fraud

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Man Who Sought COVID Aid for 800 Fake Workers Sentenced

California man gets 135 months in federal prison

(Newser) - Between April and June 2020, Los Angeles man Robert Benlevi applied for COVID aid for eight companies he owns, saying they had 100 employees each and business had been affected by the pandemic. But while the companies existed, at least on paper, the employees were fake, which is why Benlevi...

Ex-Ga. Mayor Sentenced for 'Deplorable' Pandemic Crime

Jason Lary gets 57 months behind bars for pocketing COVID relief cash meant for Stonecrest

(Newser) - An "unsavory saga" has come to a conclusion in Georgia, where an ex-mayor is now headed to prison for nearly five years over a COVID relief funds scheme. On Wednesday, US District Court Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. sentenced Jason Lary to 57 months behind bars for stealing hundreds...

Actor Charged in $96K Workers' Comp Fraud

Q'orianka Kilcher of 'Yellowstone' allegedly claimed injury kept her from work, despite just finishing job

(Newser) - Q'orianka Kilcher, an actor who had a breakout role as Pocahontas in 2005's The New World, is said to have collected nearly $100,000 in a case of workers' compensation fraud. The 32-year-old of North Hollywood allegedly injured her neck and right shoulder in October 2018 while working...

IRS Approved One Guy's 76 Blatantly Fake Charities

'New York Times' examines lax policies at tax agency that make fraud easy

(Newser) - Ian Hosang says he’s sorry and wants to make full restitution. “I did very wrong. I know that,” he tells the New York Times . Hosang, 63, was arrested in May for fraud and other charges tied to 76 fake charities he established between 2014 and 2020. According...

If You Get a Call From 'Elliot Stewart,' Be Wary

$13M has been stolen from the elderly in a rare-wine scam

(Newser) - The world of fine wine and whiskey continues to be a magnet for thieves and frauds . The Washington Post reports on allegations that three England-based companies claiming huge returns on investments in rare booze actually stole more than $13 million from at least 150 Americans—many of them elderly. Representatives...

Prosecutors: Suspect Tried to Jet Ski Out of the Country

It didn't work out for Ernesto Cruz Graveran, now held in Florida

(Newser) - Stripped of his passport, a man tried to flee fraud charges in the US by riding a jet ski from Florida to Cuba, prosecutors say. Ernesto Cruz Graveran, 54, a Cuban national living in Florida and charged in a $4.2 million Medicare fraud scheme, is being held as a...

Alleged PPP Fraudster Blew $2.5M on Cars, Crypto

Vinicius Santana of Florida allegedly bought 2 cars and a home with his $2.5M loan

(Newser) - Authorities say the former owner of a Massachusetts painting business fraudulently received $2.5 million in loans meant to assist small businesses during the pandemic before buying cars and a home and investing in cryptocurrency. Vinicius Santana, 34, was arrested Monday at Miami International Airport, not far from where he...

Ex-Art Dealer Gets 7 Years in Prison for $86M Scheme

Inigo Philbrick defrauded buyers, fled to South Pacific when 'house of cards' crumbled: prosecutor

(Newser) - A former London and Miami art dealer who pleaded guilty to defrauding art buyers and others of more than $86 million was sentenced Monday to seven years in prison. Inigo Philbrick, 34, a US citizen who previously lived in London, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court by Judge Sidney H....

This Ex-Bank CEO's Expense Report Was Eyebrow-Raising

Former Raiffeisen chief Pierin Vincenz gets nearly 4 years in prison after $214K in strip club bills

(Newser) - A former "banker of the year" in Switzerland used his company credit card to pay for a Tinder date, a trip to Australia, and $214,000 in bills from strip clubs, according to testimony heard in a Zurich court before Pierin Vincenz was sentenced Wednesday to nearly four years...

Hours After Arrest, New York's Lt. Gov. Resigns

Brian Benjamin allegedly promised state grant in exchange for illegal campaign contributions

(Newser) - This story has been updated with new developments. New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin has stepped down after eight months in office that were overshadowed by allegations of campaign finance fraud —and then by his arrest Tuesday. Gov. Kathy Hochul said hours after the arrest that she had accepted...

