fraud

Fundraising pages should require authentication to prevent fraud

After a man named Philando Castile was shot and killed by a Minnesota police officer, a number of GoFundMe pages were started claiming to be raising funds for his family.

One page claimed to be set up by a friend of the dead man’s fiancee to support her and her daughter. So far it has raised more than $57,000 of its $75,000 goal.

screenshot-whaleoil.co.nz

screenshot-whaleoil.co.nz

According to the dead man’s mother, not only is this woman not her late-son’s fiance but her son died without children or a fiancee.

“I am so disgusted!! People are trying to capitalise on my son’s tragedy for personal gain through GoFundMe!!!” she wrote. “1st of all Philando Castile does not have children nor a fiancee, the account for the Philando Castile Family is through his Sister’s account Allysza Castile, so Please, if you want to donate go to that account the rest are bogus! ! Shame on You!!!”

bizpacreview.com

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Photo of the Day

Ponzi-Schemes-For-DummiesThe Long Con

Phil Ferguson pulled off one of the biggest frauds in Indiana history, duping clients out of millions of dollars and staying one step ahead of the law.

If you’re trying to escape your past, there have always been two options: You go South, or you go West.

Phil Ferguson went West.

Ferguson, the perpetrator of the biggest Ponzi scheme in Indiana history, with ill-gotten gains estimated at $14 million, wound up with a bullet in his head on a ranch in Eastern Oregon after twelve years on the run. The law had finally caught up, and he took his own life.

But for 10 years as a fugitive he was Roy “Vernon” Cox of Burns, Oregon, beloved surrogate father and honest, penurious rancher (if a bit too enamored of the wrong sorts of ladies), and he left behind people who refuse to think of him as a criminal.

Aside from the holes he left in a lot of people’s bank accounts, the story reveals Ferguson’s legacy to be a cryptic, rambling 70-page manuscript stored in a Portland house where Bush lives with his wife and about 10 others. The book seems to be simultaneously a death note and a treatise on how to make tons of money trading commodities. The Bushes also named their baby after Ferguson’s alias, Vernon, and induced birth so the kid would have Ferguson’s birthday.

 And as for the location of that $14 million? Still a mystery

The day Phil Ferguson killed Vern Cox, late spring was turning to summer in “The Big Empty,” an expanse of high desert in Eastern Oregon where the earth stretched lonesome and wide. By midmorning, temperatures near the remote outpost of Burns, the Harney County seat, were in the 70s, even as the Steens Mountains clung to their snowcaps off in the distance. Center-pivot irrigation systems watered fields of alfalfa. Sagebrush filled the unworked land. Here, a man could see things coming for miles: people, possibilities, trouble.

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Photo Of The Day

Norman Baker, Holding A Subjects Head, At A Demonstration Of His Hypnosis Treatment, 1900. Born November 27, 1882, in Muscatine, Iowa, Norman Baker, was the last of 10 children delivered to wealthy factory owner John Baker and his wife Frances. Young Norman left school at the age of 16 to work as a machinist in his father's factory. Baker became fascinated, however, by a hypnotist act that he saw as part of a vaudeville show that had traveled to his small, rural town. Baker soon began his own vaudeville act in 1900, called The Madame Pearl Tangley show, where he had a beautiful woman "read" the minds of spectators in the audience.

Norman Baker, Holding A Subjects Head, At A Demonstration Of His Hypnosis Treatment, 1900. Born November 27, 1882, in Muscatine, Iowa, Norman Baker, was the last of 10 children delivered to wealthy factory owner John Baker and his wife Frances. Young Norman left school at the age of 16 to work as a machinist in his father’s factory. Baker became fascinated, however, by a hypnotist act that he saw as part of a vaudeville show that had traveled to his small, rural town. Baker soon began his own vaudeville act in 1900, called The Madame Pearl Tangley show, where he had a beautiful woman “read” the minds of spectators in the audience.

