Watchdog

Community News

EnterpriseEmail Fraud Threatens Security of Sensitive Corporate Information

At DEMO 2004, Pavni Diwanji, CEO and co-founder of MailFrontier, warned corporate executives and IT directors of a growing threat to enterprise messaging: corporate email fraud. While phisher scams -- a largely consumer-facing problem where fraudsters spoof well-known brands in an attempt to steal personal information -- garner most of the media attention, the untold story is that IT departments are being spoofed as well, compromising the security of entire corporate networks.
Tax

Enron Class-Action Trial Bumped to 2006

Get used to the word Enron, it is here to stay for some time to come. As criminal cases wind their way through the courts, the trial for the class-action lawsuit filed by former employees and shareholders has been postponed again—this time to 2006.U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon set an Oct. 16, 2006 trial date this week, which is the third time a trial date has been set. Harmon was overly optimistic back in 2002 when she set a 2003 trial date to deal with the thousands of claims filed in 2001. The 2003 date was later postponed to 2005 and now to 2006.
Tax

CPA Claims Ties to Italian Royalty as Part of $45M Fraud

Saying he was tied to Italian royalty and claiming to be a certified public accountant, Richard Glenn Dunham, 56, of Corona del Mar, pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud and helping to prepare false tax returns for the now-defunct DFJ Italia.Prosecutors say that Durham convinced people such as former Los Angeles Rams football players Eric Dickerson and Duval Love, and people from Hollywood to invest in DJF by claiming links to Italian royalty and the European economic community, the Associated Press reported. Investors lost upwards of $45 million, the U.S.
Tax

Judge Throws Out Most Serious Count in Tyco's Kozlowski Case

The most serious charge of enterprise corruption was tossed out Friday by the State Supreme Court justice overseeing the now five-month long trial of former Tyco Chief Executive Dennis Kozlowski, 57, and former Chief Financial Officer Mark Swartz, 43.The two remain on trial for alleged grand larceny, falsifying business records and violating state business laws, the Associated Press reported.
Community News

Consumers Do Nothing to Protect Themselves From Fraudulent Tax Preparers

Despite yearly warnings from the Internal Revenue Service, only half (52%) of all Americans are taking steps toprotect themselves from fraudulent tax preparers.That's the finding of a new survey from lawyers.com, the free online attorney directory for individuals and small businesses, from LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell."This time of year, unscrupulous tax preparers rip off Americans by promising phony tax programs that they claim get big returns, or relieve Americans of their obligation to pay taxes altogether," observed attorney Alan Kopit, lawyers.com's legal editor."The IRS has
A&A

Former WorldCom CFO Charged in Multi-Billion Dollar Financial Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil enforcement action this week against Scott D. Sullivan, the former Chief Financial Officer of WorldCom, Inc. The Commission charged Sullivan with engaging in a fraudulent scheme to conceal WorldCom’s poor financial performance.
A&A

Small Businesses Ripe for Insurance Fraud: What Your Company Needs to Know

Health insurance scams are a real threat for small business employers and employees. Insurance failures hurt real people – workers and their families – who are seldom equipped to absorb large dollar losses. Small-business owners are often the targets of such scams, which resulted in at least $252 million in unpaid medical claims from 2000 through 2002, says the GAO, an investigative arm of Congress.Health insurance scam artists steal from the most vulnerable consumers," Assistant Secretary of Labor, Ann Combs testified.
Practice

Executives Will ‘Never be Above the Law’

About two years ago it began and now the names Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, HealthSouth and Adelphia Communications are among those associated with scandal.
Tax

WorldCom’s Ebbers Indicted on Federal Charges

Former WorldCom chief executive Bernard Ebbers was indicted yesterday on federal charges, including securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and making false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In a surprise move, the company’s former chief financial officer Scott Sullivan pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.The 31-page Ebbers indictment was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan and was announced by U.S.
Tax

IRS Updates 'Dirty Dozen' Scams for 2004

In an update of an annual consumer alert, the Internal Revenue Service urged taxpayers to avoid falling victim to one of the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams and a variety of other schemes. In the new 2004 ranking, several new scams have reached the top of the consumer watch list, including abusive trusts and the “claim of right” doctrine.In addition, the IRS has taken a new step this year and issued 10 new pieces of legal guidance involving scams in the “Dirty Dozen” and other tax schemes.
Tax

