Fraud in the News



Don’t hide your hotel key, VIN or mobile number

Fraudsters are continually cooking up a host of scams, but according to the article, “Are These ‘Scams’ for Real?” by Sid Kirchheimer, four popular scams actually aren’t real: 
Electronic hotel room keys contain your personal information.
Thieves can get a key made based just on your car’s vehicle identification number.
Telemarketers are about to obtain your cell phone number.
The U.S. government is going to tax our emails and debit and ATM transactions.

The last one is particularly long lived. Kirchheimer writes, “A lone congressman introduced such a bill several times as a deficit reduction measure, but it has died every time. As for a pending 5-cent surcharge on each email, that tale started in 1999. It’s still spread by (tax-free) email and lists a phony sponsor and bill number.”



Amount that former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway saved by “lying about a Florida home she owned in order to avoid a payment of as much as $90,000 as part of an approval for a short sale — a sale for less than the amount owed on the mortgage — on a suburban Detroit property,” according to The Wall Street Journal article, “Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Sentenced for Fraud,” by Matthew Dolan. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison, ordered to repay the $90,000 and had to resign from her position.

“Rosales gave new meaning to the phrase ‘artful dodger’ by avoiding taxes on millions of dollars in income from dealing in fake art works for fake clients.” 

— U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, in a statement regarding New York art dealer Glafira Rosales, accused of selling unknown paintings of famous artists to several galleries, one of which had to close after 165 years in business because of the lawsuits filed by clients. (See “NY art dealer tied to alleged forgeries charged with tax fraud,” by Jonathan Stempel, Reuters, in the Chicago Tribune.)  

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