Crescent Hotel History

 Norman Baker Struck Snake Oil

Norman Baker had worked at a myriad of careers—magician, inventor, radio evangelist—in his lifetime, none of which qualified him to be a medical doctor. But this didn’t stop him from opening up a medical practice in his home state of Iowa and later in 1937, when he had been run out of town, in a hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The Crescent Hotel, where the notorious “Doctor” Baker treated his patients and promised to cure them of cancer, still exists after all these years. Most of Dr. Baker’s patients, however, barely lasted a few weeks under his care…

Perched on the crest of West Mountain above the Victorian village of Eureka Springs, Arkansas is the historic 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa. The 78-room resort hotel is not only known as one of America’s most distinctive and historic destinations, but it is also renowned for a bevy of spirits that are said to continue to walk upon the palatial grounds.

Built by the Eureka Springs Improvement Company and the Frisco Railroad, the hotel was designed by Isaac L. Taylor, a well-known Missouri architect who had designed a number of famous buildings in St. Louis. Twenty-seven acres at the north end of West Mountain was chosen for its majestic location overlooking the valley.

It was an important time in Eureka Springs’ history as the “healing waters” of the Ozarks had become well known across the nation. People from near and far were swarming to the area in hopes of curing their ailments and easing their pains. The developers of the Crescent Hotel & Spa planned to take advantage of these many travelers by building the most luxurious resort in the country.

Powell Clayton, a former governor of Arkansas from 1868 to 1870, formed the Eureka Springs Improvement Company in hopes of taking advantage of this prosperous period. Along with a number of other investors, the Frisco Railroad joined in on the plan, knowing that the resort could only spur their business.

Numerous stonemasons were brought in from Ireland to begin the construction in 1884. Due to the density of the magnesium limestone used to build the hotel, special wagons were constructed to move the massive pieces of stone from the quarry site on the White River. Designed in an eclectic array of architectural styles, the masons built 18 inch walls, a number of towers, overhanging balconies, and a massive stone fireplace in the lobby.

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Photo Of The Day

This is a 1996 file photo provided by the Panola County Sheriff's Department of Marjorie Nugent, right, and her former escort Bernie Tiede. Ms. Nugent's body was found wrapped in a white sheet in the deep freeze at her home near Carthage, Texas, in August 1997. Tiede had been serving a life prison sentence for her murder but is now free on bond while a judge reviews a new argument related to his sexual abuse as a child.

This is a 1996 file photo provided by the Panola County Sheriff’s Department of Marjorie Nugent, right, and her former escort Bernie Tiede. Ms. Nugent’s body was found wrapped in a white sheet in the deep freeze at her home near Carthage, Texas, in August 1997. Tiede had been serving a life prison sentence for her murder but is now free on bond while a judge reviews a new argument related to his sexual abuse as a child.

Midnight in the Garden of East Texas

Marjorie Nugent was the richest widow in an eccentric town full of rich widows. Bernie Tiede was an assistant funeral home director who became her companion. When she disappeared, nobody seemed alarmed. When he confessed to killing her, nobody seemed outraged.

Sitting at his regular table at Daddy Sam’s BBQ and Catfish (“You Kill It, I’ll Cook It”) in the East Texas town of Carthage, district attorney Danny Buck Davidson began to realize that he might have some problems prosecuting Bernie Tiede for murder.

“Bernie’s a sweet man, Danny Buck,” a waitress said. “He’s done a lot of good things for this town. He’s given poor kids money to go to college and everything.”

“You got to admit nobody could sing ‘Amazing Grace’ like Bernie could,” someone else said.

The bulldog-faced Danny Buck took a bite of slaw and sipped his iced tea. “Now y’all know that Bernie confessed, don’t you?” he said, trying to keep his voice calm. “He came right out and told a Texas Ranger that he shot Mrs. Nugent four times in the back and then stuffed her in her own deep freeze in her kitchen.”

There was a long silence. “Danny Buck,” one man finally said, “it’s just hard for me to believe that old Bernie could fire a gun straight. He acts . . . well, you know . . . effeminate! You can tell he’s never been deer hunting in his entire life.”

