This is the second post covering an ongoing trial that accuses two financial professionals of using insider information to illegally earn $67 million in profits. The last post briefly explained insider trading charges and this one will look at the use of wiretap devices in large fraud cases.
A massive criminal prosecution is going to trial this week in a case that started two years ago with the FBI's raids on several prominent hedge funds. Authorities are accusing two fund co-founders of earning more than $67 million by engaging in illegal insider trading.
The American Bar Association reports that many of the defendants in mortgage and real-estate fraud prosecutions are lawyers. As a state that experienced a particularly painful real estate meltdown in recent years, several Florida lawyers figure prominently in the report.
Prosecutors apparently reached a plea deal in a massive Ponzi scheme investigation. The deal requires the 62-year-old defendant to plead guilty to 18 criminal counts. According to guilty plea, the Ponzi scheme sold high-yield certificates of deposit to 1,200 investors.
A large group in Las Vegas used Home Owners Associations to commit a variety of crimes, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Metro Police. Part of the plan included making phony or questionable condominium purchases to get members of the conspiracy in place to serve on HOA boards. The HOA board elections were reportedly rigged. Once in place, the phony condo owners would funnel HOA funds to private attorneys, property management companies and construction companies.
An Irish jury handed down a seven year sentence in an embezzlement case involving U2 bassist Adam Clayton. Last week, an aide hired by the U2 star was found guilty of 181 counts of white collar crime based on her actions from 2004 to 2008. She worked for Mr. Clayton for 17 years handling the upkeep of his mansion in south Dublin. The judge handling the case decried the woman's action as stemming from "greed in pursuit of a lavish lifestyle that was no responsibility of Mr. Clayton's." In addition to the seven year sentence, the woman was ordered to begin paying back the embezzled funds.
A $1.4 million insurance scam led to 20 arrests by the Miami-Dade Police Department's Economic Crimes and Arson Division. A group used false renters, known as straw renters, and arson to file fraudulent insurance claims. The investigation, referred to as Operation Candlelight, focused on a series of fires, 12 in total, which occurred over a five year period. In each fire, the straw renter claimed to have accidentally left a candle burning next to an object that caught fire and spread to the rest of the property.
The Federal Trade Commission has reported a significant increase in the number of complaints involving time share owners being approached by people claiming to have a buyer lined up. Often there is no buyer and the person claiming to be a representative is using the fake transaction to gather cash, bank information and personal identification information, such as Social Security numbers. Time share resale fraud now ranks number one in complaints received at the Florida Attorney General's Offices.