We're from the Government and we're here to help you. [more inside]
Who Counts your Votes? This book published back in 1992
is a good launching pad to begin the quest regarding elections and election fraud in America. Joseph Stalin had a saying: ``Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.'' When I voted on November 5, I was handed a little card stuck it in to a Diebold voting machine and presto all the votes I submitted were counted correctly right? Well I'm not sure after I read the article Diebold: The face of modern balloting at http://www.bartcop.com/110702otter.htm
and some of the articles at
Perhaps we Americans have handed a bit to much over to computers and the people who own the companies that make the computers and that write the code. Perhaps to restore faith in our Democracy its time to to go back a simple hand counted system, with observers from multiple parties stationed in the local precincts counting the paper ballots.
Florida Machine Records Votes for Wrong Candidate.
OK, I know Matt Drudge isn't exactly a venerated news outlet, but he is
in South Florida. And he's reporting that a West Palm Beach voter called in to a South Florida radio talk show to report that when he voted for McBride this morning the machine counted his vote for Bush. After he'd tried three times, the voter said, an observing poll worker finally acknowledged that the machine would have to be reprogrammed, since earlier voters had experienced the same problem. There is no official confirmation of this problem, but calls to the same radio show two years ago evidently foreshadowed the 2000 election debacle. I'll be keeping an eye on sites like Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo
as the day wears on. In the end, what should the electorate do (in addition to initiating lawsuits) if outcome-determining irregularities surface in yet another Florida election?
Academic Fraud Watch, continued
professor Michael Bellesiles has resigned
in the wake of a report
finding him guilty of unprofessional and misleading work. His book
had previously come under fire (no pun intended) from gun advocates.
(more inside, and the first link is from the NYT)
Who is Sergei Konovalov? Healer or crook?
This email came through a mailing list I subscribe to. I found it fascinating but was unable to dig up any more information about this guy. It sounds like what he is doing is similar to the faith healers in America, however there seems to be no reports of him online or in any newspapers that I can find. Perhaps the MeFi collective can debunk (or authenticate!) this guy.
A new chapter
in the nigerian letter fraud most recently discussed here.
Yes, someone actually fell for it, and cost her employer $2.1 million in the process. via fark.
cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered "Fraud!"
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed. They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain, and they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again
. But will there still be joy in Mudville?
You've got jail?
The SEC is no longer alone in investigating accounting irregularities at AOL Time Warner. Tonight the "world's leading media and entertainment company
" confirmed that the U.S. Justice Dept. has opened its own probe. This, one day after President Bush signed
the so-called Corporate and Auditing Accountability, Responsibility, and Transparency Act (pdf
of HR 3763) (summary
). Tonight, however, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, including Senators Patrick Leahy, D-Vt and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa are criticizing the President for trying to weaken the corporate fraud bill
before the ink is even dry.
You've got Jail
is a light hearted, easy summer reading and informative article which explodes the myth that malfeasing CEOs get sent to "Club Fed", a prison so minimum in insecurity that its really like an enforced vacation in the country rather than the more typical round
. Required reading for the Skillings, Rigas, Taubmens and every college student considering an MBA.
(So is the MeFi fascination with Prison life
an idle one
or am I keeping the wrong company?)
'Antiques Roadshow' Expert Sent to the Pokey.
"Russell Pritchard III, a militaria expert, pleaded guilty to making the bogus TV appraisals. He also admitted defrauding artifact owners by giving them low appraisals on items, then reselling them at much higher prices and pocketing the profit.
" Pritchard was kicked off the show a couple years ago, when it was discovered that he was faking fabulous discoveries on the show in an effort to gain credibility. Fans of the US version of the show may remember the civil war sword
found in an attic and the owner claimed he used the valuable weapon to cut watermelons. Pritchard could have received up to 135 years in prison, and $5.3 million in fines, but only received a year in prison, and ordered to repay his bilked clients $830k. I've always wondered about the credibility of the experts on that show, and whether they've ever quoted inflated or deflated values for personal gain. [via megosteve]
"The bigger the binge,
the longer and more severe the hangover." A short history of accounting scandals and fraudulent bankruptcies that follow bubble economies.
Escrew Service. Worried about getting scammed on an Internet auction? "Just use an escrow service," is the customary advice. Not so fast. The latest auction scam is an elaborate swindle involving creation of fake escrow services, complete with convincing Web sites like www.escrow-is.com
Show called "Harassment"
results in, well, harassment! MTV and their co-conspirator, the Hard Rock Hotel, are being sued for "invasion of privacy, infliction of emotional distress and fraud, among other things."