“And you know what?” a woman told Danny Buck later at a convenience store. “I don’t care if Mrs. Nugent was the richest lady in town. She was so mean that even if Bernie did kill her, you won’t be able to find anyone in town who’s going to convict him for murder.”

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Photo Of The Day

Mobster Bugsy Siegel's mistress Virginia Hill. She was conveniently not at her home in Beverly Hills when Siegel was shot dead on June 20, 1947.

Mobster Bugsy Siegel’s mistress Virginia Hill. She was conveniently not at her home in Beverly Hills when Siegel was shot dead on June 20, 1947.

Bugsy & His Flamingo

The Testimony of Virginia Hill

‘QUEEN OF THE MOB’ WAS NO ONE’S PUSHOVER

 

SENATOR TOBEY: “But why would Joe Epstein give you all that money, Miss Hill?”

 

WITNESS: “You really want to know?”

 

SENATOR TOBEY: “Yes, I really want to know.”

 

WITNESS: “Then I’ll tell you why. Because I’m the best {expletive} sucker in town!”

 

SENATOR KEFAUVER: “Order! I demand order!”

–Excerpt from Virginia Hill’s testimony in front of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Gambling.

In the beginning of the 50’s, United States seeked to expose and bring into public attention the growing issue of organized crime at that time.

It started on April 1950, when a dead body of a gambling kingpin from Kansas City was found in a Democratic clubhouse. That assassination raised concerns about the growth of organized crime and its involvement with politics. The need for an investigation committee concerning this issue was discovered, and on May 3, 1950, the Senate created an investigation committee of 5 members, lead by a Democratic Senator from Tennessee, Estes Kefauver.

In its 15 months of hearings, the committee, investigating corruption, crime syndicates and illegal activities, visited several large cities, in which TV broadcasts were interrupted to bring the work of the committee to the attention of the public. The most notable hearing was when the committee reached Broadway, New York, to interview Frank Costello. An estimated number of 30 million watched or listened to the hearings.

In Illinois, the Committee helped to expose a Chicago Police scandal, which later brought down the Senate career of Scott Lucas, a Democratic Majority Leader.

The completion of the hearings signaled the Senate to implement some suggestions about how to better tighten the laws concerning the prevention of corruption and organized crime. It caused the FBI to stop denying the existence of the underworld.

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Climate Experts are blaming their tools for lack of warming

Facing an accelerating implosion of faith in the anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW) theory due in part to satellite data showing more than 18 years of no warming — the great “pause” or “hiatus,” as some put it — one of the satellite data sets has now been adjusted to show a slight increase in temperatures over the last two decades. Global-warming theorists on the government dole celebrated the news, speculating that it might herald the end of skepticism over their controversial theory and even what particularly rabid warmists refer to as “climate denial.” However, experts and scientists warned climate alarmists to cool it — especially because the “adjusted” data is now significantly different than other, unmanipulated temperature data sets. There appear to be big problems with the adjustments, too, experts in satellite temperature data said.

The adjusted data set in question comes from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), satellites put into orbit by NASA but now overseen by chief RSS climate scientist Carl Mears in Santa Rosa, California. The new numbers, which were recently adjusted, purport to show about 0.125 degrees Celsius of warming every 10 years. That is radically more than the 0.078 Celsius per decade — a statistically insignificant figure — that the RSS data set showed before being “adjusted.” The new numbers from RSS also show radically higher temperature increases than other satellite data, such as the numbers from the University of Alabama at Huntsville’s data set (UAH). Examining the alleged warming over the tropics, for example, the new adjusted RSS data shows a rate of warming almost five times larger than UAH data, analysts said.

Scientists at UAH, including Dr. Roy Spencer, former senior climate scientist at NASA, compared the new RSS results with the data collected by UAH satellites. In comments on his own website and at climate-focused outlets, Spencer said there had been “spurious warming” added into the new RSS data — a problem that UAH data does not have. He blamed the spurious warming in the adjusted RSS data set on the RSS scientists failing to correct for discrepancies between more accurate temperature data-gathering instruments and data gathered by older, poorly calibrated instruments that have drifted from their original orbit. “I suspect Carl Mears [with RSS] grew tired of global warming ‘denialists’ using the RSS satellite data to demonstrate an 18-year ‘pause,’” Spencer was quoted as saying by the Daily Caller. “So, now that problem is solved.”

