Posts Tagged ‘fraud’

The Trump Foundation Christmas Party Is Cancelled

December 20, 2018

The Trump Foundation Christmas Party Is Cancelled

This week New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced that she is euthanizing the rogue Donald J. Trump Foundation. The so-called nonprofit outfit was directly run by Donald Trump and three of his spawn. Rather than engaging in charitable actives,said the AG, there was a“shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation—including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more. This amounted to the Trump Foundation functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests.” This included funding Trump Senior’s election campaign, promoting his businesses, paying off his legal obligations.

As Charles Blow observes, “How can a family that can’t run a charity run a country?”

More:

“Trump’s Crooked Foundation Dissolves, But Investigation Continues,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

Clinton Foundation exec mocks Trump Foundation closing amid legal trouble
BY Morgan Gstalter, The Hill

“What the Collapse of the Trump Foundation Tells Us About Donald Trump,” John Cassidy, The New Yorker

“Trump lashes out at New York attorney general who sued his foundation,” David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post

“Trump Foundation dissolves, but Trump abuses and pursuit of personal gain live on,” Noah Bookbinder and Norman Eisen, USA Today

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Fraudster & Political Hack Illegally Acting as U.S. Attorney General

November 13, 2018

Fraudster & Political Hack Illegally Acting as U.S. Attorney General

After firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, President Trump appointed right-wing political hack Matthew Whitaker, a man the president doesn’t know (except when he does) as acting attorney general. There are a few issues with Mr. Whitaker’s appointment, chief among them the fact that it’s against the law. The Constitution, Which Donald Trump swore to defend, requires principal federal cabinet officers to be confirmed by the senate, and Matt Whitaker wasn’t. His appointment was illegal. Even Kellyanne Conway’s husband says so. So does Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano.

But there’s more. As acting AG, Matt Whitaker oversees the Mueller investigation, and he is already on record criticizing it, suggesting he would choke off Mueller’s funding. Mr. Whitaker has also opined that judges should be Christian, and the courts are an inferior branch of government, an interesting stance for the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.

And Matt Whitaker has some distinctly unchristian episodes in his past. He was on the board of World Patent Marketing, which paid a judgment of $25,987,192 to the FTC for defrauding inventors. Mr. Whitaker used his reputation as a former federal prosecutor to threaten inventors who complained. A perfect AG pick for a president with fraud judgments of his own.

More:

“Acting attorney general reportedly interviewed to be a ‘legal attack dog’ for Trump against Mueller,” Bonnie Kristian, The Week

“Trump’s acting attorney general involved in firm that scammed veterans out of life savings,” Jon Swaine, The Guardian

“Whitaker abandoned taxpayer-funded project in Iowa in 2016,” Ryan J. Foley and David Pitt, Associated Press

“Who Is Matt Whitaker And Why Is He Illegally Pretending To Be The Attorney General?” Elie Mystal, Above the Law

“Trump pick Whitaker rose through ranks as partisan targeting Democrats,” Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Jon Swaine, The Guardian

“The rules are clear: Whitaker can’t supervise Mueller’s investigation,”Neal Katyal, Washington Post

“A Quick Primer on the Legality of Appointing Matthew Whitaker as ‘Acting’ Attorney General, and Whitaker’s Power to Influence the Russia Investigation,” Marty Lederman, Just Security

Update:

“Whitaker’s Appointment as Acting Attorney General Faces Court Challenge,” Charlie Savage, Washington Post

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Trump Family: Tax Scams All the Way Down

October 4, 2018

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The New York Times revealed a multi-million-dollar case of Trump family tax fraud last week. Poppa Fred Trump set up phony companies to funnel money to his progeny withour paying gift tax to the IRS — that is, to American taxpayers. He also routinely undervalued properties. Donnie Trump was “earning” $200,000 a year as a 3-year-old,  and was a millionaire by age 8. So much for the “self-made-man” myth. Donald Trump seems to have continued the chicanery with daddy’s money when he was full grown. No wonder he’s never revealed his personal tax returns, despite his campaign promises.

