311 posts tagged with fraud.
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So this is why I never win.

Cracking the Scratchie. With cheating and money laundering and statistics, this story seems like it should be about something more exciting than scratch-off lottery tickets. But it isn't.
posted by jacquilynne on Feb 1, 2011 - 92 comments

Handmade Soap, Dancing Lemmings & Credit Card Fraud

UK cosmetics company Lush cultivates an image of quirky naiveté in its marketing, even when it loses the credit card details of thousands of customers. [more inside]
posted by him on Jan 23, 2011 - 42 comments

oh no, #fauxho

[Warning: some links NSFW] Callgirl and blogger Alexa DiCarlo had some questions raised about her authenticity dating back to 2008 and 2009, but her website RealPrincessDiaries.com (archive.org cache) still attracted huge traffic and she was even named the #1 sex blogger of 2010. A student at SFSU's master's degree program in sexuality studies, she also volunteered her time providing sex education advice to teenagers online under the name Caitlain or Cathy. And she mentored newbie sex workers via e-mail, giving them pro tips and even sharing with them one of her top clients, Matt, whose identity and safety she vouched for. But in true Kaycee Nicole / JT LeRoy style, it now turns out there wasn't any "Alexa", "Caitlain", or "Cathy". Outed by the anonymous blog Expose A Bro, combined with the anonymous twitter account @ExposingAlexa, the real story has emerged. Alexa was apparently a married middle-aged guy named Pat, not a student at SFSU, had no formal training from which to be sharing "advice" (or naked photos!) with those teenagers online, and he was the "client" that "Alexa" had sent to her protégées to sleep with... [more inside]
posted by Asparagirl on Nov 22, 2010 - 188 comments

Control Fraud Theory: When CEOs go bad

Ken Lay & Enron. Bernie Madoff. Bernie Ebbers & WorldCom. What is it about CEOs that makes them uniquely capable of pulling off the most audacious & expensive kind of white collar crime? Control Fraud Theory has the answer. Via the ever-enlightening Bruce Schneier.
posted by scalefree on Nov 8, 2010 - 37 comments

Richard Dawkins vs. Josh Timonen

The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, has filed four lawsuits in a Californian court alleging that Mr Timonen, who ran its online operation in America, stole $375,000 (£239,000) over three years. [more inside]
posted by peacheater on Oct 25, 2010 - 60 comments

The first thing that needs to happen is...

"The first thing that needs to happen, I think, is to get these people out of their homes," a man wearing a bespoke blue-striped shirt, a Hermés tie patterned with elephants and Ferragamo loafers said recently. But, maybe Wall Street doesn't understand why foreclosure fraud is so dangerous to property rights? And, the Obama administration doesn't understand why HAMP has been a portrait in failure for homeowners (in eight parts I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII.)
posted by ennui.bz on Oct 15, 2010 - 107 comments

For-Profit Colleges Mislead Students, Report Finds

Undercover investigators posing as students interested in enrolling at 15 for-profit colleges found that recruiters at four of the colleges encouraged prospective students to lie on their financial aid applications — and all 15 misled potential students about their programs’ cost, quality and duration, or the average salary of graduates, according to a federal report. NY Times [more inside]
posted by Think_Long on Aug 4, 2010 - 48 comments

For security reasons, several images in this post are watermarked in a way that is not apparent to the observer.

The Mark of a Masterpiece. The company combined the forensic triumphalism of “C.S.I.” with the lottery ethos of “Antiques Roadshow.”

An in-depth profile of Peter Paul Biro, acclaimed forensic art authenticator featured in the 2006 documentary Who the *$&% Is Jackson Pollock? (previously), professional art restorer, swindler, con man, and art forger.
posted by shakespeherian on Jul 6, 2010 - 20 comments

Lies, Damn Lies, and Daily Kos polls

For the past year and a half, Daily Kos has been running weekly polls from the respected polling firm, Research 2000. Earlier this month, former Daily Kos diarist Nate Silver of Five Thirty Eight published a rating of pollsters that placed R2k near the bottom, leading Markos to fire R2K. Today, Markos alleges that R2K committed fraud, publishing a study of their results by independent statisticians. He promises to sue.
posted by empath on Jun 29, 2010 - 91 comments

mutuelles des fraudeurs

Paris Metro's cheaters say solidarity is the ticket. Scofflaws who jump the turnstiles or enter through the exits of the Paris public transit system have formed mutuelles des fraudeurs — insurance funds that pay the fine if they get caught.
posted by hat on Jun 23, 2010 - 67 comments

