Seven Ohio men between the ages of 27 and 50 were arrested last week and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, after an investigation found evidence that they were gaining access to strangers’ store-issued credit cards to buy and resale merchandise. The group’s leader, who was also charged, is a 33-year-old inmate at Fort Dix, NJ. Investigators think he initially met one of the Ohio men in prison. [More]
While the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform was busy raking Toyota’s chief executives over the coals in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Federal agents in Detroit were going all Untouchables-like at the offices of three auto parts suppliers, including one company owned in part by Toyota. [More]
FBI chief Robert Mueller wants ISPs to track everything their customers do on the Internet, and keep those records for two years. The government plan would give the FBI access to “origin and destination information” for all users. Hey, at least they’re not doing it in secret and lying about it. [More]
Since 2007, the FBI and authorities in Egypt have been running an investigation they’ve called “Operation Phish Phry,” sigh, and this week it paid off with 53 charges against U.S. defendants and 47 against people in Egypt. Three of the 53 in the U.S. have been arrested, and the FBI are looking for the other 50. To prove you’re not one of the remaining 50, please send the FBI your login credentials to your bank. Ha ha, we kid.
The FBI is currently searching for this man, a bank robber with a keen eye for t-shirts. He robbed the Commerce Bank at 8050 Big Bend in Webster Groves, Missouri by handing the teller a note which read, “I have a gun. I will kill you. Give me your $100’s and $50’s.”
It’s not just monolithic corporations, financial institutions, state governments and the like that are benefiting from bailout funds. Scam artists stand to make a killing also, the FBI says:
Most definitely copying what they’ve learned from the badass HBO show “The Wire,” law enforcement agencies are using wire taps to catch bad guys in the cleverest of ways.
The Washington Post says that a hacker encrypted 8 million patient prescription records from a Virginia state website last week, deleted the backups, and replaced the home page with a ransom note. If the state doesn’t pay $10 million within 7 days, the hacker has threatened to sell the data to the highest bidder.
37-year-old Nigerian scammer Paul Gabriel Amos convinced Citibank officials to wire him $27 million belonging to Ethiopia. Rather than go with the usual Nigerian nom de plumes like prince or will executor, Famous Amos pretended to be an official with the National Bank of Ethiopia. Amos forged “official-looking” documents that confirmed his status with the central bank and instructed Citibank to await faxes telling them where to send the country’s cash.
FBI agents raided the Georgia plant suspected in the current salmonella peanut butter outbreak that has been linked to 600 illnesses and eight deaths in 43 states. The company is accused of knowingly shipping the tainted products.
If you’ve ever wondered why medicines have tamper-proof seals — there’s one reason: an group of still unsolved murders over a quarter of a century old. In September of 1982, cyanide-laced Tylenol killed seven people in the Chicagoland area. Despite a nationwide recall and investigation, no one was ever charged with the crime. Now the FBI has reopened the case.
In its largest ever hiring spree since 9/11, the FBI is hiring 850 new special agents and 2,100 professional support personnel. Maybe they’ll catch all those shady mortgage crooksters before they Jenga the system! Oh wait, too late. Next time there’s a sub-prime meltdown, though, we’ll be ready! [FBIjobs.gov] [CNN]
The FBI has launched a fraud probe into Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and AIG. Sounds kinda like a move to placate the masses. “We’re on it.” No doubt in response to the seething outrage sweeping the nation over the size and audacity of the bailouts, however needed they might be. Sounds like an easy job. Sorta like dipping your hand in a barrel of ink and trying to pull up black stuff.
Google now helps catch criminals. The FBI identified a Citibank PIN thief by cross-referencing security camera footage with an ICQ handle and personal photos on ham radio enthusiasts sites. [Information Week]
Wired has been covering the ongoing investigation into recurring ATM pin thefts from Citibank accounts, and their latest article tracks how Ukrainian immigrants, a ringleader back in Russia, a hacked company named Fiserv that runs Citibank-branded ATMs in 7-Elevens, and an online payment service that also offers money laundering for a small fee all come together to steal your money. It’s an amazing look at how the U.S. tries to combat the threat of ATM-related theft.
The FBI has opened an investigation into Countrywide for suspected securities fraud, reports the New York Times. The Justice Department and FBI “are looking at whether officials at Countrywide, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, misrepresented its financial condition and the soundness of its loans in security filings.” So far everything is unofficial because nobody has been authorized to discuss the case, and a Countrywide spokeswoman says, “”We are not aware of any such investigation.”
20 Southwest Airlines and 2 U.S. Airways flights were delayed after a LAX terminal was evacuated for two hours due to a “suspicious comment” made by a passenger on SWA Flight 1182 from El Paso. We were unable to find out what exactly the “suspicious comment” was, but UPI suggests that it had something to do with explosives in his luggage. The LAPD bomb squad was called, but no explosives were found.
The New York Times says that the FBI has begun an investigation that includes almost the entire mortgage industry—from the lenders to the brokers to the Wall Street banks who packaged the loans as securities. They’re cooperating with the SEC and wouldn’t name which firms they’re targeting, but the Times said that it includes 14 companies.