Fraud News Update 01.09.15

Fraud News

01.09.15 – This week’s edition of the Fraud News Update features: What Does The F Stand For in NFL? (Football Ticket Fraud), Employees Gone Wild (Stealing Things of Value), Listen To This (A Business “Beat” Down?), Parade Isn’t All Roses (Darryl Hall Lawsuit) and Analyzing Big Data (Pivot Table Prowess).

As leaders in the fraud consulting arena, read on for more topical information and our insights, observations and unique commentary on the weekly fraud news.

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What Does The F Stand For in NFL?

Most of us know that the “F” stands for football. However, at this time of year if you buy those coveted playoff game tickets from the wrong source, you may find it stands for FRAUD.

You might be wondering who would get taken in such a deal? Supply and demand dictates that quite a few football fanatics fall for this fakery.

In this fraud news story, Forbes takes a look at how folks get taken in the seasonal ticket scam and the things you can do to avoid being a victim.

The Seattle Seahawks are in the playoff hunt this year so they’ve added to the discussion in hopes of helping people make smart ticket buying decisions and avoid getting ripped off.

Employees Gone Wild

We often talk about the increasing number of “old school” internal frauds like embezzlement. What’s clear however is that employees steal things of value. As indicated by these fraud news stories, some are obvious – some are not.

“Just Do It”

Thanks to companies like Nike, and the endorsement of big name athletes, shoes are part of pop culture and have real value.

Some shoes are so valuable to others that people who are fortunate enough to get them early have tragically been killed over their kicks.

Fortunately no one died in this story but a transportation company employee found the new LeBron’s so irresistible that he jacked a truckload of them (7,500 pairs – $1.5 million value) and was reselling them before their initial product release.

The theft of that many pairs of shoes will definitely put you in the big house…where shoes are free and don’t come with a $200 price tag!


From shoes to metal, copper wire continues to have big value. In 2013, CNBC reported that “Copper theft ‘like an epidemic’ sweeping US.” Commodity HQ added that the theft of copper wire is a billion dollar a year industry.

The news is littered with stories about the theft of copper wire and it shows absolutely NO signs of slowing down.

A lot of the copper thefts are outside jobs, but internal thefts are still prevalent.

These employees allegedly jumped on the wire theft bandwagon but their large-scale, metal inventory thefts didn’t go unnoticed and they were recently charged with stealing over $100,000 worth of the metal gold!

“Client PII”

We’ve talked repeatedly in past Fraud News Updates about data. Data has value!

“Information is definitely power.”

If you don’t think of information as a commodity…ask Morgan Stanley what their opinion is about that today?

The newswires are reporting that Morgan Stanley fired an employee accused of stealing client data. According to the stories out now, the data ultimately appeared for sale on a website which eventually led Morgan Stanley back to the employee.

Since the investigations ongoing, there’s no word yet on what the employee’s involvement was, whether he was responsible for posting the information online or how exactly that occurred. Stay tuned for more details as the story unfolds.

Internal theft – aside from revenue and data the question is…what does your company have of “value” that someone might want to steal? It may not be what you think!

Listen To This

We’ve heard about a lot of different types of fraud.

Beats was recently acquired by Apple…everyone knows that.

But did you know that Monster is now suing Apple, Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine and HTC over the transaction?

This fraud news story asks if you can you say “headphone fraud?” Monster can.

Will they take a bite out of Apple?

Listen for more information as we see how this song plays out in court.

Parade Isn’t All Roses For Rocker

For many of us who grew up in SoCal, a big part of the New Year’s Day tradition involves watching the annual Rose Bowl Parade either in person in Pasadena or on TV. The other part is watching college football games all day.

This year’s Rose Bowl Parade theme was “Inspiring Stories” and we enjoyed watching the parade.

On the football front, Oregon was inspired…they beat the tar out of Florida State and earned a birth in the first National Championship Game on January 12th against Ohio State. It’s the Ducks against the Bucks for “winner take all” bragging rights.

In last year’s Rose Bowl Parade, the theme was “Making Dreams Come True.”

Darryl Hall, one of the coolest people on earth, and his band performed on a float called “You Make My Dreams Come True.”

Apparently, in this fraud new story, according to a lawsuit just filed, Hall had a less than stellar Rose Bowl Parade experience in 2014. The suit alleges that the production company that hired Hall to perform on the float, with his band, not only failed to fulfill the financial terms of the contract, but ultimately used Darryl’s likeness without his permission and repackaged the music for resale.

Sounds like this song ended on a sour note.

Analyzing Big Data

Lastly, to prove financial misdeeds, fraud professionals are often required to sift through voluminous amounts of data to find the “smoking gun.” This isn’t always as easy it seems.

Knowing the analytic tools and techniques available to you is imperative to investigative success.

Sara Silverstein, Sr. Producer for the Business Insider, previously took us inside how forensic accountants use Benford’s Law. In this fraud news story, Sara explains that “Excel pivot tables are incredible tools that allow you to analyze large data sets many different ways in seconds.”

Sara’s produced a short video breaking down Excel analytics: How To Use Excel Pivot Tables To Analyze Massive Data Sets.

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?

For more information on how we can help your businesses prevent risk, reduce major fraud losses and improve operational ROI, contact us to schedule an initial consultation. No obligations…just unique insights from an industry leader.