fraud

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Her Parents Said She Was Dead. Detectives Followed Her Poodle

Fraud suspect was found alive on Spanish island

(Newser) - A German woman embezzled $1.2 million from her employer, hid out on the Spanish island of Mallorca, and told her parents to say she was dead, authorities say. And she might have gotten away for it, if it wasn't for her giant poodle. The 47-year-old woman was tracked...

Lawyer Who Scammed Major Drug Dealers Hears His Fate

Attorney James Morris Balagia sentenced to 15-plus years in prison for defrauding drug traffickers

(Newser) - A Texas attorney who specialized in representing clients facing charges of drug possession and driving while intoxicated is now seeing the culmination of his own legal troubles. The New York Times reports that on Monday, James Morris Balagia, known as the "DWI Dude," was sentenced to more than...

Man Arrested Over Alleged Birthday Gift Scheme

Takashi Miyagawa is accused of dating 35 women to get birthday gifts out of them

(Newser) - It seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to in order to get $1,000 in gifts. The Telegraph reports a Japanese man has been arrested after allegedly juggling 35 different girlfriends in order to get a year-long stream of birthday presents. Takashi Miyagawa allegedly supplied the women...

Trump Donors Didn't Know the Charges Were Recurring

Reelection campaign has to return $122M

(Newser) - Former President Trump's reelection campaign had to return $122.7 million to donors after they realized they were being charged repeatedly. People who donated, say, $500 were being charged that amount not just once, but every month—or even every week—until the election. To avoid being overcharged, donors...

Huntsman's Brother Sues Mormon Church for Fraud

James Huntsman wants $5M in donations returned

(Newser) - The son of a billionaire industrialist and brother of a former Utah governor and US ambassador is suing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for fraud. James Huntsman, brother of Jon Huntsman , claims the Mormon church spent members' tithes on commercial purposes, rather than charity. This allegation was...

Mastermind of Massive Twitter Hack Is Sentenced

Graham Ivan Clark, who was 17 at the time, gets 3 years, plus probation

(Newser) - A teenager who hacked the Twitter accounts of Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Apple, and Uber as part of a Bitcoin scam last year has agreed to prison time. Graham Ivan Clark, 18, of Florida will serve three years in prison for the scam to...

They Paid $36M for Copper. Instead, They Got Rocks

Mercuria Energy is the victim of an elaborate fraud

(Newser) - One of the five biggest oil traders in the world paid $36 million for 6,000 tons of copper, but instead received a bunch of painted rocks. Mercuria Energy Group, a Swiss commodities trader, went to Turkish police after realizing the 300 containers shipped from Turkey to China on eight...

COVID Jobless Programs See 'Frightening Levels of Fraud'

$63B paid out improperly

(Newser) - With the floodgates set to open on another round of unemployment aid, states are being hammered with a new wave of fraud as they scramble to update security systems and block scammers who already have siphoned billions of dollars from pandemic-related jobless programs. The fraud is fleecing taxpayers, delaying legitimate...

Campers Find Foot of Missing Fraud Suspect

Police believe Australian woman Melissa Caddick stole up to $30M from investors

(Newser) - When Australian businesswoman Melissa Caddick disappeared in November, hours after police raided her Sydney home, there was widespread speculation that she had staged her disappearance after stealing millions of dollars from investors. The speculation ended when her foot was found washed up on a remote beach. Authorities said Friday that...

Fake Heiress Anna Sorokin Released From Prison
Fake Heiress
Gets Out of Prison

Fake Heiress Gets Out of Prison

Anna Sorokin used Netflix money to repay victims

(Newser) - Anna Sorokin, convicted in 2019 of scamming banks, hotels, and friends by pretending to be a wealthy heiress, is a free woman again. The German con artist was released from an upstate New York prison Thursday after having her sentence shortened for good behavior, Insider reports. In May 2019, she...