Times reporter Susanne Craig first looked at the financial papers of President Trump’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, submitted to the Senate when she was nominated as a federal judge. An odd $1 million payment from a mysterious family-owned company stood out, and led to the Times investigation.

The charges were denied by a Trump family attorney, and of course Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied about them. President Trump called the Times story “old and boring,” but didn’t deny the story’s findings.Mr. Trump has been caught committing tax fraud before, and New York State tax authorities are looking into the new allegations.

More:

“Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father,” Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig and David Barstow, New York Times

“Fred Trump’s Tax Scheme Was Quite Impressive,” Matt Levine, Bloomberg

“Republicans Rigged the System to Enable Crimes Like Trump’s Tax Evasion,” Harry Cheadle, Vice

“Trump’s Shady Accounting Playbook for the Hyper-rich,” Annie Lowery, The Atlantic

“The Trump Family’s Tax Dodging Is Symptomatic of a Larger Problem,” John Cassidy, The New Yorker

“How Times Journalists Uncovered the Original Source of the President’s Wealth,” Melina Delkic, New York Times

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Trump Pays $25 Million Over Phony University

November 21, 2016

Trump Pays $25 Million Over Phony University

On Friday, President-elect and litigious career con man Donald J. Trump, who prides himself on never settling lawsuits, agreed to a $25 million settlement over his fraudulent “Trump University.” You may not have noticed because Mr. Trump spent the weekend distracting the media with his theater criticism.

Donald Trump’s unlicensed “university” was a bait-and-switch scheme, offering free courses that were sales pitches for $1,000 courses, which were in turn sales pitches for $10,000 and $35,000 courses. It’s a wonder the President-elect wasn’t sued by the Church of Scientology for stealing its business model.

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Dieselgate: Bosch Was a Co-Conspirator

September 8, 2016

Dieselgate: Bosch Was a Co-Conspirator
As we surmised, Volkswagen could not have installed emissions-test-cheating software on its 11 million diesel vehicles without the connivance of electrical engineering and manufacturing firm Robert Bosch GmbH. VW’s lawyers are claiming Bosch involvement in Dieselgate, and the Feds are investigating. Despite Bosch denials, there’s evidence the firm knew about the illegal VW cheat but didn’t alert German government regulators (or did they?). Bosch even demanded legal cover from VeeDub but the auto giant said “Nein.”

So we’ve got a mess that will cost billions to remedy, and two huge German corporations blaming each other for it. Bosch even wants people to call the scandal “VW-Gate” instead of “Dieselgate”. How do you say “Nice try!” in German?

More:

“Bosch worked ‘hand-in-glove’ with VW in emissions fraud: lawyers,” David Shepardson and Joel Schectman, Reuters

“Volkswagen Supplier Played Key Role in Cheating, Court Papers Say,” Jack Ewing, New York Times

“Bosch Knew VW Might Get Nailed For Diesel Cheating, Demanded Indemnification: Report,” Patrick George, Jalopnik

Update:

“Volkswagen engineer pleads guilty in emissions scandal,”Megan Geuss, Ars Technica

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Florida’s Big Business: Medicare Fraud

July 28, 2016

Florida's Big Business: Medicare Fraud

The U.S. Department of Justice nabbed three conspirators and accused them of defrauding taxpayers of $1 billion through nursing services and assisted-living facilities in the Miami-Dade area. “The magnitude of alleged false claims in this scheme is staggering and outrageous, even by South Florida healthcare fraud standards,” said U.S. attorney Wifredo Ferrer, alluding to the Sunshine State’s major industry, Medicare fraud. The three were charged with conspiracy, money laundering and health care fraud, and two were also charged with obstructing justice.

Thank Florida’s governor, Tea Party Republican Rick Scott, for the expansion of the medical fraud industry. The state is so dirty-business-friendly it has attracted foreign investors from Russia and Nigeria.

