fraud

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She Investigated Admissions Fraud While Allegedly Taking Part

Prosecutors share emails between Mossimo Giannulli and scheme mastermind

(Newser) - An athletic department administrator asked to investigate puzzling recruitment decisions at the University of Southern California a year before the admissions scandal broke was herself taking part in the fraud, according to new court documents. In March 2018, a USC official asked Donna Heinel to look into three students—Lori... More »

Look Out for the '2020' Check Scam

Be careful how you write that date, police say

(Newser) - Uneasy about the new decade? Well, it already has is own possible scam—about writing the date on checks. Media stories are warning people not to abbreviate the year "2020" as "20" in case crooks alter the number to look like an earlier or later year, Slate reports.... More »

His New Wife Was 50 Years Younger. Now, an Arrest

Lin Halfon accused of trying to swindle elderly husband in Florida

(Newser) - Looks like the honeymoon is over for a Florida businessman and his new wife—because, per the AP , it looks like the young bride tried to swindle her elderly spouse. The Tampa Bay Times has the full story on the arrest of 26-year-old Lin Helena Halfon, who, per court records,... More »

Rely on 'Amazon's Choice' Badges? Not So Fast

The Wall Street Journal doesn't like what it sees

(Newser) - Those "Amazon's Choice" badges do look nice—but don't take them all at face value, the Wall Street Journal warns. The paper's investigation of about 54,000 Amazon listings found various head-scratchers, like badges on seemingly unsafe items or products in violation of Amazon policies, like... More »

10 Ex-NFL Players Charged With Health Care Fraud

Justice Department says they submitted false claims to reimbursement plan

(Newser) - Ten former NFL players have been charged with defrauding the league's health care benefit program, the Justice Department said Thursday. They include five former players on the Washington Redskins, including Clinton Portis and Carlos Rogers, the AP reports. Prosecutors allege the players targeted the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health... More »

He Put Up Fake Border Signs. Then He Took Them to 'Finland'

Con man arrested for swindling migrants, dumping them in Russian forest instead of the EU

(Newser) - They thought they'd found a new life in Finland—but they were really just wandering in circles in a Russian forest. The BBC reports four men from South Asia forked over more than $11,000 each to a man they thought was going to provide them safe passage to... More »

'Nefarious' Reason Why Your Uber Driver May Look ... Off

Shared driver accounts are the ride-hailing service's 'dirty little secret,' per 'WSJ'

(Newser) - If you climb into an Uber where the driver doesn't look quite like their pic on the app, you may be unwittingly involved in a shady practice. Uber lost its license to operate in London this week (though CNBC notes it can still offer rides while it's appealing),... More »

In Israel, an Unwanted First for Netanyahu

He's charged with corruption, the first sitting prime minister to face criminal charges

(Newser) - Israel’s attorney general on Thursday formally charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a series of corruption cases, throwing the country’s paralyzed political system into further disarray and threatening the longtime leader's grip on power, per the AP . Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit charged Netanyahu with fraud, breach of... More »

Russia Put Her in Prison —and Wants a Swap

Naama Issachar got over 7 years for having a few grams of pot

(Newser) - A little marijuana, and Naama Issachar became a political pawn. The Israeli-Amercan was flying through Moscow in April when authorities arrested her for allegedly carrying 9.5 grams of pot in her bags, the New York Times reports. Expecting a slap on the wrist, the 26-year-old from New Jersey was... More »

Arizona Official Accused of Adoption Fraud

Paul D. Petersen, Maricopa County’s assessor, allegedly flew women to US to give birth

(Newser) - Dozens of babies were fraudulently placed with adoptive families over a three- to four-year period, authorities say—and an Arizona elected official allegedly masterminded the scheme. Maricopa County Assessor Paul D. Petersen, who was indicted this week in three states on charges including human smuggling, sale of a child, money... More »

CEO, Wife Get Jail Time in College Admissions Scandal

Gregory and Marcia Abbott to each spend month in prison after paying $125K to fix daughter's tests

