USA

  • Utah Federal Court Shuts Down Coronavirus Scam

    A temporary restraining order was issued by a federal court in Utah to stop a man from peddling silver as a potential cure for COVID-19. 

  • US and UK Take on COVID-19 Scams

    Hundreds of COVID-19-related scams, many of which operated from websites that advertised fake vaccines and cures, operated fraudulent charity drives, delivered malware, or hosted various other types of scams, have been disrupted by US law enforcement, theDepartment of Justicesaid on Wednesday. 

  • Russia Sold to the US Ventilators Produced by Sanctioned Company

    Ventilators Russia sold to the US last week to help fight the coronavirus pandemic have been produced by the subsidiary of a Russian company that has been under US sanctions since 2014,reports say.

  • US Collector to Return 11,000+ Artifacts to Egypt, Iraq

    After years of scrutiny, Steve Green, the Chairman of the Washington-Based Museum of the Bible, has announced that he will be returning some 11,500 antiquities from his personal collection to Egypt and Iraq, admitting that some of them may have had dubious provenance.

  • US Military Allegedly Paid Millions for Never Aired Propaganda

    An information operations group charged the US more than US$120 million to produce pro-US TV and radio ads in Afghanistan and then never broadcasted any, claims a recently unsealed lawsuit.

  • US Blocks Telecom Companies from Facilitating Robocall Fraud

    The United States Department of Justice issued injunctions on Friday barring two telecom carriers from facilitating robocalls that led to people paying millions to fraudsters for solving made-up legal predicaments. 

  • US Charges Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro with Narco-Terrorism

    A United States Federal court charged Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro on Thursday with drug trafficking, narco-terrorism and firearms possesion, claiming he and 14 current or former Venezuelan officials had floodded the U.S. with cocaine.

  • TI: Stimulus Packages Must Include Anti-Corruption Measures

    Stimulus packages must include anti-corruption measures if they are to be successful,Transparency International warned the US Congress and the Senate ahead of Wednesday’s  adoption of a historic US$2 trillion rescue package aimed to help the economy crippled by the coronavirus pandemic.

  • As Coronavirus Spreads Globally so are Cybersecurity Threats

    As COVID-19 shut down the world in less than a month, cybercriminals seized the opportunity to use the Internet to defraud and blackmail people and companies.

  • Former Head of Pilatus Bank Convicted, Faces Max 85-Year Sentence

    A New York jury found the head of a Maltese bank guilty of defrauding the United States, evading its economic sanctions against Iran, bank fraud, and money laundering.

  • US: 27 Charged in Massive Horse Doping Bust

    The Manhattan U.S. attorney charged 27 individuals, including trainers, veterinarians and drug suppliers, with a variety of crimes related to a massive horse doping scheme aimed to rig races across the United States, theDepartment of Justice announced on Monday.

  • US Charges Ex-Head of Labor Union With Embezzlement

    US prosecutors charged on Thursday the former president of the United Auto Workers, UAW, union with embezzling more than US$1 million in union funds, furthering racketeering activity, and evading taxes.

  • Florida Organized Crime Group Stalks the Wealthy Via Instagram

    Miami authorities Tuesday arrested members of an alleged organized crime ring who used social media to target some dozen wealthy people with jewelry and valuables to steal, according to the Miami Herald.

  • Detroit Official Sentenced for Taking 6 Million in Bribes

    A judge sent on Wednesday a former Detroit Metropolitan Airport official behind bars for 10 years because he fixed contracts for infrastructure projects and pocketed US$6 million in kickbacks, the US Attorney's Office said.

  • US: 27 Suspected Pedophiles Arrested in Undercover Operation

    US authorities arrested during an undercover operation 27 men accused of trying to solicit or broker sexual contact with children, police in Phoenix, Arizona, announced on Thursday. 

  • US: SEC Suspends Former KPMG Partner

    The US financial regulatory agencysuspended an accountant on Wednesday following a year-long prison sentence he received for having illicitly acquired confidential information about when and how KPMG, the accounting firm he worked for, would be inspected in order improve results. 

    KPMG Headquarters Photo Credit: Line Ørstavik (CC BY 2.0)KPMG Headquarters Photo Credit: Line Ørstavik (CC BY 2.0)The US Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, barred David Middendorf from practicing accounting in the three states he previously was certified in -- Georgia, New York, and Ohio. 

     Middendorf served as a former national managing partner for audit quality at the “Big Four” accounting firm, KPMG, at the time the firm fared poorly in inspections conducted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, PCAOB, a nonprofit corporation overseen by the SEC that inspects the audit work performed by registered accounting firms.

     Under the leadership of Middendorf, several employees worked to improve the firm’s performance by recruiting and hiring former PCAOB employees and obtaining information on which KPMG audits would be inspected, according to the Department of Justice

    Jeffery Wada, an inspection leader at the PCAOB provided Cynthia Holder, a former PCAOB employee who was hired by KPMG, with confidential information about future audits on the company’s findings. 

     “I have the grocery list… All the things you’ll need for the year,” Wada texted Holder, in reference to the entire 2017 final confidential  inspection selections. Holder shared this information to Brian Sweet, another former PCAOB employee who had joined KPMG, who then passed the information on to Middendorf. 

     Authorities arrested the group in 2018 and charged them with conspiracy and wire fraud.

     A US$50 million fine was also issued to KPMG by the SEC last summer for altering past audit work. The firm was also ordered to hire an independent consultant “to review and assess the firm’s ethics and integrity controls and its compliance with various undertakings,” a press release by the agency stated. 

    “The breadth and seriousness of the misconduct at issue here is, frankly, astonishing,” Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said in the same press release. “This settlement reflects the need to severely punish this sort of wrongdoing while putting in place measures designed to prevent its recurrence.”

  • Russian Hackers Targeted Kyiv Firm Trump Wanted Probe

    Russian hackers tried to steal emails and email credentials from the Ukrainian gas company that found itself last year at the center of a scandal that led to President Donald Trump’s impeachment, a US cybersecurity company said in areport published on Monday.

  • Major Hotel Chains Sued for Profiting from Sex Trafficking

    A dozen of hotel chains across the US have been accused by victims of profiting from sex trafficking by ignoring obvious signs of exploatation in their rooms,CNN reported on Wednesday.

  • US Sanctions Latvian Oligarch

    The US Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on several people and legal entities in Europe, Asia and Latin America under the Magnitsky Act, including Mayor of Ventspils in Latvia, according to Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

  • California GOP Congressman To Plead Guilty to Campaign Fund Misuse

    A California Republican congressman says he will plead guilty to one count of misuse of campaign funds during a federal court hearing Tuesday in San Diego. 

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