More:

“Justice Department Charges Three in $1 Billion Medicare Fraud Scheme in Florida,” Kate O’Keeffe, Wall Street Journal

Related:

“Medicare Fraud Is Sweetest Crime in South Florida,” Chris Parker, New Times Broward/Palm Beach

“What’s the matter with Florida? Healthcare fraud flourishes despite enforcement efforts,” Lisa Schencker, Modern Healthcare

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Trump University: The Hammer Is Coming Down

June 9, 2016

Trump University: The Hammer Is Coming Down

Woodrow Wilson was the president of Princeton. Dwight D. Eisenhower was president of Columbia. Donald J. Trump was … hey, what ever happened to Trump University?

Oh, right, it was a scam. It’s in the courts in New York and California. The Donald apparently bought off similar lawsuits in Texas and Florida by donating to the campaigns of state Attorneys General.

Spoiled rich kid, mob associate, and tax cheat Donald Trump failed at selling vodka, beauty pageant tickets, and steaks, but it’s his failed Trump University scam that has him in court as a defendant. Mr. Trump is incensed — he likes to be the plaintiff. Trump has sued or threatened to sue nearly everyone who’s crossed his path and, according to USA Today, he is the plaintiff in 1900 current lawsuits.

And he’s being sued just for taking money from poor single mothers and the elderly. Those losers had it coming. And since that sleazy Washington Post sued to have that biased judge unseal the Trump U salesmen’s playbook and testimony, valuable trade secrets are now worthless — and there are still plenty of gullible marks out there just waiting for the next Trump con job.

Trump University’s founder is scheduled for his own oral exam sometime after the general election. American voters will be tested on November 8th.

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Dieselgate: VW & Bosch

November 21, 2015

Dieselgate: VW & Bosch
11 million Volkswagen diesel cars have emissions-test-cheating software that allows them to produce lower emissions when tested by regulators and higher-performance dirty exhaust while they’re actually on the road. Volkswagen engineers were certainly involved in this scam, but the Wolfsburg firm may not be the only one snared in the Dieselgate probe. VW electronic equipment and software is built by Robert Bosch GmbH, and Reuters is reporting that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the Bosch involvement:

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Dieselgate: Volkswagen or Bosch?

October 7, 2015

11 million Volkswagen diesel cars, 500,000 of them in the USA, have emissions-test-cheating software that allows them to produce lower emissions when tested by regulators and higher-performance dirty exhaust while they’re actually on the road. Now that WV has been caught, EPA is acting accordingly. Volkswagen engineers were certainly involved, but the Wolfsburg firm may not be the only one snared in Dieselgate. Most VW electronic equipment and software is built by Robert Bosch GmbH:

“It isn’t clear whether Bosch provided Volkswagen with the software at the heart of the scandal, or whether any of the Bosch-built components interacted with the software.

‘How these components are calibrated and integrated into complete vehicle systems is the responsibility of each auto maker,’ the Stuttgart-based company said.

Still, questions over how the software worked and who was responsible for installing it have spilled over to include Bosch.

German newspapers have reported that Bosch told Volkswagen in a 2007 letter that the use of Bosch-made software to manipulate car emissions was illegal. Volkswagen declined to comment Friday on the reports.”

— “Bosch Could Get Drawn Into Volkswagen Emissions Litigation,” Robert Wall, Wall Street Journal

So if Bosch knew VW was hacking their software, why didn’t they tell the authorities? Worse: Did Bosch tell the German government, which took no action other than suppressing the information?

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Florida’s Growth Industry: Fraud

July 31, 2015

Florida's #1 Industry: Fraud

“Since the first settlers hacked their way into the mangrove tangles and drained much of the swampland, sunny South Florida has been virtually synonymous with shady deals and scams.

Over the past decade or so, the three most populous South Florida counties — Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach — have become less renowned for old-school ‘Miami Vice’-style drug shootouts than for scammers stealing hundreds of millions from the government, banks and individuals by using laptops, stolen identities and fake medical procedures.”

— “By nearly any measure, sunny South Florida is tops in fraud,” Curt Anderson, Associated Press

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