It's been a whole day since we learned about another example of systematic, widespread fraud by America's largest bank Wells Fargo (ripping off small merchants with credit card fees), so it's definitely time to learn about another one: scamming mortgage borrowers out of $43/month for an unrequested and pointless "home warranty service" from American Home Shield, a billion-dollar scam-factory that considers you a customer if you throw away its junk-mail instead of ticking the "no" box and sending it back. (more…)
"Pharma bro" Martin Shkreli was found guilty of three felony criminal charges today, including securities fraud.
From Washington Post:
“We’re delighted in many ways,” Shkreli said outside the courtroom, saying he was glad to be exonerated on many of the charges.
“This was a witch hunt of epic proportions,” he said. “They may have found some broomsticks.”
It's unlikely he would have to serve the maximum sentence of 20 years the judge could give him, and it's possible he will not have to go to prison at all and just pay a fine instead.
Wells Fargo didn't just steal millions from its customers with crooked overdraft fees, didn't just create 2,000,000 fraudulent accounts and threaten to blackball employees who tried to stop the frauds; didn't just defraud broke mortgage borrowers by the bushel-load -- they also defrauded 800,000 customers with car loans, forcing 274,000 of them into deliquency and "wrongfully repossessing" (that is, stealing) 25,000 of their cars. (more…)
When a network TV show performs badly, the networks deliberately introduce errors into the episodes' metadata before submitting it to the Nielsen ratings, so that the episode is counted as a separate show and doesn't bring the season's average rating down. (more…)
Kaspersky Labs reports that an unnamed large Brazilian financial institution with $27B in assets was compromised by hackers who took over its DNS -- by hijacking its NIC.br account -- and for 5 hours were able to impersonate the bank to all its online customers (and possibly to control its ATMs) in order to plunder their accounts and steal their credit card details. (more…)
Enjoy this simple and surprising tale from The Games Room Company, who were tasked with restoring a roulette table operated in Chicago throughout the 1930s: "we found that it had been completely rigged to defraud people and increase the odds of the house during play."
A button disguised as decorative screw, accessible to the croupier, would cause tiny pins to emerge from the ball track's surface, deflecting balls toward house-friendly ball pockets. Powered by batteries hidden in the legs (and dated by the newspaper used as dampers) the mechanism and its results would be undetectable at speed.