is a blog that investigates products on Kickstarter and Indiegogo that look scientifically implausible, outright impossible, or completely scammy
posted by The Whelk
on Dec 6, 2013 -
"In cities across the country, Michael Manos has thrown fantastic parties with faux celebrities and top-shelf tequila sponsors.
He ingratiates himself in gay communities, fakes a European accent, and often has claimed to be the disavowed gay son of a Greek millionaire, though he actually grew up middle-class in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Along the way, he’s taken thousands of dollars from socialites and the well-heeled, who were easily blinded by his glitter and glamour. He duped actress Jane Fonda. He sold tickets to a “chic” fundraiser in honor of Sen. John McCain, who later said he’d never heard of him. Manos is a bank robber, a one-time male escort on Capitol Hill, and the target of more than one cross-country manhunt. He is also a convicted kidnapper who helped keep a man locked in the trunk of a car for four days. For that, he spent more than a decade in a New York prison. And now he’s behind bars again, this time in Louisiana."
posted by porn in the woods
on Oct 25, 2013 -
Cambodia Daily just ran two controversial features on Somaly Mam, a well-known trafficking survivor and head of the anti-trafficking non-profit, the Somaly Mam Foundation
that funds shelters in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Somaly Mam, Cambodia's most well-known anti-trafficking activist, partly due to Nicholas Kristof whose "live tweeting" a brothel raid with Somaly Mam was roundly criticised by other NGOs in Cambodia
, is accused of false stories of abuse, murder and kidnapping of young women, and the organization of hugely over-paying top staff including Somaly Mam herself. [more inside]
posted by syncope
on Oct 16, 2013 -
The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure [PDF, there is a Word file direct from the DoD]
is 167 pages of stories of elaborate frauds, scams, and abuses of power in the US government. Interestingly, the sarcasm-filled document is also published by the US government, to help illustrate how government workers get in trouble. Freakonomics radio has a amusing and interesting discussion
with the Encyclopedia
's editor and founding editor [link goes to transcript]. [more inside]
posted by blahblahblah
on Jul 18, 2013 -
Twitter is experimenting with online shopping
"American Express card holders who connect their card numbers to their Twitter accounts can post on Twitter to trigger a purchase of select products, including discounted American Express gift cards, Kindle Fire tablets from Amazon.com Inc. and jewelry from designer Donna Karan. The program will roll out over the next few days." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore
on Feb 12, 2013 -
In 1820 Gregor MacGregor, chieftain of the Central American principality of Poyais arrived in London and explained his problem: his principality had a fine climate, friendly natives, and a democratic government, but it needed investors and settlers to help develop it and exploit its abundant natural resources. To this end his government was to issue a £200,000 bond which would pay off at a generous 6%, as well as land rights for a modest 3 shillings an acre. MacGregor would eventually raise funds worth £3.2 billion -at today's prices- for the entirely fictional principality; this makes him arguably the most successful con-men of all time
. [more inside]
posted by rongorongo
on Dec 31, 2012 -
"Honey laundering is a complex exercise
that involves several players in the honey chain from apiary to wholesaler to retailer. In the case against ALW, evidence was presented to show the use of fake country-of-origin documents for shipments, replacement of labels on Chinese containers with fraudulent ones, switching of honey containers in a third country, and even the blending of Chinese honey with glucose syrup or honey from another country."
posted by vidur
on Dec 6, 2012 -
From Vanity Fair, The Murder Hustle
: In 1988, 'When businessman Gene Hanson died in a California doctor's office, his partner, John Hawkins, a former Studio 54 bartender, got $1 million in insurance. Nine months later, Hanson was caught in Texas with a new face and a new name, Wolfgang Von Snowden. He and the doctor are awaiting trial for murder. Hawkins, a scam artist and sex addict, has disappeared with the money. Ann Louise Bardach
investigates three double lives in the business community of Columbus, Ohio, the Genet underground of West Hollywood, and the luxury condos of Miami's Biscayne Bay.'
. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Aug 3, 2012 -
this story stretches far beyond Britain. Barclays is the first bank in the spotlight because it offered to co-operate fully with regulators. It will not be the last. Investigations into the fixing of LIBOR and other rates are also under way in America, Canada and the EU. Between them, these probes cover many of the biggest names in finance: the likes of Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Deutsche Bank and HSBC. Employees, from New York to Tokyo, are implicated.
The rotten heart of finance
. A scandal over key interest rates is about to go global.
Naomi Wolf: The media's 'bad apple' thesis no longer works.
This global financial fraud and its gatekeepers
posted by adamvasco
on Jul 14, 2012 -
: 'Artist Todd White
seemingly had it all. With a multi-million-dollar art brand, collectors and clients ranging from Sylvester Stallone to Coca-Cola
, and a burgeoning reputation in art-mad Britain, his days as lead character designer of SpongeBob SquarePants were but a distant memory. But, as David Kushner reports, when his confidante and gallerist Peggy Howell reported a burglary of his paintings at the hand of ninjas, things took a turn for the even stranger.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jun 26, 2012 -
Confessions of a Genius Art Forger
— In one of Germany's greatest art scandals, former hippie and talented artist Wolfgang Beltracchi forged dozens of paintings over a period of 35 years, earning millions and fooling top collectors and museums. In a SPIEGEL interview, he reveals how he did it and why he eventually got caught. Photo Gallery.
Background... [more inside]
posted by netbros
on May 26, 2012 -
Has there ever been any advance in retailing that didn't in turn create a new opportunity for fraud? Take barcodes, for example: You can go to the store, buy a cheap box of Legos, and take it home. Then you use your computer to create peel-and-stick stickers with that same barcode on it. Now you go back to the store, pick up expensive boxes of Legos, and put your own stickers over their barcodes. Voila! You can now buy them for low price, and resell for a profit. That is what Thomas Langenbach is accused of having done
, and it seems that he made over $30,000 reselling them on eBay.
posted by Chocolate Pickle
on May 22, 2012 -
The Incentive Bubble
) - "The fraying of the compact of American capitalism by rising income inequality and repeated governance crises is disturbing. But misallocations of financial, real, and human capital arising from the financial-incentive bubble are much more worrisome to those concerned with the competitiveness of the American economy." [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Apr 3, 2012 -
In a new working paper provocatively entitled Law Deans in Jail
, Emory law professors Morgan Cloud
and George Shepherd
examine the widespread reports of lying by law schools and their administrators, and the publication of these fabrications by U.S. News, and explain how the reported conduct could constitute federal crimes, [specifically] mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, and racketeering.
Advisory: 77-page PDF; click on the link on the top-left to download the full paper. [Abstract
. [Via the always trenchant Margaret Soltan]
posted by Sonny Jim
on Mar 13, 2012 -
A "mystery man
" was caught at a polling site for the New Hampshire primary attempting to use a dead man's name to vote. That man turned out to be James O'Keefe
, who may have also broken federal law
(and potentially violated his probation for previous wiretapping shenanigans) by crossing state lines to tamper with another state's election by filming poll workers and attempting to commit election fraud.
posted by backseatpilot
on Jan 12, 2012 -
One way to measure corporate fraud
is look at reported numbers and see if they follow Benford's law
- number sets that are manipulated usually deviate from Benford's law. A recent
analysis of all public companies over the past 50 years has shown a steady upward deviation, strongly suggesting there is more corporate fraud now than ever before (peaked in 2008). [more inside]
posted by stbalbach
on Oct 13, 2011 -