Fraud in the News

Dating app maker sued, college admissions scandal sentencing and drugmaker targets dementia patients

Can't buy me love

You can’t buy love, but apparently you can try to profit from it. According to the TechCrunch article, Dating app maker Match sued by FTC for fraud, by Sarah Perez, on Sept. 26, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued Match Group, the owner of dating apps like Match, Tinder, OkCupid and others, for fraudulent business practices. According to the FTC, Match tricked hundreds of thousands of consumers into buying subscriptions, exposed customers to the risk of fraud, and engaged in other deception and unfair practices.

According to the article, the FTC claims that knowingly profited from a massive bot and scammer problem. The FTC says most consumers aren’t aware that 25% to 30% of Match registrations per day come from scammers. This includes romance scams, phishing scams, fraudulent advertising and extortion scams.

In the latest lawsuit, the FTC is asking Match to pay back “ill-gotten” gains and wants to impose civil penalties and other relief.

3 parents sentenced in college admissions scandal

At the time of publication, three parents have been sentenced in the U.S. college admissions scandal, according to a CNN article.

Stephen Semprevivo, a Los Angeles-based executive, paid $400,000 to get his child into Georgetown University under the guise that he was a tennis recruit. Semprevivo pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and was sentenced to four months in prison.

According to the article, on Sept. 24, Devin Sloane, another LA-based executive who paid $250,000 to get his son into the University of Southern California falsely as a water polo player, also received a four-month sentence.

And actress Felicity Huffman, who paid $15,000 to cheat on her child’s SAT test, was sentenced to two weeks in prison.

See The 3rd parent sentenced in the college admissions scam gets 4 months in prison, by Eric Levenson, CNN, Sept. 26.

Drugmaker targets dementia patients

Whistleblowers have alleged that a pharmaceutical company paid doctors to prescribe its main drug and urged salespeople to push it as a way to control unruly dementia patients, according to Cashing in on dementia patients, by Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken, CNN, Sept. 26.

According to the article, Avanir Pharmaceuticals will pay more than $100 million to settle government fraud allegations. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the settlement four years after the whistleblowers alerted the federal government that they believed the company was paying kickbacks to doctors and illegally marketing its main drug, Nuedexta, particularly in nursing homes. Each whistleblower will receive a portion of the millions Avanir has agreed to pay.

Additionally, the DOJ announced they’d indicted two doctors and two of the drugmaker’s salespeople for their alleged involvement in a “kickback conspiracy.”