Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: Bitcoin is a fraud that will blow up says JP Morgan boss, Hurricane Relief Contractors Can Expect More Fraud, Fraudsters may already be trying to use breached Equifax data Scrutiny, Senators seek investigation of Equifax stock sales,

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team

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Bitcoin is a fraud that will blow up, says JP Morgan boss

Jamie Dimon claims cryptocurrency is only fit for use by drug dealers, murderers and people living in North Korea

Bitcoin is a fraud that will ultimately blow up, according to JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon, who said the digital currency was only fit for use by drug dealers, murderers and people living in places such as North Korea.

Speaking at a conference in New York, the boss of America’s biggest bank said he would fire “in a second” anyone at the investment bank found to be trading in bitcoin. “For two reasons: it’s against our rules, and they’re stupid. And both are dangerous.” read more »

Hurricane Relief Contractors Can Expect More Fraud Scrutiny

For all of the government’s missteps in the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort, it got one thing right — preparation for fraud that follows federal money.

Not a month had passed before the Justice Department established a task force, which relied, in part, on the False Claims Act to deter and punish recovery contract fraud.

As billions of Hurricane Harvey recovery dollars make their way to Houston, the government and whistle-blowers again will likely rely on the FCA to combat fraud by eventual contract awardees and others. read more »

Senators seek investigation of Equifax stock sales

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators Tuesday urged federal prosecutors and regulators to investigate stock sales by three Equifax executives before the company disclosed a massive cyberbreach for any evidence of insider trading.

The effort by the group came five days Equifax, one of the nation's three largest credit-reporting firms, disclosed that private information for an estimated 143 million U.S. consumers may have been compromised by hackers who carried out a cyberattack on Equifax data.

The disclosure about the unauthorized accessing of names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and even some driver's license numbers worried consumers and triggered a two-day plunge in Equifax's stock value. read more »

Fraudsters may already be trying to use breached Equifax data

Forter, an e-commerce fraud prevention company, said they saw a “significant” spike in what appears to be fraudulent account takeovers this summer, something they believe could be a result of the recently-disclosed Equifax data breach.

“In the last two months we saw about a 15% increase year-over-year in account takeover attempts,” according to Forter CEO and co-founder Michael Reitblat. “While we can’t confirm that this is related to the Equifax breach, the timing suggests that it could.” read more »

US Sues Former Deutsche Bank Executive For Securities Fraud

US authorities sued a former executive of German bank Deutsche Bank AG for misleading investors about the residential loans backing $1.4 billion in mortgage-backed securities issued in 2007, prior to the 2008 financial crisis.

The Justice Department filed civil fraud charges against Paul Mangione, the former head of subprime mortgage trading at Deutsche Bank. The fraud resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses, according to a fraud complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court. Mangione is accused of systematically, intentionally lying about subprime mortgages. read more »

Owners of family practice medical centers in Midlands to pay govt $2 M

The owners of a chain of physician-owned family practice medical centers in the Midlands agreed to pay the government $2 million after the government said they billed Medicare and TRICARE for unnecessary medical services, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday night.

“The provider’s actions targeted American service members, veterans and their families, diverting valuable resources through unnecessary tests,” said Deputy Director Guy Kiyokawa of the Defense Health Agency in the news release.

Dr. Stephen F. Serbin, the principal owner and former chief executive officer of Family Medicine Centers of South Carolina (FMC) , and the former laboratory director, Victoria Serbin, agreed not only to pay to settle the government’s False Claims Act lawsuit but also to have nothing to do with the management of the large practice for 5 years. read more »