So let’s take stock.  Read more »

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Here is a loophole Heather missed completely

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Police are investigating an alleged driver licence fraud case at an Auckland Automobile Association station and the NZ Transport Agency was auditing its driver licensing regime.

One News reported a booking agent had been suspended and was being investigated by police for allegedly selling drivers’ licences to unqualified drivers for $500 each.

The booking agent has denied the allegations. Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Brianna

Forever Young

Electra, Texas—1985

She was a pretty girl, thin, with a spray of pale freckles across her face and light brown hair that curled just above her shoulders. The librarian at the high school called her “a quiet-type person,” the kind of student who yes-ma’amed and no-ma’amed her teachers. She played on the tennis team, practicing with an old wooden racket on a crack-lined court behind the school. In the afternoons she waitressed at the Whistle Stop, the local drive-in hamburger restaurant, jumping up on the running boards of the pickup trucks so she could hear better when the drivers placed their orders.

Her name was Treva Throneberry, and just about everybody in that two-stoplight North Texas oil town knew her by sight. She was never unhappy, people said. She never complained. She always greeted her customers with a shy smile, even when she had to walk out to their cars on winter days when the northers came whipping off the plains, swirling ribbons of dust down the street. During her breaks, she’d sit at a back table and read from her red Bible that zipped open and shut.

There were times, the townspeople would later say, when they did wonder about the girl. No one had actually seen her do anything that could be defined, really, as crazy. But people noticed that she would occasionally get a vacant look in her blue eyes. One day at school she drew a picture of a young girl standing under a leafless tree, her face blue, the sun black. One Sunday at the Pentecostal church she stumbled to the front altar, fell to her knees, and began telling Jesus that she didn’t deserve to live. And then there was that day when Treva’s young niece J’Lisha, who was staying at the Throneberry home, told people that Treva had shaken her awake the previous night and whispered that a man was outside their room with a gun—which turned out to be not true at all.

But surely, everyone in town said, all teenage girls go through phases. They get overly emotional every now and then. Treva was going to turn out just fine. She didn’t even drink or smoke cigarettes like some of the other girls in town.

Then, that December, just as the Electra High School Tigers were headed toward their first state football championship and the town was feeling a rare surge of pride, Treva, who was sixteen years old, stopped working at the Whistle Stop. She stopped coming to school. “She disappeared,” a former classmate said. “And nobody knew where she went.”

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1080 man’s lawyer: aww your Honour, he’s mentally ill and stupid

I guess lawyers have to use whatever floats when they are being pulled under by their client, but these sorts of arguments make me wild:

Kerr’s lawyer, John Billington, QC, said Kerr’s actions were “wholly irrational” and could not be explained in normal way such as financial motivation.

“It was not the primary driver for what was an act of incredible stupidity and irrationality,” he said.

The Crown alleges Kerr had been getting royalties from sales of a cyanide-based 1080 alternative product he developed, Feratox, and wanted 1080 banned to increase the falling sales of Feratox.

But forensic accountant Shane Hussey told the court Kerr had plenty of ways to get more money – such as cutting spending in his company – to reduce any financial worries.

“If he felt stressed, he might have done any of those things. The fact he didn’t do any of those things might mean he wasn’t stressed,” he said. … Read more »

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Defrauding the taxpayer results in jail time

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via NZ Herald

A Tauranga business couple found guilty of defrauding ACC of hundreds of thousands of dollars have been jailed.

Grant and Lorraine Brennan were sentenced in Tauranga District Court today after being found guilty of 88 charges of using a document for pecuniary advantage after their seven-week judge-alone trial.

Mr Brennan was sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison while his wife was ordered to serve two years and five months behind bars.

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