How to become the world's No. 1 hacker/plagiarist

Cyber security consultant & self-styled “innovator, leader & visionary” Greg Evans has just written & self-published a book titled How To Become The Worlds No. 1 Hacker. Or did he? His company, LIGATT Security International, counts Philips Arena, the NBA Atlanta Hawks and the NHL Atlanta Thrashers among its clients. Or does it?
posted by scalefree on Jun 15, 2010 - 15 comments

What's in the Bottle?

An investigation into the startling fraud accusations that have upended the fine wine world. "Daniel Oliveros and Jeff Sokolin were known as the "sexy boys" because they often described the wines they sold as "sexy juice." Oliveros and Sokolin ran Royal Wine Merchants, a Manhattan retailer that was, until a few years ago, one of the biggest players in the fine wine market. They lived as lavishly as their wealthy customers—staying in swank hotels, often hiring limousines, and routinely opening thousands of dollars' worth of rare wines." [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Jun 14, 2010 - 98 comments

The Talented Mr. Ripley + Six Degrees of Separation + Clark Rockefeller ...

"Former Harvard student Adam Wheeler was indicted [yesterday] on multiple counts of identity fraud and larceny. According to the Boston Globe, Wheeler allegedly built a 'fraudulent life history that led to his admission to Harvard, and for using forged academic materials from Harvard when he applied for the prestigious Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships.'"* In his transfer student application to Harvard "...Wheeler claimed he got a perfect score on the SAT, straight A's at prestigious prep school Phillips Academy Andover and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology...In reality, he had never attended either school..."* He has plead not guilty to the charges. [more inside]
posted by ericb on May 18, 2010 - 164 comments

An exclusive interview with Mr. Robert Dutu

"i accept the fact that i am GUILTY… and will not hesitate to be prosecuted when the law catch up with me… and i know my God will forgive because i pray to him to replenish the pockets of my clients with double of whatever they loss" Mike Nash has a surprisingly frank chat with a 419 scammer.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis on May 11, 2010 - 23 comments


-Confessions of a Wall St. Nihilist: Forget About Goldman Sachs, Our Entire Economy Is Built on Fraud by Mark Ames (note: polemic)
-The Feds vs. Goldman by Matt Taibbi (note: vampire squid reprise)
-The Goldman Casino: Do investment banks do anything that helps America anymore? by Eliot Spitzer (cf. Robert Rubin, oh and Dick Fuld)
-William Black on Fraud interviewed by Bill Moyers (note: Moyers' penultimate PBS show) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 5, 2010 - 57 comments

The SEC's Kiss of Death

"When a company or individual receives a surprise subpoena on a Friday from the SEC, it is usually designed to ruin their weekend plans. Yes, the SEC can get personal in its own way...Back in the day as the criminal CFO of Crazy Eddie, I received a surprise subpoena from the SEC late Friday afternoon. I had to wait until Monday before my attorneys had time to advise me on a course of action." Ex-white collar felon Sam Antar blogs about the SEC's recent move. [more inside]
posted by inkyroom on Apr 20, 2010 - 50 comments

Too big not to fail?

SEC sues Goldman Sachs for fraud. GS has already come under fire for "betting against" financial products it was marketing, a practice that apparently helped it prosper from the real estate bubble but come out relatively unscathed. The SEC now says that one such product was designed specifically so that a Goldman business partner, Paulson & Company, could take a short position on it. Investors were apparently not advised of this fact. Goldman's stock was off more than 10% in the half hour following the announcement. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Apr 16, 2010 - 48 comments

Oh, hi. I didn't see you there.

Finish with a flurry! (SLYT) Brad McWilliams went undefeated in over 700 street fights and shows you the secrets that will let you do the same.
posted by ignignokt on Apr 14, 2010 - 60 comments

You're both right!

It's a charter school. It's a nightclub. Charter school? Nightclub!
posted by fixedgear on Mar 30, 2010 - 38 comments

Australia's own Madoff affair?