(Newser) - As Felicity Huffman prepares for her 14-day stay behind bars at the end of the month, more sentences are rolling in for the college admissions bribery scandal—and this time, it's both members of a couple who will see jail time. Gregory Abbott, the CEO of International Dispensing Corp.... More »

DoJ: Professor Spent $189K in Grant Money at Strip Clubs

And, apparently, on iTunes purchases

(Newser) - He was supposed to use the federal grants for research on energy and naval technology. Instead, the Justice Department says, a former Drexel University professor used $189,062 from eight grants at strip clubs and sports bars. The Philadelphia university in 2017 voluntarily reported fraudulent charges to the grants from... More »

FTC Accuses Match.com of Fraud

But site calls the claims 'outrageous'

(Newser) - Catch someone's eye on Match.com? That someone was often a scammer, and the company knew it—at least according to an FTC lawsuit filed Wednesday, TechCruch reports. The FTC claims Match.com lured possible subscribers with emails saying another user was interested, after flagging that user as a... More »

Here's How to Fake Your Own Death

But be warned, 'pseudocide' is not easy

(Newser) - Faking your own death seems easy, right? Just ride a kayak off the coast of Mexico, swim away, and let authorities say you drowned. But Isabelle Kohn—whose family friend tried that very technique in 1996—explains in Mel Magazine that "pseudocide" gets a lot harder when insurance companies... More »

80 Charged in Massive Love Scam Run Out of LA

Man named Valentine, another Nigerian citizen are accused masterminds of scheme out of California

(Newser) - The feds say elderly women and businesses were the perpetrators' targets, and that they managed to squeeze at least $6 million out of their victims in what prosecutors are calling "one of the largest cases of its kind in US history." CNN reports on the arrests Thursday of... More »

Head of Huge Organic Food Scheme Dies by Suicide

Farmer Randy Constant was to begin serving a 10-year term in weeks

(Newser) - A 60-year-old Missouri farmer blamed for running the largest organic food fraud scheme in US history has died by suicide, weeks before he was to report to federal prison to begin serving a 10-year term, a coroner said Tuesday. Livingston County Coroner Scott Lindley confirmed the death of Randy Constant... More »

Epstein's Only Named Client Absolutely Savages Him

'My trust in him was grossly misplaced,' says Leslie Wexner

(Newser) - Jeffrey Epstein is a fraudster as well as a sex offender, according to retail mogul Leslie Wexner. The billionaire founder of L Brands, parent company of Victoria's Secret, was the financier's only named client for many years in an arrangement seen as highly unusual . In a letter to... More »

Dirt-Filled Boxes Enable $370K Amazon Scam: Report

James Gilbert Kwarteng is accused of sending the online retailer returns in dirt-filled boxes

(Newser) - Talk about audacious: A man in Spain is accused of scamming Amazon out of $370,000 by returning items in dirt-filled boxes, Fox Business reports. According to Spanish newspapers, 22-year-old James Gilbert Kwarteng weighed the refilled boxes to match the product weight and received his refunds. The boxes apparently went... More »

Cult Leader Pushed Followers to 'Paradise.' Only It Wasn't

Shin Ok-ju jailed 6 years for assault, child abuse

(Newser) - A doomsday cult leader who told followers they could avoid impending war with an escape to Fiji has been jailed for six years. In 2014, some 400 people followed South Korea's Shin Ok-ju to what she claimed was "the only paradise land written in the Bible" and a... More »

She Ran a 'Love Village' for Kids. Now, 20 Years in Prison

Li Yanxia, who adopted 118 children, was less loving mother, more fraudster, Chinese court found

(Newser) - A wealthy businesswoman who became known as the "Love Mother" in China for adopting more than 100 children has a new label now: convicted fraudster. The BBC reports that 54-year-old Li Yanxia (aka Li Lijuan) was sentenced to 20 years in prison in Hebei province after being found guilty... More »

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