fraud

A reader emails about Climate Change

I received this polite email about climate change yesterday.

Hi Cameron,

I have been a regular reader of your blog for a number of years, and while your attitude can be at times combative, I appreciate the straight-up, “no bullshit” approach you take to both your content and your readers, and your emphasis on facts over rhetoric is refreshing, particularly in an environment where many of your peers in the information industry cannot be relied on to get things right. Unfortunately, there’s one subject on which I feel you have failed to meet your own high standards. That subject is climate change.

I have no doubt that your position on climate change was based on what you believed to be legitimate information at the time you formed your current views, but I do think that it’s an area you have neglected to look at again after making up your mind, and continuing to promote this position without ensuring that it can be reconciled with the actual state of the planet is doing both yourself and your readers a disservice. Every time you publish a post along the lines of “colder than average / coldest event ever, therefore global warming is a con”, you’re ignoring the fact that climate change / global warming on a planetary scale doesn’t mean that every part of the planet is warmer 100% of the time, nor that the warming of Earth’s climate as a whole can actually cause cooling in some areas. You’re also ignoring a very large body of evidence that the planet is in fact warming considerably.

I would like to respectfully ask that you take another look at this issue, openly, and from a neutral perspective. If you still feel that the evidence supports your position after genuinely researching the topic, I will be very much surprised.

I am fully aware you are more than capable of doing your own research, and finding your own sources which you believe to be trustworthy. Noting how busy you are though, I would like to point you in the direction of one resource I feel you may find useful if you’re pressed for research time – Ramez Naam’s book “The Infinite Resource – The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet” (I am happy to purchase an ebook copy for you if that would be useful). If you do nothing else, please at least read chapter five of this book – it’ll point out more than a few holes in your current position. All conclusions drawn or facts provided are fully cited, with an extensive bibliography of sources should you wish to follow up further. I should also point out that the book’s style alternates positive / negative perspectives, so if you do not read any part of the book other than chapter five, you’re only seeing a part of what the author’s trying to get across.

I have every faith that you will act with integrity and have the courage to change your currently held beliefs on climate change once you are in possession of the relevant facts – I only ask that you are open enough to take another look.

Read more »

Looks like Dunedin City Council will have a use for those shackles after all…

Looks like Dunedin City Council will have a use for those shackles after all.

A fraud probe is looking into whether dozens of Dunedin City Council vehicles were sold over the past decade, and the proceeds pocketed.

Profits from the purchase and sale of Citifleet vehicles, allegedly amounting to more than $1 million, were being investigated, Stuff has been told.

Council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose said last month that an investigation into the unit by accountancy firm Deloitte was under way after irregularities in the internal recording of council-owned vehicles was discovered.

In a blog to council staff, Bidrose indicated the council was looking at a major fraud inquiry that could dent ratepayer trust.

The council was bracing itself for the findings of the probe, which was expected to reflect negatively on its financial management, she said.

Read more »

Anonymous Labour donors are getting nervous

A lonely David Cunliffe waitsAndrew Geddis writes

… if you go back to the financial returns from political parties for 2007, there is listed a donation to Labour of $150,000 from “Palmer Theron, Solicitors, on behalf of an undisclosed client” (as well as two other donations of $50,000 and $30,000 from other law firms on behalf of similarly “undisclosed clients”). For balance, you might also note that in that year National reported $40,000 in anonymous donations, as well as $513,000 from three trusts that it had been using to launder donations previously. Read more »

Should convicted fraudsters be punished in proportion to their haul?

Fraudster Davis Ross’ laywer isn’t happy with “1 day of prison for every $60,000″ that his client took from his victim.  My gut feel is that it took his victims much more than a day to accumulate $60,000, so spending a day in jail for each $60,000 lot seems light.

Hamish McNicoll reports

There is “nothing useful” in the “stern” and “unreasonably crushing” minimum jail term imposed on David Ross, the fraudster’s lawyer says.

In November Ross, 64, was jailed for 10 years and 10 months for operating a fraudulent scheme in which private investors lost about $115 million. It was described as the single biggest fraud in New Zealand’s history

His company, Ross Asset Management, fleeced at least 700 investors through portfolios in which they thought they had more than $380m.

Ross’ appeal against the minimum non-parole period of five years and five months, half his full sentence, was heard in the High Court at Wellington this morning.

The sentence was equivalent to roughly one day for every $60,000 he stole from investors.

His lawyer, Gary Turkington, was appealing on the grounds it was “manifestly excessive”.

Today he questioned the point of such a lengthy minimum sentence, saying it was “just too much”.

