scams

Back in 2012, Bank of America branch manager Aurora Barrera was in need of a vacation. She knew a week or two would be nice, but what would be better was the kind where she never had to come back, though continued to get paid. Since HR probably wouldn’t approve of the proposal, she had to figure out something slightly more creative, which in the end involve first robbing her place of business:

Aurora Barrera, 33, of Downey, California, helped plan the theft at a Bank of America Corp. branch where she was an assistant manager, the California Department of Insurance said yesterday in a statement.

…and second, strapping on a pair of cojones the likes of which Bank of America had never seen, and doing this: Read more »

Are you Wall Street veteran, bank CEO, or otherwise high-ranking member of the financial services industry? Are you pretty good at the finance-y part of your job but totally lost when it comes to technology, specifically the vast and utterly confusing world of social media? Do you want to shell out $60k to not exactly learn how to navigate sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and the like, but walk away with the ability to produce a crude drawing of Facebook’s homepage? Consider today your lucky day: according to the Journal, there are now numerous scams willing to take your money…

Fearful their companies will fall behind because top bosses don’t have a firm grasp of technology or digital media, senior managers are taking lessons on how the Internet works. Some firms are pairing individual leaders with young mentors, while others are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to teach the entire c-suite how to use social tools that most of their entry-level employees use without a second thought. The goal isn’t for the CEO to parse the difference between a “like” and “share” on Facebook or take a spin on the company Twitter account, though that is covered, too. Rather, instructors and managers say, a basic understanding of the digital landscape helps leaders make better decisions about what to invest in, as well as how to talk about it. In the past 18 months, teams of senior staffers from companies including American Express Co., NYSE Euronext and PepsiCo Inc. have gone to the Manhattan classrooms of General Assembly, which offers courses in coding and product design, to learn how to analyze data and think like a tech entrepreneur. A two-day program can cost $60,000.

…and in exchange, teach you how to: Read more »

For one Maine couple, the allure of James Philbrook’s pitch proved too irresistible. In fairness to Philbrook, the money the scam generated in part went to paying off the debts of a buddy’s kid who also struggled with staying on the right side of the law. As for the selection of Electra, one can hardly quibble with a line of thinking that went “I saw this hot young thing on a TV Guide in the mid-1990s.” Read more »

Remember David Miller? Rochdale Securites trader who masterminded a scam that involved the “unauthorized purchase of about $1 billion in Apple stock,” which he claimed was for a client (a lie)? Forget to dot a few essential i’s and cross a few crucial t’s in the scheme, which contributed to its failure and left the firm in a “negative capital position”? Robbed the universe of Dick Bové research for a time? Which thankfully turned out to be a very short amount of time, i.e. the period between Bové’s resignation from Rochdale and the announcing of the winner of the Dick Bové Sweepstakes? Yeah, he’s going to jail. Read more »

For twenty or so years, depending on when you believe The Legitimate Years stopped and The Illegitimate Years started, Bernie Madoff ran a massive Ponzi scheme, ripping off thousands of clients of billions of dollars. But screwing over people and leaving many of them with nothing was not all Madoff accomplished in that time. He also taught his employees the finer art of fraud and, according to prosecutors, the five students currently on trial learned a thing or two under The Professor. Read more »

Yesterday afternoon, federal prosecutors charged Fredrick Douglas Scott, the self-described “youngest African-American hedge fund founder in history,” with engaging “in a wire fraud conspiracy to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from investors1,” which he used to buy Caramel Macchiatos, stay in hotels with views of the Holland Tunnel, and bail his friends out of jail.2 At this time, there appear to be several inconsistencies with the stories Scott has told clients and friends, which include:

  • The claim he manages $3.7 billion.
  • The claim he makes $96,000/year (“[Scott] filled out a financial affidavit claiming his salary is $96,000. Scott then told pretrial services he makes $200,000 but takes home only $50,000 a year, prosecutors said. Scott’s personal account at TD Bank showed over $700,000 “flowing in and out,” but as of April 30 his ACI Capital Group account was overdrawn by $91.24.”)
  • The claim his in-laws were his get out of jail free card (“Scott [has said] his wife’s parents have ‘Italian diplomatic status,’ and he boasted to the FBI that if he got in trouble, she would be his ‘ace in the hole.'”)

Will we find out that the above weren’t so much lies as misunderstandings in the days to follow? Maybe! At this time, however, the most pressing issue Scott may want to resolve would be that of his representation, which is currently not returning his calls. Read more »

It’s hard to resist Pam’s cogent economic analysis. It’s also hard to resist an “exciting online free global marketplace.” Called FrogAds.com, no less! Sounds legitimate. Read more »