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Catch of the Week

This archive includes posts from our “Catch of the Week” series, in which the Whistleblower Insider blog highlights particular government enforcement actions.  Return to:

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COVID Frauds of the Week: PPP Loans for Fraudsters Who Like Nice Things

Posted  11/20/20
money in a spiral form with a bankroll of cash on top
It was another busy week for the DOJ, with at least 13 individuals charged for their attempts to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program out of cash meant to help real businesses with real employees, rather than to fund fraudsters’ extravagant lifestyles and idiotic, selfish behavior. Aditya Raj Sharma, 47, of Maple Grove, Minnesota—fake entrepreneur and apparent fan of swimming—was arrested and charged with...

Catch of the Week: New York Sues Sotheby’s for Helping Art Collector Evade Millions in Taxes

Posted  11/13/20
artwork and paintings on a wall
This week’s Catch of the Week spotlights another tax dodge by the rich and powerful, but with a twist, implicating international auction house Sotheby’s, one of the world’s largest brokers of fine arts, jewelry, and collectibles. Sotheby’s stands accused of enabling a wealthy art collector client to fraudulently evade taxes on $27 million worth of art. Under New York tax law, art resellers who meet certain...

Catch of the Week: Guild Mortgage

Posted  10/30/20
stack of mortgage papers with gavel and money
We’re in the midst of a recession, 13 million Americans are out of work, GDP growth is slowing, and stock market volatility is approaching record-breaking levels. This recession is largely driven by the emergence of a mostly natural and random phenomenon, COVD-19, though there is plenty of blame to go around in how humans have reacted to the spread of the virus. This week’s catch of the week, however, harkens back...

Catch of the Week: Goldman Sachs Agrees to Pay Over $2.9 Billion in Foreign Bribery Case

Posted  10/23/20
businessmen shaking hands and other placing money in others pocket
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and its Malaysian subsidiary have admitted to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by engaging in a scheme to pay more than $1.6 billion in bribes to foreign officials in exchange for lucrative contracts.  According to Goldman’s admissions and court documents, Goldman paid these bribes to foreign officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi in order to obtain and retain...

Catch of the Week: Texas-Sized Indictment for $2 Billion Tax Fraud

Posted  10/16/20
texas longhorn bull standing in open grass field
Everything sure is bigger in Texas.  Bigger hair, bigger churches, bigger stadiums, bigger ranches, and bigger sky.  Oh, and as of this week, bigger billionaires committing bigger frauds! On Thursday, federal prosecutors in California charged Robert T. Brockman, a Houston tech executive, with hiding $2 billion in income from the Internal Revenue Service.  True to Texas form, David L. Anderson, the U.S. attorney...

Catch of the Week: 345 Charged in $6 Billion National Health Care Fraud and Opioid Takedown

Posted  10/2/20
Paper Ripped Uncovering Medical Necessity Wording
In the largest health care fraud and opioid enforcement action in the Justice Department’s history, 345 defendants—including more than 100 doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals—face charges for submitting over $6 billion in false or fraudulent claims to federal and private insurers.  Defendants stand accused of submitting $4.5 billion in fraudulent claims linked to telemedicine, $845 million...

Catch of the Week: DOJ Charges North Korean and Malaysian Nationals for Bank Fraud, Money Laundering and Sanctions Violations

Posted  09/11/20
A list titled "SANCTIONS LIST"
The Department of Justice announced a criminal complaint charging Ri Jong Chol, Ri Yu Gyong, North Korean nationals, and Gan Chee Lim, a Malaysia national, for conspiracy to violate North Korean Sanctions Regulations, bank fraud, and conspiracy to launder funds.  The DOJ said defendants allegedly established and utilized front companies that transmitted U.S. dollar wires through the United States to purchase...

Catch of the Week: Bank of Nova Scotia Fined for Commodities Fraud and False Statements to Investigators

Posted  08/21/20
building of a bank
Self-disclosure offers wrong-doing corporations a path to leniency: Fess up, the government says, and we’ll go easier on you.  But as the Bank of Nova Scotia learned, you had better reveal the full extent of the problem, or you are just making your problem worse. The Bank had made a self-disclosure that secured it's leniency and an $800,000 deal for charges of commodities fraud.  When the CFTC later determined...

Catch of the Week: Interactive Brokers Pays $38 Million for Failures in Money-Laundering and Supervision

Posted  08/14/20
Computer screen with graphs
Brokerage firm Interactive Brokers LLC will pay $38 million in penalties to settle charges from multiple U.S. market regulators regarding its anti-money laundering practices, including alleged failures to file suspicious activity reports (SARs).  The discount broker has paid an $11.5 million penalty to settle charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission over the deficiencies in its internal controls that...

COVID Frauds of the Week: Fraud on Stimulus Programs and Consumers

Posted  07/31/20
handcuffs on a gavel with money scattered around
Like the virus itself, fraud that exploits the COVID-19 pandemic just will not go away, so we are back with another installment of our continuing series highlighting related government enforcement actions.  This week, we saw a continued enforcement focus in two areas: fraud on stimulus programs and consumers.

Stimulus Fraud

Three charges this week highlighted the government’s ongoing efforts to expose and bring...
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