arts.

In this aspiring stage play, producer’s of the theatrical production Rebecca: The Musical got taken for a financial ride and the production could aptly be renamed Rebecca: Gets Ripped Off thanks to a conniving stockbroker recently sentenced for his role in defrauding show producers out of approximately $60,000.

Producers were seeking financing to put the show on and lined up a stockbroker to assist them. The stockbroker represented that he was lining up investors (provided names) when, in fact, there were really no investors at all (fake names). The whole act more closely represents the title of another well-known Broadway production: The Phantom.

So much for “the show must go on.” Looks like the curtain came down on this production before it ever went up and that ladies and gentlemen is an artistic shame!

Ladies and Gentlemen…Put Your Hands Together for the Incredible  Vocals of (YOU)

No longer it is necessary for you to head into the recording studio to lay down your cool vocal stylings. Now, it’s effortlessly being done for you. Bad guys beware: The focus in these fraud news stories are the financial institutions using biometrics as a fraud detection tool.

Biometrics: “The measuring and analysis of such physical attributes as facial features and voice or retinal scans. This technology can be used to define an individual’s unique identity” (American Heritage).

Numerous stories are hitting the news wire this week discussing banks use of vocal biometrics in their fraud fighting efforts. The issue: from a fraud fighting perspective, there isn’t one. It’s all good.

However, from a privacy standpoint, the jury’s still out on whether the gathering of vocal biometrics, absent explicit permission/consent from the individual consumer who’s biometrics is being collected, constitutes a privacy violation and there are some states with legislation on the use of biometrics.

Legal experts are already questioning whether the banks recorded notification messages, as they currently stand (i.e. this call may be recorded for training purposes), or with amended language, constitutes “consumer consent.” The ACLU has already weighed in on this issue (go figure), they always do…

Biometrics: Great idea to use innovative, cutting edge technology from a fraud prevention standpoint as discussed in past blogs and Fraud News Updates. However, it’s clear that we’ll be hearing about the privacy ramifications for years to come as these tricky issues (and lawsuits too!) play out in courts across the land.

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.

Those are our insights. What are yours?