Tag: Frauds and Swindling

A Beverly Hills Hotel, Bought With Looted Money, Goes on Sale

For sale: Boutique hotel, convenient to Hollywood. 116 rooms, rooftop pool, jet-setting clientele. Previous owner spent $40 million on renovations before becoming an international fugitive. Asking price: $100+ million. If that sounds like a steal — even in the middle of a global pandemic that has nearly ground travel to a halt — the Viceroy […]

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How Berkshire Hathaway May Have Been Snookered in Germany

FRANKFURT — Only a few weeks after Berkshire Hathaway bought what looked like an upstanding example of German engineering prowess, a manager in Warren Buffett’s widely admired corporate empire received an unsettling email. “I have to get rid of something I witnessed in the last few months,” the anonymous author wrote in slightly awkward English. […]

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Fraudulent Jobless Claims Slow Relief to the Truly Desperate

When Alexandria Preston had to leave her job as a medical assistant to care for her two children during the pandemic, she didn’t encounter endless delays like so many others trying to get unemployment benefits. But three weeks later, the payments stopped coming. Then her account was canceled entirely — forcing her to dip into […]

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It Paid Doctors Kickbacks. Now, Novartis Will Pay a $678 Million Settlement.

It picked up the tab at Daniel and Peter Luger, but the inducements for doctors didn’t end with those New York restaurants. There were fishing junkets, golf outings and round-table events at Hooters. And then there were the six-figure honorariums that the Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp. paid to several doctors who wrote thousands of prescriptions for […]

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Fraudulent Covid Antibody Tests? FBI Warns of Scammers, Identity Theft

The F.B.I. has issued a warning about scammers who advertise fraudulent Covid-19 antibody tests as a way to obtain personal information that can be used for identity theft or medical insurance fraud. The warning, issued Friday, is the latest in a series of alerts from the federal government about fraudulent exploitation of the coronavirus pandemic. […]

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Mask Exemption Cards From the ‘Freedom to Breathe Agency’? They’re Fake

Cards for sale that claim to exempt people from wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic are fraudulent, federal officials said. The cards — featuring a red, white and blue eagle logo and approximately the size of a business card — say the bearer is exempt from ordinances requiring them to wear masks in public. “Wearing […]

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Behind Wirecard’s Collapse: Allegations of Lies, Spies and Missing Billions

In the elite corridors of corporate Germany, Markus Braun had become a legend. A little-known entrepreneur until just a few years ago, Mr. Braun had forged an obscure Bavarian company called Wirecard into a German tech icon, winning a coveted spot on the benchmark DAX stock index. Wirecard provided the invisible financial plumbing that, with […]

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The Pandemic Claims New Victims: Prestigious Medical Journals

One study promised that popular blood-pressure drugs were safe for people infected with the coronavirus. Another paper warned that anti-malaria drugs endorsed by President Trump actually were dangerous to these patients. The studies, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet, were retracted shortly after publication, following an outcry from researchers who […]

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Former D.E.A. Spokesman Pleads Guilty to $4.4 Million Fraud

A former Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges of defrauding companies of more than $4 million by pretending to be a Central Intelligence Agency officer involved in an intelligence gathering operation, prosecutors said. The former spokesman, Garrison Kenneth Courtney, 44, entered the plea in federal court in Alexandria, Va., to a […]

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A Bitter Election. Accusations of Fraud. And Now Second Thoughts.

The election was the most tightly contested in decades: Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first Indigenous president, was running for a fourth term, facing an opposition that saw him as authoritarian and unwilling to relinquish power. As the preliminary vote count began, on Oct. 20, 2019, tensions ran high. When the tallying stopped — suddenly and without […]

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U.S. Ruling Could Mean a Flood of New Claims Against Volkswagen

Volkswagen, the German automaker that admitted to a decade-long scheme to cheat on diesel emissions tests in the United States and elsewhere, could face a “staggering” volume of claims from local governments after a federal appeals court ruled on Monday that counties in Florida and in Utah could impose local pollution laws on the manufacturer. […]

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Over Veterans’ Protests, Trump Vetoes Measure to Block Student Loan Rules

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday vetoed a bipartisan resolution to overturn new regulations that significantly tighten access to federal student loan forgiveness, siding with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over veterans organizations that say her rules will harm veterans bilked by unscrupulous for-profit colleges. The veto will allow stringent rules for students seeking loan forgiveness […]

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Couple Bilked Medicaid for $13 Million to Pay for Lavish Lifestyle, U.S. Says

They shared photos on social media of their private jet, stacks of Tiffany & Company boxes and a crystal decanter of Louis XIII cognac, often accompanied by the hashtags #jetsetter, #millionaire, #billionaire and #entrepreneur. But prosecutors said that the lavish lifestyle that Latisha and Timothy Harron flaunted online was one that they could not afford […]

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Jane Roe’s Pro-Life Conversion Was a Con

In 2006, I went to Jackson, Miss., to report on the weeklong siege of the state’s last abortion clinic by the anti-abortion group Operation Save America. Flip Benham, then the group’s leader, had T-shirts made up, black with white lettering, saying, “Homosexuality Is Sin! Islam Is a Lie! Abortion Is Murder! Some Issues Are Just […]

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Bethenny Frankel’s Dark Journey to Find Medical Masks

It was late March, with the coronavirus starting to peak in New York and hospitals already running short on supplies, when Bethenny Frankel, the entrepreneur and reality television star, received an email from a publicist offering her access to 500 million medical masks, or about enough to fill 25 Madison Square Gardens. Ms. Frankel was […]