Enron cheated California
- The Los Angeles Times
is reporting the discovery of a memo detailing how Enron manipulated prices by fraud
during the power crisis while blaming the problem on powerplants.
One of their strategies was actually called 'Death Star'. Look like the Enron Empire has suffered the same fate as the Palpatine's Empire.
LA Times login: cpunks password: cpunks
Lieutentant colonel? Let's hire him, no questions asked.
Last year, Fox News
hired Joseph A. Cafasso as consultant on Afghanistan and the military. He said he was a retired lieutenant colonel with an exemplary service record, including tours in Vietnam, and rescuing hostages in Iran. The truth, however, was an entirely different matter.
(nyt link: mefi/mefi)
U.S. Representative James Traficant
(D-Ohio) has been found guilty on all 10 charges he faced, including kickbacks, fraud, bribery, and racketeering. The Congressman, known for his hatred
of the IRS(God
bless him) and his love of pork barrel projects
, has lit up the Congress with his bombastic
behavior since he was elected in 1984. Controversy has never been far from Traficant, he still claims that the trial is due to the bizarre, humorous, and grotesque story
of his mob-funded election to Sheriff of Youngstown. He claims that he will run as an independent
in the newly formed 17th District in the next congressional election. Will he be out of jail? Does he have a chance? What is Congress
going to do with him?
Fascinating background information courtesy of investigative journalist Dan Moldea's website
Why aren't ghostwritten works considered frauds?
Pop historians are on the rack for using unattributed passages, Milli Vanilla were shamed off the charts for lip-synching, Joe Klein was pilloried for playing coy about a book he did
write. Yet Reagan's autobiography, Clinton's "It Takes a Village", and recent works by V. C. Andrews and Lawrence Sanders weren't written by the names on the jackets. Kind of odd, no?
Earthlink founding investor Reed Slatkin to plead guilty
of defrauding over 800 people out of $254 million in a Ponzi scheme. Several of the victims were members of the Church of Scientology, where he was a minister. Oh, and he filed for bankruptcy too so there's no chance for reparations... I don't know how to feel!
Portrait of a Con-Artist:
Due to the efforts of the site StopAglaia!
(which was posted here earlier in the year), The New Jersey Star-Ledger printed this facinating story exposing a con woman of "Kaycee Nicole" proportions, and includes an interview with the woman in question. She's impersonated Denis Leary, Henry Rollins, and the manager for Bright Eyes, and she's conned both men an women out of thousands of dollars. Sadly, the printing of this article has caused StopAglaia!
to shut down, but their forum
is still up, so victims can trade info. [More Inside]
"The fraud, the huckster, the salesman are not new phenomena in America; what is new is that they now so strongly control every estate of our society."
For the last few days, I've been reading the Progressive Review
, a sort of progressive news blog-by-e-mail -- and frankly, it's amazing. One of today's articles
blew my mind: it's a spot-on encapsulation of What's Wrong with America Today. (Scroll down to "Derivative America and the Enron Generation." This link is to the "Latest Issue" page. Tomorrow I think it will be archived here
.) Seriously, read it now. It's worth it.
There are dozens of people on the internet who have been victimized by her
, and yet no one seemed to do much about it. So they did.
It ain't just Enron
-- This kind of pro forma reporting of "profits" is shifty, misleading, and common practice. Should us small investors be worried? Or do I need to be an accountant to know why this isn't a bad thing? And does this mean that there more Enrons out there, ready to implode in a pile of worthless paper?
SAS man exposed as fraud
The BBC has discovered that Tom Carew, who writes articles from an SAS perspective for the papers and has just published a book
about serving in Afghanistan, was never actually a member of the SAS at all. I just saw this interview on TV and laughed and laughed when he punched the camera. WARNING: Realplayer link
GIVER BEWARE! If you're gonna give, don't get taken.
The New York branch of the Better Business Bureau has some useful material on how to spot scams over legitimate charities. "As awful as it sounds, there may be those that seek to profit from this misery."
Useful tips and information are also available at Give.Org
, the Urban Legends Resource Center
and the Internet Fraud Complaint Center
. Maybe I'm just too cynical, but even the legitimate charities sound like scams to me. Why are there so many "disaster relief funds" forming? Wouldn't it be easier if there was just one place to give? Why all these middlemen?