Federal Prosecutors Issue Subpoenas in Coke Fraud Case

The Coca-Cola Co.
Community News

Crowe Chizek Institutes Forensic Services & Investigations Practice

Occupational fraud is one of the most prevalent and costly problems faced by today's business community. According to the National White Collar Crime Center, it is estimated that losses due to employee theft can range from $20 to $90 billion annually, with as many as three-quarters of all employees stealing from their employers at least once. In its most recent "Report to the Nation," the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimated that fraud would impact the American economy by approximately $600 billion in 2002.
Tax

Prisoner Receives $215,000 Refund from IRS

Any law-abiding, tax-paying citizen might be delighted, if not shocked, to receive a $215,000 tax refund from the Internal Revenue Service, but it seems like an awful lot for a prisoner to get. John Wesley Sarpy pleaded guilty earlier this month to filing a false claim when he sent in a tax return from prison, claiming $213,000 refund after showing 2001 earnings of $987,219 and tax withholdings totaling $576,495.
Tax

SEC Files Civil Fraud Case Against Columbia Management Advisors, Inc.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil fraud action this week in federal court in Boston alleging that Columbia Management Advisors, Inc. and Columbia Funds Distributor Inc. allowed certain preferred mutual fund customers to engage in short-term and excessive trading, while at the same time representing publicly that it prohibited such trading. Columbia Management Advisors, Inc.
Tax

IASB Issues Standard on Share-based Payment

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) last week issued International Financial Reporting Standard 2 Share-based Payment (IFRS 2) on accounting for share-based payment transactions, including grants of share options to employees. Recent events have emphasised the importance of high quality financial statements that provide neutral, transparent and comparable information to help users make economic decisions.
Tax

Enron's Skilling Indicted for Fraud, Pleads Not Guilty

Former Enron chief executive Jeffrey Skilling surrendered to the FBI in Houston Thursday, accused of fraud, insider trading and lying about the company’s finances in a 42-count criminal indictment.Skilling, 50, is the highest ranking former executive to be charged in the implosion of the once-formidable energy giant. After surrendering, Skilling was taken in handcuffs to the federal courthouse, where an arraignment hearing was held.
Tax

Tax Me If You Can, Airs February 19; Investigates Abuse of Tax Shelters

It was one of corporate America's biggest hidden profit centers in the past decade -- the tax shelter -- and it became so lucrative that last year it helped major U.S. companies cut their tax rate to just half of what they had historically paid, leaving individual taxpayers to make up the difference. The General Accounting Office estimates that illegitimate tax shelters cost the government more than $85 billion in recent years.
Tax

SEC Charges Enron's Skilling With Fraud, Seeks Disgorgement of all ill-gotten Gains

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Thursday of this week that it has charged Jeffrey K. Skilling, Enron Corp.'s former President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, with violating, and aiding and abetting violations of, the antifraud, lying to auditors, periodic reporting, books and records, and internal controls provisions of the federal securities laws. The charges, which amend the Commission's Complaint filed against Richard A. Causey, Enron's former Chief Accounting Officer, in U.S.
Tax

Jailed Parmalat Founder's Children Among New Arrests

Italian police on Tuesday arrested the son and a daughter of jailed Parmalat founder Calisto Tanzi in a widening probe into Europe’s largest white-collar crime.Stefano Tanzi, president of the soccer club owned by Parmalat, also sat on the board of Parmalat Finanziaria, the holding company of the failed food group. Stefano's elder sister, Francesca Tanzi, headed the Tanzi family's tourism business Parmatour.
Tax

Sham Site's a Scam: There Is No 'National Do Not E-mail Registry'

Have you submitted your e-mail address to a "National Do Not E-mail Registry" that promises to reduce the amount of spam (unsolicited e-mail) you receive? If so, you are the victim of a scam, according to the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency.The Web site at "unsub.us" mimics the language, look, and navigation of the Web site for the National Do Not Call Registry, a legitimate free service of the federal government. The unsub.us site is not run or authorized by the FTC.

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