The United States (US) Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released Consumer Fraud in the United States: The Third FTC Survey (April 2013), which presents data showing that around 25.6 million adults, or 10.8% of the US population, fell victim to fraud in 2011. The survey results showed that the internet is the main source from which fraudulent offers were communicated to survey respondents as of 2011, and fraud in relation to weight-loss products was most commonly perpetrated.
The United Kingdom (UK) treasury department HM Treasury has made available a letter (9 April 2013) from the governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK (the G5) to European Commissioner for taxation, customs, statistics, audit and anti-fraud Algirdas Šemeta, informing him of a G5 agreement to develop and pilot a multilateral tax information exchange facility.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that losses of A$35,000 have been reported by consumers since January 2013 regarding "puppy scams". ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard explained that the scams advertise pedigree puppies "at prices that are too good to be true", before demanding advance payment and sometimes even transport costs for a delivery which will never be made.
The United States (US) Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced that it has obtained a Federal Court Order (11 April 2013) against Robert Cannone and his company National Equity Holdings Inc (National Equity), in relation to charges of fraudulent solicitation, misappropriation, and registration violations.
The United States (US) Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced that it has obtained a Federal Court order against Victor Yu and his company VFRS, LLC (VFRS), in relation to charges of foreign currency fraud. According to the CFTC, Mr Yu was found guilty by the Federal Court of "fraudulently induc[ing] more than 100 individuals to open [foreign exchange (forex)] trading accounts", and of making various misrepresentations to investors regarding foreign exchange trades.
In North Carolina, federal United States (US) authorities have revealed an insurance fraud ring, the prosecution of which they have likened to that of a drug cartel, reports the Associated Press (AP). The scheme is reportedly the largest to be uncovered in the US, and sought to steal at least US$100 million from a state program which insures crops of tobacco, soybeans, wheat and corn.
Global security and aerospace systems provider Lockheed Martin Corp has agreed to settle a class action suit which alleges that the company misled shareholders by overstating the projections for its information systems and global services division for 2009, after which the share price dropped 8%. Reportedly, the United States (US) District Court for the Southern District of New York will hear the US$19.5 million settlement shortly, and the plaintiffs are expected to seek up to a third of the sum as fees and also reimbursement of up to US$1 million in expenses.
Presented by Anna Grizzle
Partner - Healthcare Practice Group, Bass Berry & Sims, PLC
The United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that two former Stanford Financial Group (SFG) officers have been sentenced to 20 years in prison for helping Allen Stanford conduct a multi-billion dollar fraud. Former SFG Company chief accounting officer Gilbert Lopez Jr and former SFG Global Management global controller Mark Kuhrt actively kept Mr Stanford's misuse of Stanford International Bank's assets hidden from both the public and from almost all of their fellow employees, according to the DoJ.
The United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that mortgage servicing company Lender Processing Services Inc (LPS) has signed a Non-prosecution Agreement (14 February 2013) to pay criminal penalties and forfeiture to the sum of US$35 million for large-scale document fraud. The agreement comes after LPS subsidiary DocX chief executive officer Lorraine Brown admitted in November 2012 that she held a leading role in a six year scheme which saw DocX "prepare and file more than [one] million fraudulently signed and notarized mortgage-related documents with property recorders' offices throughout the [US]", stated the DoJ.
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