Calif.: Criminals Raided Unemployment Funds to Tune of $11.4B

State's labor secretary says hackers, other criminals may have stolen an additional $20B

(Newser) - From March of last year to the middle of January, California paid out some $114 billion in unemployment benefits. Now, the state's labor secretary, Julie Su, has some alarming news on about $11.4 billion, or 10%, of that figure—those payments were fraudulent, stolen by hackers, identity thieves,...

In Hong Kong, a 'Crisis for the Judiciary'

Pro-democracy advocate Jimmy Lai back in prison after being released on bail

(Newser) - Media mogul Jimmy Lai, the most prominent person to be charged under Hong Kong's broad new national-security law, was released from prison last week on $1.3 million bail to await his trial in April. On Thursday, however, the city's highest court delivered some bad news to the...

Largest Fraud Vermont Has Ever Seen Started With a Peak

Things were rotten from the start of the 2008 purchase of Jay Peak

(Newser) - Vermont's Jay Peak ski resort was for sale, and a Florida man wanted it—and got it. But as Dan D'Ambrosio and April McCullum of the Burlington Free Press describe in a lengthy three-part series, it would only be years later that authorities would determine Ariel Quiros only...

Prosecutors: Dentist Broke Teeth on Purpose

Scott Charmoli faces up to 20 years in prison

(Newser) - A Wisconsin dentist is accused of damaging his patients' teeth so he could bill insurance companies for crown procedures, the AP reports. Scott Charmoli, 60, of Grafton, was charged Tuesday in federal court with eight counts of health care fraud and two counts of false statements. If convicted, he faces...

Vaccine Scams Are Already Happening
Vaccine Scams
Are Already
Happening
the rundown

Vaccine Scams Are Already Happening

Homeland Security agents are already chasing down fake websites

(Newser) - If you're seeing coronavirus vaccine deals, look again: US officials say they're almost certainly scams. Whether by email, phone, or online, scammers are angling to take advantage of our desire for inoculation. "If you're receiving unsolicited offers for a vaccine—not one, not two, but about...

Woman Allegedly Used Senator's Name in Aid Scam

California claim was submitted in name of Sen. Dianne Feinstein

(Newser) - A former unemployment agency employee in California is accused of using her inside knowledge to scam the system using multiple names—including that of Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Federal prosecutors say former Employment Development Department employee Andrea Gervais filed scores of claims using stolen information and received around $216,000 from...

Kelly Clarkson: My Ex, His Dad Defrauded Me

She alleges Brandon, Narvel Blackstock charged her outrageous fees, managed her illegally

(Newser) - A few months ago, Kelly Clarkson said her life had turned into "a little bit of a dumpster" after she and husband Brandon Blackstock called it quits. Now, more fuel for that dumpster fire. TMZ reports the 38-year-old American Idol and Voice star has "declared war" on Blackstock,...

Ex-Arizona Official Jailed for 'Baby-Selling' Scheme
They Hoped to Adopt. They
Walked Into a 'Baby Mill'
in case you missed it

They Hoped to Adopt. They Walked Into a 'Baby Mill'

Ex-Arizona official jailed for 'baby-selling' scheme prosecutors say spanned 3 states

(Newser) - A former Arizona elected official and adoption lawyer has been sentenced to six years in prison in Arkansas for what prosecutors say was a scheme that involved smuggling dozens of pregnant women from the Marshall Islands into US states to give birth, reports the Washington Post . Paul Petersen, 45, "...

After Years of Denials, the NRA Fesses Up

Current and former executives have been abusing funds, the nonprofit says

(Newser) - Looks like NRA execs really have been taking from the cookie jar. After years of denials, the National Rifle Association now admits that current and former executives—including current CEO Wayne LaPierre—recklessly used NRA funds for their personal enrichment, the Washington Post reports. According to a 2019 tax filing,...

Death Row Inmates Scam State Pandemic Benefits

They were among thousands of prisoners illegally receiving California benefits

(Newser) - Authorities in California say they've uncovered the "most significant fraud on taxpayer funds" in state history—and most of the perpetrators are already behind bars. Nine district attorneys and a federal prosecutor said Tuesday that tens of thousands of prisoners, including many on death row, had scammed the...

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