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Scams in the News

Computer Programmer Charged With Stealing Software Code From Federal Reserve Bank

A complaint unsealed last Wednesday in Manhattan federal court charged Bo Zhang, a computer programmer, with stealing proprietary software code from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where Zhang worked as a contract employee. Janice Fedarcyk, FBI assistant director-in-charge, stated: “Zhang took advantage of the access that came with his trusted position to steal highly sensitive proprietary software. His ... Read More »

Hells Angel Commits Mortgage Fraud For Marijuana Grow House

In September I covered a story about two leaders of the Hells Angels that had been accused of mortgage fraud. A mortgage broker in the San Francisco bay area was charged with conspiracy to arrange more than $10 million in fraudulent home loans including the two Hells Angels leaders. Raymond Foakes, former President of the Hells Angels Sonoma Chapter, pleaded ... Read More »

Be On High Alert For Scammers Taking Advantage Of SOPA Blackout Protests

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As many have noticed today the Internet is buzzing about sites blacking out in protest of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). Wikipedia, Reddit, TheOatmeal.com and many other sites have gone black for the day in protest while sites like Google, TwitPic, WordPress, and Cheezburger Network (along with thousands of others) are speaking ... Read More »

Timeshare Telemarking Fraudster Sentenced

It was announced on January 9, 2012 that Jennifer Kirk was sentenced to 188 months (almost 16 years) in prison for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud when Kirk victimized consumers in a timeshare telemarking scam. Kirk will also serve five years of supervised release after the completion of her prison term, during which she is forbidden from the ... Read More »

Elaborate Scheme Leaves 180 With Over $1 Million In Fraudulent Purchases

Charges were announced last Thursday against seven members of an identity theft ring that allegedly used stolen identities of more than 180 people at major New York City retail stores including Home Depot, Sears, Kmart and Kohl’s, among others. The ring of fraudsters resold merchandise and gift cards for a profit after purchasing them under account holders names fraudulently. Allegedly, ... Read More »

Two Plead Guilty To $1 Million Wire Fraud

Two New Jersey men have pleaded guilty for their roles in a scam that used phony identification documents to open multiple checking accounts to launder and steal more than $1 million. The two men, Abiatu Umah and Emmanuel Awa, pleaded guilty in Newark federal court last week to Informations charging them with one count of wire fraud and one count ... Read More »

Friday The 13th: Unlucky For Fraudsters, Lucky For Potential Victims

Those that are superstitious often view Friday the 13th as an unlucky day. This past friday, January 13th, members of an identity theft ring received some unlucky news when they were sentenced to prison. Contrary to superstition, this was a very lucky day for future victims that could have fallen into their web of lies and deceit. Two men, Richard ... Read More »

Ponzi Schemes Are The New Black

Thirteen days into the year and I feel like all I’ve written about is Ponzi-scheme after Ponzi-scheme after Ponzi-scheme. Today I bring to you the sentencing of Jenifer Devine, the woman who owned a purported wholesale merchandise broker and admitted to running a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme that resulted in over $2 million in losses to investors. Devine has been sentenced ... Read More »

Contractors Beware! $99 Advance Fee Job Scam

It was announced yesterday that the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is alerting contractors across the country to be on the look out for telephone solicitors attempting to convince them to sign up for an online program that offers free job leads. Apparently, numerous contractors have reported to the BBB about a scheme in which they paid a $99 background screening ... Read More »

YachtOne Fraudster Pleads Guilty To Yacht-Investment Scam

On January 6, 2012, Alton Milton pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with a yacht-investment scam and could face between 27 and 33 months in prison with three years of supervised release and ordered to pay over $886,000 in resitution. Milton admitted the details of his crime before the Judge last week. In approximately May 2004, Minton entered into ... Read More »

The Cowboy Boot Money Smuggler Pleads Guilty To $19 Million Fraud

Scam Tip Number 48201: Don’t Smuggle Money In Cowboy Boots It was announced yesterday that Christopher Warren pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft in a related $19 million fraud scheme. According to court documents, Warren was indicted in 2009 after defrauding lender Taylor, Bean & Whitaker of over $7 million and ... Read More »

Leader Of The 586 Social Security Scam Sentenced

On Monday the leader of a large scale identity theft fraud ring and a co-conspirator plead guilty and admitted roles in a fraud enterprise. Sang-Hyun (“Jimmy”) Park pleaded guilty to a five-count Information that charged him with conspiracy to unlawfully produce identification documents, conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the ... Read More »

Largest Recruiter Of Shapiro’s $930 Million Ponzi Scheme Sentenced

Sydney Jack Williams of Naples, Florida was sentenced today to a year and a day in prison for failing to report more than $12 million to the IRS in related commissions received in Nevin Shapiro’s $930 million Ponzi scheme. Williams previously plead guilty to an Information that charged him with one count of subscribing to a false tax return. During ... Read More »

Romanian Citizen Busted For $1.5 Million Fraud Ring Of HSBC Customers

Last Thursday it was announced that Laurentiu Ilian Bulat was arrested yesterday for allegedly participating in a fraud ring that stole at least $1.5 million from HSBC customer bank accounts by installing “skimming” devices on more than 40 ATMs in Manhattan, Long Island, and Westchester, New York. According to the Complaint since May 2011, the U.S. Secret Service, together with ... Read More »

Fraudster Sentenced After Defrauding Victims In Investment Fraud

James DeAngelis was sentenced last week to 57 months in prison for participation in a fraud investment scheme where he defrauded more than 15 victims out of $800,000. In May of 2011 DeAngelis pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, wire fraud, ad conspiracy to structure financial transactions to evade reporting requirements. According to the court documents ... Read More »

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