Articles on White Collar Crime
Nearly $100 billion at minimum has been stolen from COVID-19 relief programs set up to help businesses and people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, says the U.S. Secret Service, the Associated Press reports. Most of the total is attributable to unemployment fraud. The Labor Department reported about $87 billion in unemployment benefits could have been paid improperly. The Secret Service has seized more than $1.2 billion while investigating unemployment insurance and loan fraud and has returned more than $2.3 billion of fraudulently obtained funds by working with financial partners and states to reverse transactions. The agency has more than 900 active criminal investigations into pandemic fraud, with cases in every state; 100 people have...Click here to read more »
A Harvard University professor charged with hiding his affiliation to a Chinese-run recruitment program was found guilty on all counts Tuesday, the Associated Press reports. Charles Lieber, 62, former chair of Harvard’s department of chemistry and chemical biology, was charged with two counts of filing false tax returns, two counts of making false statements, and two counts of failing to file reports for a foreign bank account in China. The jury deliberated for three hours before announcing the verdict in Boston federal court. Prosecutors argued that Lieber, who was arrested in January, knowingly hid his involvement in China’s Thousand Talents Plan — a program designed to recruit people with knowledge...Click here to read more »
Former President Trump sued New York state Attorney General Letitia James, accusing her of having a political vendetta and abusing her office to launch investigations into him, his company and his family, reports the Wall Street Journal. The lawsuit in federal court in New York accuses James, a Democrat, of abandoning the impartiality of her office and seeks to stop her from any involvement in civil or criminal probes into the Trump Organization and related Trump businesses. James, who was elected in 2018, campaigned on a promise that she would investigate Trump and his businesses for alleged corruption. She made the claims despite having no insight into the Trump Organization or Trump’s real-estate...Click here to read more »
The Securities and Exchange Commission often picks its top cop from the ranks of Wall Street's best defense lawyers. Its latest one hadn't worked on a securities case in almost six years until he took on the job in July. Gurbir Grewal became the director of the SEC's enforcement program after serving as New Jersey's attorney general for more than three years. There, he overhauled police use-of-force training and disciplinary transparency, spoke out against Asian-American hate crimes, and took heat for how state officials dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Since taking over at the Wall Street watchdog, Grewal has signaled higher fines for wrongdoing are on the horizon, along with efforts to...Click here to read more »
Former New York Jets wide receiver Joshua Bellamy fraudulently obtained over $1.2 million in COVID-19 relief, spending tens of thousands of dollars on luxury items. Bellamy, 32, has been sentenced to over three years in prison. Bellamy, of St. Petersburg, Fl., pled guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, reports the New York Times. Bellamy got a Paycheck Protection Program loan for Drip Entertainment by using false information about his company. He used money from the loan to buy personal items such as $104,000 in luxury goods from places like Dior and Gucci and $63,000 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fl.
In federal court, Bellamy was sentenced...Click here to read more »
Elizabeth Holmes's surprise turn on the witness stand in her criminal fraud trial has given jurors a close look at the control she held over her blood-testing startup Theranos Inc., and at the alleged torment she endured in her personal life at the same time the Wall Street Journal reports. Prosecutors charging Holmes with 11 counts of fraud questioned her on Tuesday. Holmes testified that "we wanted to help people who were scared of needles," including children, elderly people, cancer patients and women undergoing fertility treatments, who sometimes had to wear long-sleeved shirts to cover up bruises from frequent blood draws. Holmes believed Theranos had developed technology capable of running any blood test. She repeatedly said that reports...Click here to read more »
The Biden administration announced a plan to combat global corruption by assisting foreign governments, increasing financial literacy and creating new regulations on real estate purchases in the U.S. to help prevent money laundering , reports the Wall Street Journal. The "Strategy on Countering Corruption" includes several steps to combat corruption by cracking down on criminal networks and improving cooperation between various federal agencies including the State Department, Treasury, Commerce and U.S. Agency for International Developmentand law enforcement. The plan was released on Monday in advance of a virtual Summit for Democracy that will be hosted later this week with 100 countries are participating. Corruption breaks public trust, deepens inequality (both economic...Click here to read more »
Moshe Porat, former dean of Temple University's business school, was found guilty Monday of using fraudulent data between 2014 and 2018 to boost the school's national rankings and increase revenue. Porat, 74, was convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud for his role in a scheme to raise the ranking of the Fox School of Business in Philadelphia, reports the New York Times. The school's online M.B.A. program was ranked the nation's best by U.S. News & World Report in the years that he falsified data. Prosecutors said Porat conspired with Isaac Gottlieb, then a business professor, and Marjorie O'Neill, then the school's finance and accounting manager, to submit inflated metrics to the publication about enrollment,...Click here to read more »
Former billionaire and medical entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes took the witness stand Monday in her California trial on charges of building a fraudulent company based on promises of revolutionary technology, the Associated Press reports. Her testimony focused on the positive early results of her firm's blood-testing technology early. Prosecutors allege that she tricked investors and patients into believing she had invented new technology. Holmes described clinical studies and other records showing the effectiveness of a small testing device created by her company, Theranos.