An Australian Madoff? Trio Capital, an Australian fund manager, has been ordered to wind up its funds after being unable to account for $123 million in its Astarra fund since investigations began in October. The fund "has a total of $426 million under management - including superannuation savings of about 10,000 Australians." Some worry what this means for more potential frauds in Australia's "privatized social security." [more inside]
posted by FuManchu on Mar 21, 2010 - 10 comments

Broadcast Yourself.

Google Alleges That Viacom ‘Secretly Uploaded Its Content to YouTube, Even While Publicly Complaining About Its Presence There’ Zahavah Levine, chief counsel for YouTube in its litigation with Viacom, explains:
For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. […] Viacom’s efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.
[via DF]
posted by ocherdraco on Mar 18, 2010 - 49 comments

A magical card worth thousands until you buy it

Canopy Financial: A classic investor fraud story (civil suit by the SEC) combined with the most modern in misappropriation of health care savings. CFO Jeremy Blackburn, already on the hook for investment fraud, was charged today (*pdf) along with chief tech officer Anthony Banas with misappropriating millions from individual clients health care accounts. On ripoffreport, Vladimir Makarov says he found out about it when his HSA debit card stopped working. [more inside]
posted by Smedleyman on Mar 1, 2010 - 10 comments

unknown unknowns

Do you feel like a fraud, wondering what sort of voodoo you’ve unwittingly conjured up to make people think you know what you’re doing, when the reality is quite the contrary?
posted by infinitefloatingbrains on Feb 22, 2010 - 97 comments

Wall Street's Bailout Hustle

"The reality is that the post-bailout era in which Goldman [Sachs] thrived has turned out to be a chaotic frenzy of high-stakes con-artistry, with taxpayers and clients bilked out of billions using a dizzying array of old-school hustles that, but for their ponderous complexity, would have fit well in slick grifter movies like The Sting and Matchstick Men. There's even a term in con-man lingo for what some of the banks are doing right now, with all their cosmetic gestures of scaling back bonuses and giving to charities. In the grifter world, calming down a mark so he doesn't call the cops is known as the "Cool Off.""
posted by Pope Guilty on Feb 22, 2010 - 50 comments

The Wolffs At The Door

The Wolffs At The Door An interesting story about a couple of elderly grifters in Massachusetts. The Boston Sunday Globe published a follow-up article today. [more inside]
posted by Mayor Curley on Feb 7, 2010 - 14 comments

UK Government bans export of "explosives dowser"

The UK Government has banned the export of the ADE651 to Afghanistan and Iraq. [more inside]
posted by jonesor on Jan 26, 2010 - 54 comments

Well, it's sort of real, isn't it?

The 2009 winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition (also covered here in 2007 and 2008) has been stripped of his title after it emerged that his winning photo was not what it seemed. The judges decided that it was highly likely the picture was not of a wild Iberian wolf, but rather that it was of Ossian, a tame animal kept at Cañada Real Open Center near Madrid. [more inside]
posted by ZsigE on Jan 20, 2010 - 40 comments

Justice bites the hand that feeds it

Blow the whistle on the rich and powerful, go to jail, while they avoid jail. Tax Notes, the weekly publication on federal taxation, announced its "2009 Tax Person of the Year" - a whistleblower from Swiss banking giant UBS whom it called "the Benedict Arnold of the private banking industry." Bradley Birkenfeld came forward and exposed the tax fraud dealings of UBS which led thousands of millionaire tax cheats to come forward and pay billions in back taxes. His reward? Tomorrow he goes to jail. The Government Accountability Project (GAP), a Washington watchdog organization that has extensive whistle-blower experience, says a chilling effect is already apparent: a senior executive at a European bank that offers similar U.S. tax shelters is having second thoughts about going public because of the Birkenfeld case.
posted by caddis on Jan 7, 2010 - 42 comments

Marc Dreier's Crime of Destiny

"...$48 million of notes due in September, another $15 million in November, a whopping $100 million in December, plus $60 million in January 2009. All told, he would need almost $225 million to cover these redemptions. 'Obviously,' Dreier observes without a hint of irony, 'I had put myself in a ridiculous predicament.'" (Previously)
posted by shivohum on Nov 25, 2009 - 45 comments

