The Dread Pirate Roberts vs. The French Maid

DEA agent charged with acting as a paid mole for Silk Road


Nearly 18 months after the Silk Road online drug market was busted by law enforcement, the criminal charges rippling out from the case have now come full circle: back to two of the law enforcement agents involved in the investigation, one of whom is accused of being the Silk Road’s mole inside the Drug Enforcement Agency.

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Alzheimer's or Conspiracy?

Tax Fraud Draws 6 1/2 Year Prison Term Despite Alzheimer's


Margaret Mathes, a 67-year-old Massachusetts woman, has been sentenced to 6 ½ years in prison for tax crimes, and then another three years of supervised release. Her attorney asked for leniency because of her Alzheimer’s disease, but that didn’t seem to help. It may have even backfired. Ms. Mathes plead guilty over charges arising out of an eight-year tax fraud from a temporary employment agency that hid more than $5 million in taxes from the IRS.

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Dangerous Scams From Behind Bars

Cell extortion: Inmate phones leading to violence, fraud


The voice on the phone told Addis Thompson that his local sheriff's office in Macon, Georgia had a warrant for his arrest. Thompson had missed jury duty, said the man, who identified himself as an officer. Thompson could pay a fine, or go to jail.

What Thompson didn't know was that the caller himself was in jail — he wasn't a sheriff's deputy, but, allegedly, a convicted coke dealer serving 30 years at Georgia's Autry State Prison. 

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Medical Identity Theft is a Growing Concern

The surprising kind of identity theft you probably haven’t heard of


You surely know about the dangers of identity theft, where someone who has obtained some of your personal information, such as your Social Security number, uses that to get money (often yours) or credit. It can cause massive headaches, at the very least. There’s not just a single kind of identity theft, though. There’s one kind in particular that has been happening more often lately. You probably don’t know about it and you definitely should. It’s medical identity theft.

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A Fight Against Fraud, Inspired by the Brain

How PayPal uses deep learning and detective work to fight fraud


Hui Wang has seen the nature of online fraud change a lot in the 11 years she’s been at PayPal. In fact, a continuous evolution of methods is kind of the nature of cybercrime. As the good guys catch onto one approach, the bad guys try to avoid detection by using another. Today, said Wang, PayPal’s senior director of global risk sciences, “The fraudsters we’re interacting with are… very unique and very innovative. …Our fraud problem is a lot more complex than anyone can think of.”  

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The Kubler-Ross Model and Bitcoin Perception

The five stages of bitcoin understanding


Sentiments on bitcoin, the digital currency, vary wildly at the moment. From reporters to venture capitalists to bankers to the general public, opinions run the gamut, from frenzied flag-waving, to cautious curiosity, to sneering skepticism. But you wouldn’t exactly call any of it “grief.”

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Doctored Engineering Reports and the Insurance Companies Behind Them

The storm after the storm


When Hurricane Sandy made its way towards the East Coast in the fall of 2012, residents knew it could be devastating. What they didn't expect was just how bad Sandy turned out to be: 117 deaths, and damage estimated at more than $60 billion, second only to Katrina. Now two and a half years later, Sandy victims have been hit by something else they didn't expect, the storm after the storm. 

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