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Volkswagen Settles Emissions Charges Against Two Managers

In return, prosecutors will drop the charges against Hans Dieter Pötsch, the chairman of Volkswagen’s supervisory board, and Herbert Diess, the chief executive, the company said in a statement. The company did not admit any wrongdoing. The penalty is relatively modest compared to the over 20 billion euros that the company has paid in connection […]

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Feds Suspect Vast Fraud Network Is Targeting U.S. Unemployment Systems

SEATTLE — A group of international fraudsters appears to have mounted an immense, sophisticated attack on U.S. unemployment systems, creating a network that has already siphoned millions of dollars in payments that were intended to avert an economic collapse, according to federal authorities. The attackers have used detailed information about U.S. citizens, such as social […]

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What Pandemic Scams Are People Falling For

For one thing, millions of people are filing new claims for unemployment benefits and awaiting stimulus checks. So when a phone call or an email from someone purporting to be a bank or a government official comes in, it is tougher for us to ignore. Plus with so many people being required to work from […]

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New York Man Charged with Fraud Over Coronavirus Home Tests

A New York man is facing fraud charges after he conned several people into buying stolen test kits for the coronavirus and then never gave them the results, the authorities said on Thursday. The man, Henry Gindt II, 34, sold the test kits for as much as $200 each through his telemedicine website YouHealth, which […]

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Chinese Coffee Chain’s Scandal Renews U.S. Calls for Oversight

HONG KONG — Luckin Coffee had an audacious goal: take on Starbucks in China. Last year, unprofitable, burning through cash and not even two years old, it went to Wall Street to raise over half a billion dollars. Just a few months ago, it was valued at $12 billion. The one-time darling has now imploded […]

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2 Sought $4 Million for Face Masks That Didn’t Exist, U.S. Says

They wanted $4 million for a stockpile of face masks, but prosecutors say that the protective gear advertised by two Southern California men did not exist, and that they went as far as to put fake 3M labels on empty boxes. Now, the two men, Donald Allen, 62, of Riverside, and Manuel Revolorio, 37, of […]

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Voter Fraud Is Part of the Republican Playbook

By now most of us have seen the photos from the Wisconsin primary, where voters had to stand for hours in lines that wrapped around city blocks in cold, pouring rain. To exercise what was supposed to be their most sacred democratic right, people had to risk catching the deadly coronavirus — and several did. […]

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Doctor Charged With Fraud After U.S. Says He Sold Treatment as ‘100 Percent’ Cure for Covid-19

Federal prosecutors this week charged a Southern California doctor with selling coronavirus treatments online — including a drug repeatedly promoted by President Trump — as a “100 percent” cure, officials said. The doctor, Jennings Ryan Staley, 44, a licensed physician and the owner of Skinny Beach Med Spa in San Diego, was charged with mail […]

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Bogus Vaccines. Fake Testing Sites. Virus Frauds Are Flourishing.

Offers of bogus drugs to prevent or treat coronavirus infection. Websites selling fake vaccines. False promises of speedier receipt of government stimulus checks. This is the new face of fraud. With millions of Americans out of work and hunkered down at home because of the pandemic, twists on tried-and-true criminal techniques are flourishing. Multiple federal […]

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Man Charged in Scheme to Sell 125 Million Nonexistent Masks

A Georgia man was charged with fraud after attempting to sell millions of nonexistent respirator masks to the government as it struggles to shore up supplies of vital medical equipment during the coronavirus pandemic, the authorities said. The man, Christopher Parris, 39, of Atlanta, was arrested on Friday and charged with wire fraud in federal […]

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Another Thing to Fear Out There: Coronavirus Scammers

The white banner with images of red crosses had been hastily erected in front of two pop-up tents at a convenience store parking lot in central Louisville, Ky. “Covid-19 testing here,” it read. A clutch of workers in white hazmat suits swabbed the mouths of drivers, who had each forked over $240 to learn whether […]

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Covid-19 Has Closed Stores, but Snake Oil Is Still for Sale

Fear is overcoming reason as the threat of the coronavirus spreads. After hearing President Trump say, without scientific evidence, that the antimalarial drug chloroquine could be a “game changer” in the fight against Covid-19, an Arizona man died and his wife was left in critical condition after they swallowed a form of the chemical used […]

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Coronavirus Spurs a Wave of Suspect Websites Looking to Cash In

A popular technology company that has helped launch thousands of online retail sites has become a favorite tool for fly-by-night businesses looking to cash in on the coronavirus pandemic. New e-commerce sites that use the company’s services are filled with wildly exaggerated claims about virus-fighting products that may not even exist. The New York Times […]

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Duncan Hunter Sentenced to 11 Months in Prison for Stealing Campaign Funds

Former Representative Duncan D. Hunter of California was sentenced to 11 months in federal prison on Tuesday for funneling more than $150,000 from his campaign coffers to pay for a lavish lifestyle that prosecutors said included vacations, private school tuition and even airline travel fees for pet rabbits. The punishment, handed down by Judge Thomas […]

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Meet the Trump Fan Accused of Registering Democrats as Republicans

Wherever crowds gathered in the flat, lake-dotted swath of Florida between Orlando and Ocala, it seemed that Cheryl Hall was there: clad in red, white and blue, clipboard in hand, signing up new voters at the Mount Dora Arts Festival, the Ocoee Founders’ Day party, the Taste of South Lake fair in Clermont and more. […]

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