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Fraud: Federal government wins some, loses some

Two executives of Bear Stearns, a global investment bank and brokerage firm, ran hedge funds that bet heavily on the shaky subprime mortgage market. When the company collapsed, the two were accused of criminal fraud in an alleged scheme that cost investors $1.6 billion.

On Tuesday, the executives were found not guilty. The verdict is expected to have repercussions for other criminal cases being pursued by the Justice Department relating to America’s financial meltdown.

Fraud is extremely difficult to prove. That’s a big reason why those of us who have been defrauded by sociopaths have such a small chance of getting law enforcement to take action. Prosecutors know that fraud is difficult to prove, so rather than take a chance at losing in court, and putting a ding in their won-lost record, they often just refuse to take on the case.

But sometimes justice prevails. A Lovefraud reader sent me an e-mail about a recent settlement that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) extracted from the MoneyGram company.

MoneyGram is the second-largest money transfer service in the U.S. Between 2004 and 2008, the FTC charged, MoneyGram agents helped fraudulent telemarketers and other con artists trick U.S. consumers into wiring more than $84 million—money that was never seen again. The consumers were falsely told they won the lottery, were hired for a secret shopper program, or were guaranteed loans.

MoneyGram will pay $18 million in consumer redress to settle FTC charges that it allowed its money transfer system to be used for fraud.

The scams are described in detail on the FTC’s website. If you were swindled by one of them, you may be eligible for redress. For information, call 202-326-3755.

The FTC has posted a new consumer alert: Money Transfers Can Be Risky Business. Here are the highlights:

    Don’t wire money to:

  • someone you don’t know, in the U.S. or in a foreign country;
  • someone claiming to be a relative in the midst of a crisis and who wants to keep the 
request for money a secret;
  • someone who says a money transfer is the only form of payment that’s acceptable; or
  • someone who asks you to deposit a check and send some of the money back.

It’s good to see at least some movement against fraud. I hope to see more.



24 Comments on "Fraud: Federal government wins some, loses some"

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  1. Hecates path says:

    Wasn’t sure where to post this, but here’s a link to the latest federal court hearings on the competency hearings for the monster that abducted Elizabeth Smart. I’m posting it here because as you will read an independent examiner is arguing that the guy isn’t delusional that he’s really an ASPD Psychopath, etc. who is faking his incompetence. They wouldn’t have to have to twist our arms to get any of us believe that now, would they??!!!

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-11-29-elizabeth-smart-case_N.htm?csp=34&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+usatoday-NewsTopStories+%28News+-+Top+Stories%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo

  2. ErinBrock says:

    Hecates:
    Thanks for that….
    Ms. Smart is one courageous woman!!!
    I say …..save all this money being spent and kill the beast!
    Oooopppps! Love YA!

  3. OxDrover says:

    Dear Hecates path,

    WELCOME BACK, long time no see! glad you are still around.

    Thanks for the link! You know, sometimes I read about these cases and I think, my goodness, what am I WHINING about, there are so many people who had it so much worse….but like Viktor Frankl said “Pain is TOTAL” and it fills the complete space like a gas does. You are right though, she is a suvivor.

    I saw a show last night (true story) about a girl who at age 10 had her throat slashed, and the girl she will in the bedroom with was killed, she crawled out the door, down the street to a house quite a ways away, to get help, identified the perp, and testified at his trial as the key witness. She is now 20 and still a suvivor—tough little girl who has had to endure too much.

    Both her parents were druggies, and she was “raising” her younger sibs (she was 10) at the time of the attack her father was in prison and her mother somewhere else—but she survived and has seemed to weather it a stronger more successful person than one might expect given her back ground. Her dad and mom have cleaned up their acts and her younger sibs are doing well and she is reestablishing a relationship with her dad, close to her sibs and starting college.

    The interviews with her were amazing on “living to tell”—

  4. geminigirl says:

    Sage and onion bulletts!! Kill the spaths and stuff them at the same time![The bears will like them even more!}
    Im in a psychopath mood tonight, -let me be, Im on a roll! love, Gem

  5. ErinBrock says:

    Exerpt from the below article.
    http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20464502,00.html

    “In other developments surrounding the case, NBC News reported that FBI and law authorities were tipped off six years ago about Carlina’s situation but failed to follow through.”

    What is is going to take for the government to START DOING THEIR JOBS?
    I’ts just pushing papers…..there is NO ACCOUNTABILITY!
    Even when things go way south….and murders occur…..respossibility gets thwarted.
    If no one is held accountable….this shit will continue to be accepted.
    PEOPLE>.>………Stand up and start yelling…..OUR VOICES NEED TO BE HEARD!

    If we keep seated and silenced……it is gonna get worse!

    This happens EVERYDAY! Look at Jayce Dugard case….look at all the chances she had to be ‘rescued’….in those 18 years.
    Look at how many agencies visited the house wehere she was held captive…..

    IF WE HAD PEOPLE THAT ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE….this wouldn’t happen…..we’ve allowed our society to settle…..close one eye….and pretend it didn’t happen.

    There are too many cracks……and we as a society are OKAY with it…..UNTIL WE ARE AFFECTED.

    It’s like….manufactureres……they produce a product…..now back in the ‘day’, we’d expect that product to have a resonable life span OR we’d return it for being defective. NOW….we gotta BUY an EXTENDED WARRANTY and pay a huge sum for that?
    AND WE DO IT??????????
    WTF?
    If I spend $800 on a new TV, and it comes with a 90 day warranty…..your sure as SHIT I am gonna expect this tv to last at least several years………and if it breaks/malfunctions in 100 days……I don’t care what your policy is…..your getting the friggen TV BACK!
    I AIN”T PAYING AN ADDITRIONAL fee to extend what I should be entitieled to in the beginning……

    As a society…..we need to have ‘reasonable’ expectations…..and if we all ‘buy’ that extended warranty….then the companies get away with producing faulty – shoddy, products….and keep making fortunes allowing them to ‘run’ the world.
    STOP IT! EXPECT SOMETHING REASONABLE! STAND UP FOR OUR RIGHTS!!!!!! DON”T WALK ALONG LIKE “the rest of em’……..MAKE A DIFFERENCE…..BE HEARD!!!!!! SET AN EXAMPLE!

    RIGHT IS RIGHT-0 WRONG IS WRONG!!!!!
    Just because the majority goes along….doesn’t mean ‘we’ have to……..LOOK WHERE THAT HAS GOTTEN OUR SOCIETY!
    It aint’ getting better people!

    As a society…..if we expect MORE from our FBI down to our local authorities…..AT SOME POINT….they are gonna have to perform to standards WE SET and expect!

  6. Ox Drover says:

    EB, I thought the whole article and the COMMENTs were all very interesting, actually.

    The girl becoming “distant” and the settlement money that the parents spent after she didn’t turn up by age 21 (who would have expected she should or would turn up) The talk for pay attitude about interviews etc.

    I agree that the money settlement to the parents which wasn’t all that much, was THEIRS for their suffering at the loss of their child (as if money would make up for that) But I don’t think the girl has any “right” to that money even if they did have it.

    She sounds to me like she has some “problems” but not sure what they are.

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