Three Peel officers have been busted in recent years for colluding with the same tow truck driver and accused fraudster.

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FBI Arrests Pharma CEO Martin Shkreli on Securities Fraud Charges

The pharma boss who became infamous after hiking the price of an HIV-related drug by 5,000 percent has been arrested by the FBI on securities fraud charges, law enforcement sources said.

The arrest of Martin Shkreli — a hedge fund manager-turned-pharmaceutical company CEO — comes amid an investigation related to “widespread fraud” through a hedge fund and drug company he once ran, according to a complaint filed Thursday by federal regulators.

Shkreli, 32, who was taken into custody at his midtown Manhattan residence, is currently the boss of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals. He was previously the manager of hedge fund MSMB Capital Management and chief executive of biopharmaceutical company Retrophin Inc.

Shkreli is named in a seven-count indictment in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, along with Evan Greebel, 42, who was Retrophin’s outside counsel.

“Some of this fraudulent conduct was aided and abetted by Shkreli’s lawyer, Greebel,” according to the complaint by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Shkreli is being charged for illegally using Retrophin assets to pay off debts after MSMB lost millions of dollars, according to the SEC.

The indictment said Shkreli and Greebel, along with others, orchestrated three interrelated fraud schemes from September 2009 through September 2014.

It said they fraudulently induced investors to invest in two separate funds and misappropriated the assets of publicaly traded Retrophine to satisfy Shkreli’s personal and unrelated professional debt obligations.

The probe dates back to at least January when Retrophin said it received a subpoena from prosecutors seeking information about its relationship with Shkreli.

That subpoena also sought information about individuals or entities that had invested in funds previously managed by Shkreli, Retrophin said in a regulatory filing.

MSMB Capital Management was founded in 2009, and Shkreli announced its closure in 2012. Retrophin was founded in 2012, and Shkreli was its CEO until the company fired him in September 2014.

Retrophin in August sued Shkreli in federal court in Manhattan for $65 million, claiming he had used his control over Retrophin to enrich himself and pay off claims of investors in MSMB, which he had also defrauded.

“The $65 million Retrophin wants from me would not dent me,” Shkreli previously told Bloomberg Businessweek about the suit. “I feel great. I’m licking my chops over the suits I’m going to file against them.”

In September, Shkreli became a lightning rod over another issue: the soaring prices of prescription drugs.

He announced that month that he was ratcheting up the cost of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill, stoking outrage. Headlines called him the “most hated man in America.” Presidential candidates from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump — the latter called Shkreli a “spoiled brat” — pilloried him.

The CEO defended his actions, saying his first priority was to his investors.

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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