The Education of Little Fraud

Many kids read The Education of Little Tree in school, but the author of the book, Forrest Carter, was actually Asa Carter, a staunch racist and charlatan.
posted by reenum on Nov 10, 2009 - 101 comments

Iraq Swears by Bomb Detector U.S. (Correctly) Sees as Useless

Iraq Swears by Bomb Detector U.S. (Correctly) Sees as Useless. Similar to the now debunked Sniffex (as seen previously on Metafilter), the ADE651 detects explosives, firearms, grenades, narcotics, elephant ivory, bank notes, and according to its manufacturer's website, "human research." [more inside]
posted by Optimus Chyme on Nov 4, 2009 - 52 comments

Fundable.com is closed permanently

Fundable.com is closed permanently. According to the site's current index, there is bad blood between the two founders of the site, Louis Helm and John Pratt. The recent story of Mary Robinette Kowal being ripped off was apparently the final straw. [more inside]
posted by clockworkjoe on Oct 1, 2009 - 116 comments

"I have left a legacy of shame"

“One of the traditional notions of punishment is that an offender should be punished in proportion to his blameworthiness. Here, the message must be sent that Mr. Madoff’s crimes were extraordinarily evil.”

The 71-year-old man behind the biggest Wall Street fraud in history is sentenced to a maximum of 150 years in prison. [more inside]
posted by up in the old hotel on Jun 29, 2009 - 158 comments

An Unclear Future

Clear, the "security service" that allowed travellers to bypass TSA security lines, offered a Father's Day discount if you purchased a one-year membership by June 21. On June 23, Clear ceased operations. Sorry, no refunds.
posted by mattdidthat on Jun 23, 2009 - 50 comments

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

Michael Kinsell sees himself as the next Mr. Rogers. So much so, that he planned a gala event, replete with big-name stars and full orchestra, where Rogers would be honored and Kinsell would be introduced as his successor, telling potential investors he had the blessing of PBS and Rogers’ longtime production company, Family Communications Inc. The only problem was, none of his claims were true, and his charade quickly fell apart.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Jun 7, 2009 - 64 comments

Saved By The Blog

The Girl Who Cried Webmaster: "I’m annoyed and exhausted, I have a considerable load of work to take care of, and after you’ve read what appears below, you’ll probably agree that I’ve earned it."
posted by grumblebee on Jun 3, 2009 - 84 comments

Protect Yourself, Your Family, Your Identity

The commercials are all over television — and they certainly are attention-grabbing. They’re the ones where the heavy, bald guy is sitting in his easy chair talking in a squeaky female voice about all the clothes he bought — including a bustier. Or the little old lady speaking with the gruff voice of a younger man about the sweet motorcycle she now owned. Identity theft is a serious crime — one that is occurring with an alarming frequency. The Identity Theft Manifesto explains how criminals get your personal info, and what you can do about it.
posted by netbros on Jun 1, 2009 - 15 comments

Accidental movement of large sums of money to the wrong people.

Couple flee after bank mistakenly gives them 10m $
posted by johannahdeschanel on May 21, 2009 - 112 comments

The rise and fall of a physics fraudster

The rise and fall of a physics fraudster. In the spring of 2002, the world’s most productive young scientist was a 31-year-old physicist at Bell Labs in New Jersey in the US. With eight papers published in Nature and Science in 2001 alone, Jan Hendrik Schön was emerging with breathtaking speed as a star researcher in physics, materials science and nanotechnology...But in September 2002, managers at Bell Labs released a report [pdf] that...made clear that much of Schön’s data were fake. His discoveries were lies. Many of his devices had probably never existed...On the day of the report’s release, Schön was fired and fled the US to an unknown location. In all, 21 of Schon's papers were withdrawn from Nature, Science and Physical Review Journals.
posted by gottabefunky on May 2, 2009 - 50 comments

Sir Allen Stanford, the Ponzi artist

The Dark Knight - On Sir Allen Stanford
posted by Gyan on Apr 29, 2009 - 9 comments

