325 posts tagged with fraud.
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Idle Hands Are The Devil's Playthings

Dimorio McDowell had a lot of time on his hands in prison. So, he decided to start up his own retail fraud and ID theft ring, defrauding his victims of almost $1 million before investigators caught up to him.
posted by reenum on Aug 2, 2011 - 21 comments


Marissa is an adorable toddler with a rare and terrible medical problem: West Syndrome, a.k.a. infantile spasms. Her father Mike has been active in the online Special Needs community, chronicling her story for years now at his blog Marissa's Bunny. Last year, his readers raised almost $30,000 through a ChipIn fundraiser to offset the costs of Marissa's neurosurgery. As a sort of 'thank you', and with the help of matching funds from his employers, Mike offered to give away and/or raffle 40 iPads to the special needs kids of his blogger friends, to be used as assistive technology devices for many of their non-verbal kids. This follows on the heels of several other iPad raffles he's held in the past year.

Guess what happened next. The Special Needs Parenting blog community is on the case: Ellen Seidman (and her commenters), Rob Rummel-Hudson, Sarah and Joyce Hely, Shannon Des Roches Rosa and others are putting together the pieces right now.
(previously on MetaFilter: the unravelings of Kaycee Nicole, JT LeRoy, Kodee Kennings, Alexa DiCarlo, and Amina Arraf)
posted by Asparagirl on Jul 18, 2011 - 183 comments

I have to show you all my IDs

Fantasy Island: The Strange Tale of Alleged Fraudster Pearlasia Gamboa
posted by vidur on Jul 14, 2011 - 4 comments

And Justice For All?

An image showing disparity in sentencing appears in a tweet by Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Perry Barlow and raises questions of its validity. Paul R. Allen is clearly a real case and Roy Brown an actual criminal but what do the differences in their sentencing say about the state of justice in America? [more inside]
posted by geekyguy on Jun 25, 2011 - 28 comments

The Iraq War - There's No Tellin' Where the Money Went

Today's Los Angeles Times reports on over six Billion dollars that can not be accounted for during the Iraq war and is now believed to have been stolen. [more inside]
posted by Poet_Lariat on Jun 13, 2011 - 140 comments

Universities condemn plagiarism. So it's kind of news when your Dean of Medicine does it at grad.

University of Alberta Dean of Medicine Philip Baker is so inspired that he plagiarizes graduation speech from one last year at Stanford. He claims only parts were not cited properly as inspiration while grads at the ceremony claim it was an outright lift. The tip-off? "Velluvial matrix." The U of A Guide to Plagiarism here for reference.
posted by reiichiroh on Jun 12, 2011 - 64 comments

Roger Ebert writes what many of us are thinking.

One percent of Americans now "earn" 25% of the income. Many of them have grown their wealth through criminal exploitation. Roger Ebert asks the burning question: why aren't more people outraged?
posted by rhombus on May 10, 2011 - 404 comments

Going to the extreme with coupon clipping

Was J'aime Kirlew, self-proclaimed "Diva for Coupons" and participant on TLC's Extreme Couponing shown committing fraud? Many couponers (discussion begins with second comment on the page) think she's done it before going on TLC (youtube links in thread may be broken). Bud Miller from the The Coupon Information Corporation says "This whole thing is kind of sad.". Fraud may be reduced with implementation of the GS1 databar (wikipedia) which contains more data than the traditional UPC code.
posted by vespabelle on Apr 22, 2011 - 137 comments

Who On Earth is Rob Granito?

Meet Rob Granito, Professional Comic Book Con Artist. Sure, his art is perhaps a little similar to other work, and yeah, his claims of industry contacts are pretty much made up, and he's been banned as a fraud from multiple conventions, but hey, a playa's got to get paid, right?
posted by robocop is bleeding on Apr 8, 2011 - 59 comments

The Setup

"You may have heard the name Christopher Butler in the news lately but certainly not for reasons that the 49-year-old Concord resident would want you to know about. I’ve been following Butler’s mysterious story since last August, when he invited me to write a Diablo feature about his business. It unexpectedly turned out to be the most interesting—and frightening—story in my 14 years of being a journalist."
posted by brundlefly on Apr 5, 2011 - 69 comments

More like "Motels with Elaine"

Steinbeck's American-road-trip classic Travels With Charley: In Search of America? Yeah, mostly b.s. [more inside]
posted by gottabefunky on Apr 4, 2011 - 50 comments

Not the insurance you're looking for

Bank of America has allegedly engaged in mortgage fraud, according to an Anonymous website. The first batch of leaked emails appear to show that bank employees were trying to hide documents from regulators. The emails are put into context on the website Seeking Alpha which explains that they refer to the use of force-placed insurance to increase mortgage servicers' profits through kickbacks from insurers - a practice which has just been forbidden under a settlement imposed by the US' states attorneys general. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Mar 15, 2011 - 93 comments

iTunes Scammers At It Again

A thread at Apple's Support site has popped up with frustrated users describing nearly identical iTunes account disruptions: up to hundreds of dollars of charges are being racked up by fraudulent buyers, using iTunes gift card balances and even credit card information to fund the purchases. [more inside]
posted by Khazk on Mar 9, 2011 - 71 comments

fee fie foe fud

Point-of-sale equipment vendor Veriphone issues a stern video about how smartphone payment processor Square makes it easy to skim credit card data. The internet is there to translate. [more inside]
posted by mullingitover on Mar 9, 2011 - 60 comments

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

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