Latest "Fraud Pure and Simple" Posts

Securities Fraud: Cleaning Up the Books at a Dirty Company

Many of us are, or I should more accurately say, were familiar with North Carolina-based Swisher Hygiene. They were the large, industrial cleaning products company responsible for the sanitation of large food processing facilities, factories, stadiums and other major venues.  Now, the company has been acquired as it descended into financial ruin. Two of its executives have been convicted of securities fraud. If any case illustrates the consequences of bad choices, it is this scandal.  The executives were convicted as the result of a securities fraud scheme dating to 2011.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Fraud Pure and Simple and tagged , , ,

The Struggle of Love: Greenville County former Postmaster Guilty of Fraud!

Sharon D. Johnson, a writer based in Columbia, South Carolina, and her cohort, Patricia G. Sullivan, the former postmaster of Greenville County, had an idea that was so unethical and so ridiculous that naturally, a lot of good natured folks fell for it. In fact, the two women fleeced nearly $300,000 out of the community. They have pleaded guilty to committing wire fraud. If the judge passes the possible sentence that could be imposed in this case, Ms. Johnson will have plenty of time to write a decent book.  Meanwhile Amazon still has for sale – The Struggle of Love.

The Struggle of Love

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Fraud Pure and Simple and tagged , , , ,

Non-Profit Defrauded by Head Employee Wafa Abboud Nearly $1 million Lost

Wafa Abboud – the head of a Long Island not-for-profit organization swiped nearly $1 million in “consulting fees” to pay for her lavish lifestyle, which included cosmetic surgery, family vacations, spa treatments and her $1.3 million home, federal authorities in Brooklyn charged.

Wafa Abboud allegedly ripped off $900,000 from Human First Inc., a social-services provider for those with autism and other developmental disabilities, between January 2011 and May 2016, according to a criminal complaint.

She served as executive director of the nonprofit from 2010 through May 2016, when she was fired. The organization paid at least $16,000 a month — and sometimes more — to consulting firm MPB Management, a company run by one of Abboud’s cohorts, Marcelle Bailey, court papers say.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Fraud Pure and Simple and tagged , ,

Fraud: Is Your Business at Risk?

Reverend Bobby thought it a bit strange when his wife, with her hand cupped over the phone, said that Sargent Willis was on the line and had some questions. Sargent Willis wasn’t a member of his congregation and the last time he could remember he had fraud-is-your-business-at-risknever had any cause for the police to want to ask him questions. He thought, “Did I run a red light and a traffic cam catch me,” he wondered.  His question led to a surprising outcome which raises the question about Fraud: Is Your Business at Risk?

The Shock Of A Collapsing Illusion

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Business and Personal Ethics, Choices and Consequences, Ethical Behavior, Fraud Pure and Simple and tagged , , ,

IRS Collection Scams – Don’t be Deceived!

This post will hopefully serve two purposes: a lesson in unethical behavior targeting Americans, and second, as a public service announcement.  IRS Collection Scams are widespread and quite effective especially if you’re elderly and gullible.

irs-collection-scamsLet me briefly start with the public service part of the equation. If you have an elderly parent or friend, please tell him or her that organizations such as the IRS do not collect money over the telephone and to never give out credit card information to anyone who calls representing themselves in any official capacity. I am afraid this is yet another argument for the elderly to get rid of their landlines and to buy a decent smartphone.  IRS collection scams are real and something to guard against.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Fraud Pure and Simple and tagged , ,

Patricia Driscoll – Theft from a Military Charity?

Though the players in this ethical scandal are celebrities to an extent, this should not be an example of a celebrity “gone wild,” rather a person who was allowed to operate without consequences or expectations. Needless to say, this example of unethical behavior could not have occurred without many other people looking the other way.  In a piece published on September 20, 2016 patricia-driscoll-indicted-fraud(Associated Press) entitled: “Kurt Busch’s ex charged with stealing from military charity,” we get another glimpse into the life and times of Patricia Driscoll.

According to the article:

“Court documents don’t say how much prosecutors believe Patricia Driscoll took from the District of Columbia-based Armed Forces Foundation, whose mission is to support service members, veterans and their families.”

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Fraud Pure and Simple and tagged , , , ,

Bookkeeper Fraud: Tennessee First Presbyterian Church is a Victim

There is no point in dwelling on the “sickness” of bookkeeper Connie Parker. Between 2007 and July 2016, she stole at least $600,000 from a Tennessee First Presbyterian Church. She allegedly used the church’s credit card to charge everything from lavish vacations to household furniture.  This is accounting fraud or better stated bookkeeper fraud and likely one that is never expected.

Bookkeeper FraudAfter the many years of stealing, the axe finally came down on Parker. This resulted in two immediate outcomes: a hearing was held in front of a judge and the judge issued an injunction restraining Parker from selling or disposing of any property or assets. The church is scrambling to recover as much money as possible.  This is just part of the aftermath of bookkeeper fraud.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Accounting Ethics, fraud, Fraud Pure and Simple and tagged , , , ,

Paul Burks Ponzi Scheme Mastermind Convicted!

One million clients and a $800 million pyramid scheme – the common thread is one Paul Burks who was convicted in Charlotte NC for his involvement in a worldwide Ponzi scheme.  Burks was convicted on four counts of fraud and conspiracy.

Paul Burk Ponzi SchemeAccording to reports in the Charlotte Observer:

Prosecutors say Paul Burks, a former country music disc jockey and retirement home magician, pocketed more than $10 million during 2011 alone. He is charged with mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit tax fraud in connection with one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.  Federal prosecutors said Burks misled tens of thousands of his clients – including 50,000 North Carolinians – into investing in ZeekRewards, a short-lived, online marketing scheme that generated hundreds of millions of dollars in 2011-12.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in ethics, Fraud Pure and Simple and tagged , , , ,

Credit Union Ethics: It’s Fraud! What Were They Thinking

Having breakfast with my boss this morning, he shared that his wife woke him with a call that seemed rather urgent.  Seems one of their friends, who banked at the same institution they banked at, called to say that their account had a ZERO balance this morning.  She asked my boss (her husband) to check their balance to see if things were alright.  He did so immediately and all was Credit Union Ethicswell.  But apparently not so with their friend.  They were hacked and cleaned out over night.  Not something you’d like to wake up to.  It was apparent that fraud had taken place.  Which raises the question about credit union ethics – ethical practices and how safe our accounts really are.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Financial Fraud, fraud, Fraud Pure and Simple and tagged , , , , , ,

Credit Unions – 4 Keys to Responding to Internal Fraud

Most financial institutions are diligent about preventing internal fraud, but according to data from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, in 2016 there were over 119,000 forms of reported fraud in the US thru June 2016.  While most of them are not internally generated, according to the NCUA (National Credit Union Association) reports, the number of suspicious incidents involving employees is on the rise.  A critical issue for Credit Unions and (for that matter) any financial institution is the importance of responding to internal fraud.

Responding to Internal FraudWhile my primary focus is ethics, the reality of the lack of ethical behavior often leads to illegal behavior and that is fraud pure and simple.  So let’s look at 4 keys to responding to internal fraud:

What’s Your Fraud Policy?

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Financial Fraud, fraud, Fraud Pure and Simple and tagged , , , , ,