Banking on Fraud

Neil Barofsky, who helped prosecute the REFCO case, and who was appointed by the previous administration in late November to serve as Special Inspector General for TARP (more on him here and here), has released a report that claims TARP and related bailout programs are inherently vulnerable to fraud--and that there are at least 20 bailout/fraud investigations currently underway. The report comes on the heels of rumors that bailout money may convert to equity stakes: a move that may signal a change in current policy (but don't mention the n-word) .
posted by ornate insect on Apr 20, 2009 - 20 comments

The Hipster Grifter

Kari Ferrell is on Salt Lake City's Most Wanted List. Apparently Ms. Ferrell has moved from Utah to New York and has been hanging out with the hipsters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Within the space of a half-hour, Ms. Ferrell was peppering him with questions about his sexual history—how many women he’d slept with and so on. “She was coming on to me, and I was super into it for the first part of it,” he said. “I realized I could have fun after work—but then I was like, ‘Let me check this girl out.’”
posted by R. Mutt on Apr 15, 2009 - 147 comments

ATM card skimmer removed and examined

In the Netherlands somebody has removed an ATM card skimmer and examined it in detail. This site is in Dutch only, but appears to show high resolution photos of an ATM card skimmer with integrated PIN-capturing video camera.
posted by thewalrus on Apr 8, 2009 - 55 comments

Pseudoscientists Win Prizes When Pigs Fly

On April Fools Day 2009, the James Randi Educational Foundation announced the Pigasus Awards for 2008 for the worst in pseudoscientific irrationality. The Scientist award was given to Dr. Colin A. Ross for his claims that he can shoot electromagnetic energy beams from his eyes. The Funding Organization award went to Walt Ruloff and his co-producers for bankrolling the Intelligent Design documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. The Media award went to cable channels such as Comedy Central that still run ads for Enzyte even though the company's owner is now serving a 25-year sentence for fraud. The Perfomer award was typically awarded in the past to cheesy psychics such as Uri Geller or Sylvia Browne, but this year the (dis)honor goes to actress/spokesmodel Jenny McCarthy for her antivaccination activism, a stance that inspired the Jenny McCarthy Body Count. Finally, a new award for "most persistent refusal to face reality" was presented to infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau, who continues selling his books on "natural cures" despite a judge slapping him with a $37 million fine for false claims.
posted by jonp72 on Apr 7, 2009 - 78 comments

Trust me, I'm an attorney

More brazen than Madoff? Former NYC hotshot attorney Marc Dreier (he of the now-defunct vanity firm), was arrested in Canada in late 2008, charged with spearheading an occasionally daring series of frauds. [more inside]
posted by Inspector.Gadget on Apr 5, 2009 - 16 comments

We've only just begun

No, to us what the fraud Bernard Madoff is to individual investors, AIG is to the global financial community. [via] [more inside]
posted by ryoshu on Apr 2, 2009 - 28 comments

The Alex Latifi trial was potholed with crazy.

The Curious Case of Alex Latifi. "We don’t care if Latifi is innocent. Our goal is to put him out of business." Feds knock; a business is lost: all charges dropped years after the company was charged with violating U.S. export law by sending to China classified drawings of an Army Black Hawk helicopter part and falsifying related tests. "It appears that the principal offense committed by the defendant, Alex Latifi, was breathing while being of Middle Eastern extraction.” [more inside]
posted by Non Prosequitur on Apr 1, 2009 - 17 comments

Election Fraud in Kentucky

Election Fraud in Kentucky. "I think this is the first documented case of election fraud in the U.S. using electronic voting machines (there have been lots of documented cases of errors and voting problems, but this one involves actual maliciousness)."
posted by chunking express on Mar 24, 2009 - 36 comments

Madoff Congo scandal

The US Attorney's office has submitted email correspondence between Bernie Madoff and his victims, some of whom are more deserving than others. Via
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 23, 2009 - 60 comments

The Great Imposter

Ferdinand Waldo Demara Jr was a prison warden, a monk, a lawyer and a religiously-oriented psychologist, and yet he was actually none of those things. Now known as "The Great Imposter", Demara held many careers as he faked his way through life, but his most famous exploit was to masquerade as surgeon Joseph Cyr aboard the HMCS Cayuga, a Royal Canadian Navy destroyer, during the Korean War. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Mar 17, 2009 - 22 comments

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