Ross would be 68 by the time he was eligible for parole, though this was by no means a “get out of jail free card” in itself.

He would be “well into his twilight years,” Turkington said.

I suspect his victims had their “twilight years” completely ruined as well.  I truly don’t see why it is harsh to lock someone up for such an insidious crime that affected to many people, took so much security, peace of mind and happiness away.   Read more »

He’s got nuffink

So, after all the years of screaming that he had information from Edward Snowden that would bring down the government, after telling everyone via Twitter and his paid for mouthpieces that he’d been in touch with Snowden and had all the dirt…that he had helped Snowden get into Hong Kong (yeah he does claim that)…what he actually has is zip, nada, zilch, nuffink to quote Sergeant Schultz.

He is offering a US$5 million reward for someone, anyone, please, please, help poor Kimmy…come forward with information that gets him off the hook.  Read more »

Pedro comes good, lashes Dotcom’s purchase of two political parties

I'm coming to steal your democracy

I’m coming to steal your democracy

I honestly didn’t think Patrick Gower had it in him, his campaigning recently has been awful to watch, but yesterday he came good with an epic rant of the similar proportions to his rants previously about rorts and dodgy deals.

So kudos to Pedro…he has come good.

The Hone-Dotcom-Laila political triangle is one of the dirtiest deals in New Zealand political history.

It is as dirty as National-Act in Epsom.

It is as dirty as the Key-Dunne deal in Ohariu.

Frankly, Lalia HarrĂ© made me feel sick today when she said “it’s time for New Zealanders to take back MMP”.

That’s because Laila HarrĂ© is wrecking MMP.

Hone Harawira is wrecking MMP.

And Kim Dotcom is wrecking MMP.

They are using Harawira’s seat and MMP’s “coat-tail” rule to get a back-door entry into Parliament.

It is a rort.  Read more »

Dotcom’s not short of cash

adfsdf

 

Hone?  Can you count to 10?

I know you can count to 500,000.

This would be a fascinating precedent

Imagine if you did something wrong and you were convicted for it.  You pay the fine, do the Community Service or jail time.  It’s all behind you now.

Should they be able to come after you to recover money for the rest of your life?

A convicted fraudster says she would suffer “extreme hardship” if she were required to pay back even a fraction of the $600,000 she stole from IHC.

But the High Court at Wellington was told yesterday that Lynn Fiebig, who is now out of jail and working as a car valet in Whanganui, has more than $11,000 in two bank accounts.

Fiebig, 60, was sentenced to three years’ jail in 2010 for defrauding IHC of $590,029.80 while working as its fundraising manager between November 2006 and May 2009. Most of that money funded her luxury lodge project, Ahuru Lodge, in Ohakune, previously owned with her partner.

Associate High Court Judge Warwick Smith yesterday ordered her to pay $25 a week to IHC for the next two years. The reparations, totalling $2600, would amount to just a fraction of the debt she owed, which now stands at more than $750,000.

I think this has huge repercussions.  It could be possible to go after defaulters of loans, even after bankruptcy by civil means.  It could be possible to take the driver of a car that killed your child to court and insist on perpetual payments for emotional harm and loss of quality of life.   Read more »

Like with everything, Kim Dotcom is buying his candidates

How much of a political loser is the Crook of Coatesville that he has to pay people to even stand for his sham of a political party.

My tip would be for all the halfwits that get sucked into his bribe to ask for cash up front, because if it’s anything like his workers, you’re certain that you’ll struggle to get paid by this fraudster.

All those visits by Winston Peters to the Dotcom Mansion must has rubbed off, Kim Dotcom is becoming a bigger political charlatan than Winston.

Nigella needs special permission while fraudsters can walk right in

Something’s not right here.  Claire Trevett reports

Nigella Lawson needs special permission to visit New Zealand, but the “Wolf of Wall Street” will be eligible for a visa when he comes next month, despite having been jailed for fraud.

Last week it was revealed that British television cook Lawson had to get a special dispensation to visit New Zealand next month because she had been refused entry to the United States after publicly admitting using cocaine and marijuana.

She will be ineligible for a visa to New Zealand for the rest of her life, despite having no convictions.

However, no such dispensation is needed for Jordan Belfort on his visit to speak at investment seminars. A spokesman said Mr Belfort was yet to apply for a visa, but he was eligible because his sentence was less than five years and the conviction was more than 10 years ago. Only those sentenced to more than five years are ineligible for a visa for life.

There is such a legal bias towards drug related charges in the law.  There are people in the US imprisoned for life for marijuana possession.  But ripping off people from their hard earned money?  Meh.   Read more »