'Catch Me if You Can,' Australian Style

Jody Harris was bold and brazen, but ultimately undone by love

(Newser) - Alysha Searle, “an underslept, overcaffeinated barista,” was pulled over during her commute on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway in 2006. The female officer berated Searle for running a red light and demanded to see her license. A moment later, the officer got an emergency call and told Searle to...

British Airways Pilot Jailed After Faking Flying Experience
He Flew for 2 Years
Unsuspected.
Then, the Press of
a Wrong Button
in case you missed it

He Flew for 2 Years Unsuspected. Then, the Press of a Wrong Button

British Airways pilot Craig Butfoy jailed after faking flying experience

(Newser) - Who knows how things would've worked out for Craig Butfoy, and the passengers on the planes he piloted, if he simply hadn't pressed a wrong button one day at work. That button press, as it turns out, led to questions being asked, and then a startling revelation: The...

Man in Prison for Stealing Syrup Now Told to Pay Millions

Richard Vallieres was part of massive scheme that lifted one of country's hottest commodities

(Newser) - In what may be the most Canadian of crimes yet—and the "stickiest," per the BBC —the nation's high court this week ruled that a "major player" in a scheme to steal a massive amount of maple syrup must pay a $7.2 million fine....

Ex-Employee Charged With Defrauding Apple of $10M

Dhirendra Prasad worked a buyer in the supply chain

(Newser) - A former Apple employee has been charged with defrauding the tech giant out of more than $10 million by taking kickbacks, stealing equipment and laundering money, federal prosecutors said. Dhirendra Prasad, 52, worked for 10 years as a buyer in Apple's Global Service Supply Chain department. A federal criminal...

Dentist Who Purposely Broke Patients' Teeth Hears His Fate

Scott Charmoli of Jackson, Wis., found guilty of health care fraud, making false statements

(Newser) - Update: A Wisconsin dentist has been found guilty of purposely breaking his patients' teeth so he could rake in millions from insurance companies to fix them. Per the Washington Post , 61-year-old Scott Charmoli of Jackson was convicted on Thursday of five counts of health care fraud and two counts of...

Man Blew $60K in COVID Funds on a Pokemon Card

Vinath Oudomsine was stripped of 'Charizard' on his way to prison

(Newser) - A 31-year-old Georgia man will spend three years in prison after using $57,789 of his $85,000 COVID-19 disaster relief loan to buy a Pokemon card. Vinath Oudomsine, 31, of Dublin applied to the Small Business Administration for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan around July 2020, claiming he operated...

2 Men Indicted in $99M 'Wine-Based Ponzi Scheme'

They allegedly told investors fine wine would be used as collateral for loans

(Newser) - Two British men told investors that they brokered loans for wealthy wine collectors using fine wines as collateral—but the collectors didn't exist, and neither did most of the wine, prosecutors in New York say. Stephen Burton and James Wellesley are accused of scamming investors out of almost $100...

Scholarship Cash Used to Pay for Exec's Dating Sites: Prosecutors

Mary Wickersham is also accused of using pageant scholarship funds for maid services, meals out

(Newser) - The Miss Florida Scholarship Program was designed to distribute funds to young women coming up through the beauty pageant world, but prosecutors say that for Mary Wickersham, an ex-executive director for the nonprofit, it was a personal piggy bank used to buy an array of goods and services for herself....

She Announced Her Pregnancy. Then, 'Something Baffling'

Ga. government worker indicted after allegedly faking she was with child for paid leave

(Newser) - It seems it would be an elaborate scheme to fake one pregnancy, let alone several. But that's exactly what a government worker in Georgia is accused of doing, allegedly to secure paid time off. A release out of the state's Office of the Inspector General says 43-year-old Robin...

Cops: FSU Library Security Chief Stole $500K in Comics

Todd Peak is accused of lifting rare titles from Strozier Library throughout the pandemic

(Newser) - As head of security of Florida State University's Strozier Library, Todd Peak held one of four keys to access a $500,000 collection of prized science fiction, fantasy, horror, and comic book titles. He also apparently held little appreciation for his job, even after being deemed an essential worker...

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