The theft of a portable hard drive that sells for a few hundred dollars has ended up costing Elections Canada nearly $23,000.

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Insights: Online Fraud Is About to Kick Into High Gear

Source: Entrepreneur

As retailers and consumers prepare for the holiday shopping season, attempts by criminals to steal payment card information to commit fraud online are likely to rise, according to new research by ACI Worldwide.

The move by U.S. merchants and card issuers to switch to more secure chip cards for in-store purchases this year is likely to increase fraudulent attempts on transactions online.

The ACI research showed fraud rates by volume for transactions that don’t involve physically swiping a card have increased in 2015, with one out of every 86 transactions a fraudulent attempt compared with one out of 114 transactions in 2014.

Fraud attempt rates by volume have increased by 30 percent compared with 2014 as consumers shop with more devices online and card issuers are slower to shut down accounts after fraudulent activity.

“When it comes to fraud, 2015 is likely among the riskiest season retailers have ever seen,” said Mike Braatz, senior vice president, Payments Risk Management, ACI Worldwide. “It is critical that they prepare for a significant uptick in fraud, particularly within e-commerce channels,” he said.

 ACI, which delivers electronic banking and payment solutions for financial institutions, retailers and processors around the world, said its data is based on an analysis of hundreds of millions of transactions from large global retailers between January and July 2015 compared with the same period in 2014.

The research also forecast a spike in buy online and pick up in-store attempted fraud rates.

That is expected to increase by 28 percent this holiday season as a result of chip-cards being deployed within stores and as retailers do not require consumers to re-run cards when they pick up products ordered online in store.


New charges in ‘Sopranos’ star’s ex-husband’s $300 million fraud case


U.S. authorities on Wednesday announced a new indictment against the former husband of “The Sopranos” star Jamie-Lynn Sigler, and three additional arrests over allegations they ran a $300 million stock manipulation scheme.

Abraxas “A.J.” Discala, 44, the chief executive of OmniView Capital Advisors and former husband of Sigler, and six other defendants face charges of fraudulently inflating the prices of thinly-traded penny stocks, selling them to unsuspecting elderly people and other investors, and keeping the profits.

Sigler has not been charged or accused of wrongdoing. She played Tony Soprano’s daughter Meadow in “The Sopranos,” an HBO television drama.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York have said the “pump-and-dump” scheme lasted from Oct. 2012 to July 2014 and involved trades in four publicly-traded companies.

Prosecutors said the defendants’ activities boosted the stocks’ market valuations to $300 million and caused investor losses of at least $50 million in a single stock, CodeSmart Holdings Inc.

Those arrested on Wednesday include Michael Morris, 63, of Merrick, New York, who was chief executive of New York-based Halcyon Cabot Partners Ltd; Darren Ofsink, 46, a lawyer from Merrick; and Darren Goodrich, 37, a broker from Manhattan Beach, California.

They join Discala and three others facing charges under an amended 11-count indictment alleging securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy. Discala is the only individual charged with all 11 counts.

The case was made public in July 2014. Ten people have been charged overall, and three have pleaded guilty.

“Nothing in this new indictment changes the fact that A.J. Discala is a completely innocent man,” his lawyer Charles Ross said. “We look forward to demonstrating this in court.”

It was not immediately clear whether the new defendants have hired lawyers. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is pursuing related civil charges against some of the defendants, and others who have not been criminally charged.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a Wall Street regulator, on Oct. 7 said it expelled Halcyon and barred Morris from the securities industry for an alleged scheme to conceal fee kickbacks.

The case is U.S. v. Discala et al, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 14-cr-00399.

Source: Reuters


‘Dance Moms’ Star Abby Lee Miller Pleads Not Guilty In Fraud & $5M Fine Case

Deadline Hollywood

Two weeks after she was indicted on 20 counts of fraud with a possible five years behind bars and $5 million in fines, Abby Lee Miller today had her first day in court. In a short arraignment in the federal courthouse in downtown Pittsburgh, the pugnacious Dance Moms host paid a bond of $10,000 and entered a plea of not guilty. She also asked for a jury trial. No start date was announced for said trial, which was estimated by lawyers on both sides to need about 11 days to run. There are no restrictions on Miller’s domestic travel, but she must tell the feds if she wants to go overseas.

Entering the courthouse on Monday afternoon local time, Miller answered “Yes” when asked if she took the charges of bankruptcy fraud, concealment of bankruptcy assets and false bankruptcy declarations, among others, seriously. Having received an indictment from a grand jury on October 13 and announced it a week later, the U.S. Attorney and other feds also allege that Miller hid more than $755,000 in earnings from the Lifetime reality series produced by Collins Avenue Entertainment — including having payments made to her mother instead of her. The investigation into potential fraud began when the judge in the case saw Dance Moms on TV and wondered why no mention of the show had been made in Miller’s Chapter 11 filings since she first filed in 2010.

Monday’s packed hearing was originally scheduled for November 5, but Miller successful petitioned the court to move it to today as not to interfere with her filming of Season 6 of Dance Moms in L.A.

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