Holmes attempted to sway the jury by smiling and making eye contact as she sought to teach them technical terms about blood testing. Studies conducted between 2008 and 2010 showed encouraging results that gave Holmes...Click here to read more »
Jeff Carpoff and his wife, Paulette, wanted to give investors the illusion their solar energy company in the San Francisco Bay area was thriving. They purchased luxury real estate in the Caribbean, Nevada, Mexico and Lake Tahoe. They bought a NASCAR racecar sponsorship, a minor league baseball team and a private jet, and amassed more than 150 luxury and collector vehicles. The money used to finance the opulent lifestyle came from cheating their investors, the Washington Post reports. Carpoff, 50, is going to federal prison for the maximum term of 30 years for orchestrating a $1 billion Ponzi scheme, which acting U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert called "the largest criminal fraud scheme in the history of the Eastern District...Click here to read more »
The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday detailed policy changes aimed at rooting out repeat corporate misconduct and prioritizing individual prosecutions, signaling a shift to a tougher tone toward white collar crime. Speaking at an industry conference, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said the department will restore guidance that companies will need to provide full lists of people involved in any misconduct in order to receive any credit for cooperation from prosecutors, Reuters reports. Justice Department leaders "will urge prosecutors to be bold in holding accountable those who commit criminal conduct," Monaco said.
Monaco's remarks indicated a shift in the approach toward white collar crime under President Biden. The Trump administration was seen to be more lenient toward...Click here to read more »
Lev Parnas, who was formerly assosciated with Rudy Giuliani, was convicted of campaign finance charges, capping the fall of one of the key figures in former President Trump's first impeachment, the Wall Street Journal reports. A federal jury found Parnas guilty of all six counts. In a two-week trial, prosecutors portrayed Parnas as a businessman from Florida who had little political experience and began donating to large campaigns in 2018 to influence candidates. Parnas was charged for masking the true source of a $325,000 donation to a pro-Trump super PAC. He was also charged as a co-defendant with Andrey Kukushkin for conspiring to make more than $25,000 in political donations with money they took from a Russian tycoon...Click here to read more »
Local prosecutors are investigating financial dealings at a Trump Organization golf course north of New York City, compounding the legal pressure on former President Trump's company, which is under indictment, reports the Wall Street Journal. The criminal investigation, conducted by Westchester County District Attorney Miriam Rocah, a Democrat, is examining whether the Trump Organization made misrepresentations to local officials related to the valuation of Trump National Golf Club, a private course in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. Rocah's office has subpoenaed information about the course.
The property’s tax assessment has been the subject of years of litigation between the golf club and the town of Ossining. Lawyers for the golf club have repeatedly said the property’s tax...
The Justice Department claimed " noteworthy success in combatting elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation and fraud" in the year ending June 30, even amid challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. T he department brought over 220 criminal and civil enforcement actions covering nearly 20 different types of fraud that targeted or disproportionately affected older Americans. Fraud types included tech support scams, veteran scams and fraud perpetrated by guardians and powers of attorney, which DOJ called "particularly egregious as these individuals hold a special duty to care." For the first time, the department brought cases stopping overseas internet calling services that facilitate fraudulent robocalls, and shutting down...Click here to read more »
South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh was arrested Thursday on charges related to misappropriating insurance settlement money in the death of his longtime housekeeper. Murdaugh, 53, was taken into custody after being released from an Orlando drug rehabilitation facility. He was charged with two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, says the Wall Street Journal. The arrest is just one of many problems for Murdaugh, the inheritor of a sprawling legal empire in South Carolina. Last month, he was charged with attempting to arrange his own murder by hiring an accomplice to shoot him over Labor Day weekend. His lawyers said that attempt was prompted by his addiction, which had spiraled out of control after the unsolved...Click here to read more »
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