Recently in Fraud Category

July 1, 2011

54 Boston Firefighters Cited in Training Scheme

The Boston Fire Department is has been plagued by negative headlines, including multiple allegations of disability abuse, reports of two firefighters in West Roxbury who were reportedly under the influence of drugs when they attempted to put out a fire, and most recently, allegations of faking medical training certifications.

The Boston Fire Department on Thursday June 23, reportedly suspended 54 firefighters who were among the more than 200 EMT's statewide who investigators say, faked medical training certifications. The Department announced the suspensions following a yearlong internal investigation.

In 2010, two instructors were accused of falsifying records for 213 emergency medics, who received credit for training classes that never took place. These classes ranged anywhere from basic refresher courses to advance cardiac life support training. The current Department investigation found that 20 of the 54 suspended firefighters twice received false falsified certifications, and the other 34 received them once.

The full article can be seen here.

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June 29, 2011

Braintree Best Buy Discovers Counterfeit Check Criminals

According to police, five people were arrested in Braintree after they were accused of passing off bogus checks. On Thursday June 23rd shortly after 8 p.m., security officers at a Best Buy store called police after spotting someone previously suspected of using counterfeit checks. Police reported that Barbara A. Pritchett, 43, her husband, William C. Pritchett, 45, her brother, James M. Brumfield, 4 (all of Dorchester) and Glen Leshore, 47, of Randolph, were being monitored on surveillance cameras for passing fake checks.

The police were able to perform a search of Glen Leshore, allegedly uncovering multiple envelopes containing 26 bogus checks written under various names. Police also reported that Barbara Pritchett had four bogus checks and a receipt from Best Buy totaling $910.30, and James Brumfield had two Best Buy receipts with matching checks for $779.85 and $849.98.

All five suspects were arrested and charged with receiving stolen property over $250. Leshore, Brumfield and the Pritchett's were also charged with larceny over $250. Leshore, who may have been the ringleader of the whole operation, was also charged with forgery.

The full article can be seen here.

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May 27, 2011

Man Makes Millions on Fake MBTA Passes

A Massachusetts man is facing larceny charges after being accused of making millions of dollars worth of counterfeit monthly MBTA passes. He sold the passes online for a discounted rate. Attorney General Martha Coakley reported that Andres Townes, 27, of Revere, worked at Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc. a company that had an agreement with the MBTA to produce monthly passes.

Coakley stated that Townes has produced and sold up to 20,000 counterfeit MBTA monthly passes through various websites like craigslist since 2007. In March alone the MBTA traced 400 of these passes that totaled around $70,000. The passes appeared legitimate and worked as normal passes but were never authorized by the MBTA, which did not profit from the illegal passes.

Coakley believed that the scheme would have gone undetected for years had it not been for a commuter rail operator who confiscated a suspicious pass. The operator noticed something different on a pass; when he asked the customer where she had bought it, she answered craigslist. Coakley and investigators believe that the scheme could have produced around $5 million in illegal passes since 2007.

The full article is featured here .

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May 9, 2011

Feds Charge Revere Police Officer in Corruption Sting

A Revere police officer has been arrested and charged with corruption by lying to the FBI and accepting a $200 bribe. According to the Department of Justice, Todd Randall, 40, of Revere, met with an FBI witness and accepted the bribe in exchange for providing interference with a criminal case. Agents reported that Randall was on duty, in his police uniform, and driving a marked Revere Police cruiser when he traveled to the witness's home and accepted the bribe.

FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers said, "Mr. Randall's alleged criminal actions and subsequent false statements regarding his role in an ongoing public corruption investigation are an injustice to the thousands of honest and trustworthy federal, state and local law enforcement officers who work in Massachusetts." The interaction between Randall and the FBI witness was caught on camera during the bribery sting.

Randall has been on unpaid administrative leave from the Revere Police Department and is facing up to five years in prison if convicted. He was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond after his arrest; however, he is reportedly working on a plea deal with federal prosecutors to resolve the situation, reports U.S. Attorney Robert A. Fisher.

The full article is featured here.

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December 3, 2010

SEC Charges Boston Trading and Research, LLC Principals with Fraud

Craig Karlis, 50 of Hopkinton, and Devrim Akyil, 38 of Hingham, have been accused of defrauding over 750 investors out of approximately $40 million. Together the two ran Boston Trading and Research, LLC (BTR). In November, 2010 the SEC filed a civil injunction in federal district court in Massachusetts to immediately stop the company from trading and defrauding investors. The main fraud concerned taking investor's money and pretending to invest in foreign currency ventures (referred to as "Forex"). Karlis and Akyil would promise investors high rates of return converting their dollars to foreign currency, taking advantage of beneficial exchange rates.

Among other things, the SEC alleges that the defendants misappropriated investor funds and lost a vast majority of the remaining funds through Forex trading even though they promised investors that most of their funds were protected against some losses. The SEC's complaint, filed under Securities and Exchange Commission v. Boston Trading and Research, LLC, Ahmet Devrim Akyil and Craig Karlis, uncovered that BTR solicited investments through their website (which has since been taken down) and sales representatives who introduced investors to Karlis and Akyil. The company actually attracted investors from around the world. BTR secured most of their investments by providing a stop-loss program where investors were promised that they would lose no more than an agree-upon percentage (typically 30%) on their initial investment. BTR also promised potential investors that its principals were paid from profits only, and not from any of the original investment money.

In fact, Karlis and Akyil allegedly diverted most of investor's money for their own benefit. BTR is a publicly traded company, and must file accountings and returns with the SEC annually to assure they follow regulations. To conceal the fraud, BTR sent investors and the SEC misleading account statements, while Karlis and Akyil were pocketing money and, in some cases, losing money on bad investments in Forex.

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