How to make $4 million, the easy way.
A bankrupt Connecticut couple starts a business and secures state, city, and private funding. Then they go out of business and disappear from the face of the earth.
Fake Hate Crime
This doesn't help things. What was he thinking? (from fark
How low can we go? Spammers are soliciting funds
for bogus charities to help the victims of the disaster.
$9,000,000,000. I hope this is a misprint. More inside.
Verizon sues Covad
for creating thousands of false trouble tickets. So that's
why my DSL took so long!
What goes around comes around for Rambus
, I will predict that Steven
is not suprised about the fraud claims.
to life for fraud? Crime should be punished, but this seems somewhat harsh when there's murderers, rapists, etc. on the loose
Woman lives as teen, graduates high school
... while living with foster families, collecting welfare, and leaving a string of sex accusations in her wake.
St. Louis Sees Specter of Vote Fraud.
Chicago hands over the title of Most Vote-Rigged City in America. Remember the Election Day lawsuit that Democrats filed in St. Louis to illegally extend voting hours (which was successful for 45 minutes)? Turns out the chief plaintiff was dead. And that's only one anecdote from this story. Will meaningful election reform ever be allowed in this country, when it would mean closing all the loopholes that are routinely used to rig the results? (NYTimes
link, registration required)
DEA cooks the books to show a 'major success' in the War on Drugs.
$425 for an empty box.
Imagine how much more it would be worth if it contained a Playstation 2. (Check his feedback,
he really did send someone the empty box. "Caveat emptor"...)
A guy paid $5000 to a bank
for a list of 4 million credit card numbers, complete with name/address of the owners. He proceeded to start making false charges to those cards totalling some $37 million. He's going to jail. My question is, what the hell
was the bank thinking? Why are they selling something like that? Didn't they recognize the potential for abuse? What possible legitimate use could such a list have?
Egghead cracked by credit-card hack.
Up to 3.7 million credit cards are believed to be stolen from the online retailer's servers.
Can you say fraud
? Can you say it twice
? As strange as it seems, these two are related. After Kurzweil's fraud was finally revealed, the top two execs went to jail
, but there was some question about what was going to happen to the company. Well, what goes around comes around. Lernout and Hauspie bought out Kurzweil Artificial Intelligence. It seems like they picked up the corporate culture, too.
"That wasn't me, that was the guy before me!"
This is like "A bear walked in the door and ate it" from a little kid... What scares me is that people are stupid enough to fax him pictures of their credit cards. Wait until they see their next bills!
who sent millions of e-mails around the world falsely stating shares in an American company would rise 900 per cent was today sentenced to two years in jail. The charges filed are believed among the first of their type made against anyone in the world.
Mr Hourmouzis had pleaded guilty to two charges of making a false statement on the Internet.
"I wasn't doing anything wrong..."
So says Jonathan Lebed, the 16-year-old who paid out $285,000 to the SEC to settle his pump-and-dump case. His father agrees: "He earned it. He did a lot of work. He didn't sit behind a garage smoking pot, or stealing wheels off a car." Yeah, right: after all, he bought his parents a Mercedes with the profits of his stock manipulation.
It seems to me that this kid
is only getting in trouble because a bunch of people are sore losers. Aside from the legal trappings that they used to frame him, don't you think that people stupid enough to take financial advice via postings on Yahoo (or other sites) shouldn't whine when they turn out to be bogus? thoughts?
This girl is, literally, fighting for her life.
Her name is Kaycee, she's 18, and she is desperately fighting cancer. And if everyone could put down their mice, stop typing on their keyboards, close up their browsers, and think one good thought
for this girl -- and her family
-- maybe, hopefully, it would help.
Halcyon's set up a message board for her.
If you're so moved, you know what to do...
No more Mister Nice Guy.
They've built a web crawler looking for piracy sites. It should be interesting. I wonder how many computers and how much bandwidth they're assigning to the job?
Election fraud in Haiti? I can't believe it!
Imagine that...they don't seem to want the US telling them what to do. How novel. Well, I'm sure our compassionate President will respond by feeling their pain, and of course, causing more of it with our laser-guided bombs and the like.
Didn't we put Aristede there in the first place? Man, it ain't like the old days, when the US would stand by its tyrant, now is it? (Sorry, but I must obey my Uncle Joe
, and I always thought of sarcasm as linguistic bran anyway.)