US Army committed $6.5 trillion in accounting fraud in one year

12340397434_ecb323c52f_b

In June, the Defense Department’s Inspector General released a report on the US Army's accounting, revealing that the Army had invented $6.5 trillion in "improper adjustments" ($2.8T in one quarter!) to make its books appear balanced though it could not account for where the funds had gone. Read the rest

Illegal "Warranty Void If Removed" still ubiquitous: they're on the Xbox One S

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1154

The tamper-evident "Warrant Void If Removed" stickers violate the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, which allows device owners to take their gadgets for service at independent depots without voiding their warranties. Read the rest

Researchers learn about wire-fraud scam after Nigerian scammers infect themselves with their own malware

image001_wire-wire

In Wire Wire: A West African Cyber Threat, researchers from Secureworks reveal their findings from monitoring a Nigerian bank-fraud ring whose members had unwittingly infected themselves with their own malware, which captured their keystrokes and files and uploaded them to a file-server from which the researchers were able to monitor their activities and methodologies. Read the rest

Iraq bans fake bomb detectors

_77992623_fake_bomb_detector624

James McCormick, a British fraudster, got rich and got jailed selling fake bomb detectors to police in Iraq. But the devices—dowsing rods in a plastic handle, often sold as golf ball 'finders'—were so popular that even after he was collared, cops remained convinced (by inclination or graft) that they worked. After a series of horrific bombings, the government's stepped in to get rid of the useless gadgets.

It took a massive suicide bombing that killed almost 300 people in Baghdad on July 3 — the deadliest single attack in the capital in 13 years of war — for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to finally ban their use.

The reason it took so long is likely the widespread corruption in the government. Iraqis mocked the device from the start, joking that too much aftershave could set off the antenna.

Now there are accusations that plans to start using newly imported explosives-detecting scanners were intentionally held up as part of the political wrangling over which faction — the military or the police — will control security in Baghdad.

Read the rest

One of the copyright's scummiest trolls loses his law license

Prenda_Law_and_apparent_related_entities_(as_adopted_by_court_in_Ingenuity_13_v._Doe)

For more than four years, we've chronicled the sleazy story of Prenda Law, a copyright troll whose extortion racket included genuinely bizarre acts of identity theft, even weirder random homophobic dog-whistles, and uploading their own porn movies to entrap new victims, and, naturally, an FBI investigation into the firm's partners' illegal conduct. Read the rest

Gay Talese learns the subject of his new book is a liar, disavows the book UPDATED

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1128

Gay Talese's forthcoming book The Voyeur's Motel tells the allegedly true story of Gerald Foos, a Colorado motel owner and voyeur who claimed to have conducted "research" on human sexuality by spying on the sex lives of his guests through strategically placed ceiling gratings that let him covertly watch them from the motel's attics. Read the rest

Being a Craigslist scammer is hard work

animation (2)

Roger Grimes tracked down a Craigslist scammer and interviewed him for Infoworld, getting some surprisingly frank answers about what life is like as a small time online con-artist. Read the rest

Goldman Sachs bribed Libyan officials with hookers, private jet rides, then lost all their money

Flag_of_Libya.svg

In 2006, western leaders decided that Gaddafi's oil was more important than his human rights record and complicity in terrorism and lifted sanctions against Libya, creating a massive pool of cash for the country that it turned into a sovereign wealth fund whose business was aggressively courted by Goldman Sachs. Read the rest

Amazon is suing its own retailers over fake reviews

REUTERS

If you're an Amazon seller and you pay people to review your products on Amazon, the company may sue you. The online commerce giant sued three sellers today for using sockpuppet accounts to post glowing but phony product reviews.

Read the rest

FBI is investigating copyright trolls Prenda Law for fraud

800px-FBI_Badge_&_gun

For more than four years, we've been writing about Prenda Law, a prolific copyright troll (that is, a company that sends dire legal threats and demands for money to people they accuse of copyright infringement, based on the flimsiest of evidence), whose conduct is so breathtakingly illegal that it feels like satire or performance art (but it's not). Read the rest

Judge OKs potentially lethal lawsuit against the world's largest banks

3729453412_3c96f8f78b_o

The biggest banks in the world have admitted to rigging LIBOR, a key interest rate that determines the value of trillions of dollars' worth of assets -- they paid billions in fines as a result. Read the rest

Plagiarism detection app vs Russia's elites: 1-2 fake PhDs discovered every day

PDcdGh45PzDsy98WTYzup3Jku6AMvQkz (1)

Dissernet, a leaderless collective of Russian scientists and journalists scrapes the doctoral dissertations of Russian elites -- who have been attaining advanced degrees at an unprecedented rate -- runs them through plagiarism detection software to flag probable frauds for human review, and publishes the names of officials who've been caught cheating, one or two every day. Read the rest

Banker implicated in one of history's biggest frauds says boss beat him with a tiny baseball bat

animation (1)

Jonathan Mathew is one of the bankers at Barclays who participated in the Libor rigging fraud, which cost people all over the world trillions of dollars in higher payments on mortgages, government bonds, student loans, and other assets totalling $350 trillion. Read the rest

Deep Insert skimmers: undetectable, disposable short-lived ATM skimmers

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1053

NCR reports in-the-wild sightings of "deep skimmers" (tiny, disposable card-skimmers that run on watch batteries and use crude radios to transmit to a nearby base-station) on ATMs around the world: "Greece, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Bulgaria, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States." Read the rest

Fantasy accounting: how the biggest companies in America turn real losses into paper profits

EnronStockPriceAugust2000toJanuary2001.svg.png

Lax enforcement from the SEC has allowed the biggest companies in America -- 90 percent of the companies in the S&P 500, led by the faltering energy sector -- to ignore the "Generally Accepted Accounting Principles" (GAAP) in presenting their financial information to investors, manufacturing nonexistent profits in quarters where they suffer punishing losses. Read the rest

Lottery security director accused of hacking random-number generator to rig prizes

hot-lotto

Eddie Tipton, the 51-year-old former security director of the US Multi-State Lottery Association, was convicted last year of hacking a random number generator to fix a $16.5 million lottery prize in Iowa. Now it looks like he could have pulled the same trick Colorado, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Kansas, too. Tipton is in Texas, free on bond pending an appeal, and fighting extradition charges.

Wikipedia's description of how Tipton hacked the random number generator reads like the script from a crime drama:

Hot Lotto draws are conducted using a random number generator running on a computer in MUSL's Des Moines facility. The computer is in a "locked glass-walled room accessible only by two people at a time and then only on camera", and is not connected to the internet or any other networks. Tipton was let into the room on November 20, 2010 to manually adjust the time on the draw computer to reflect daylight saving time; it was alleged that while Tipton was in the room, he used a USB flash drive to install self-destructing malware on the random number generator computer, presumably to rig a draw. Tipton's co-workers described him as having been "obsessed" with rootkits at the time. It was also noted that on that day, security cameras were configured to record only for "roughly one second per minute," a change the prosecutors believed was made to prevent anything suspicious from being recorded.

Read the rest

Goldman Sachs will pay $5B for fraudulent sales of toxic debt, no one will go to jail

vs

No one at Goldman Sachs will go to jail despite the company's world-destroying, multi-billion-dollar frauds that culminated in its unloading billions' worth of worthless mortgage-backed securities on its customers just before the crash. Read the rest

More posts