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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Nationwide failed to act against identity fraudsters

Category : Business

Standing order scammers have taken £1,300 from my account, but Nationwide has not been helpful

I recently logged in to my online Nationwide account, only to discover that two unknown standing orders had cleared more than £1,300 out of my current account, leaving me with just £21. As I had had nothing to do with them – they were both to estate agents I had never heard of – I printed the statement and rushed to my local Nationwide branch. There was no manager available but a cashier cancelled the two standing orders. I asked whether I had signed the forms indicating I had consented to them being set up, and she said I hadn’t.

My card was stopped, and I was put in a cubicle and told to ring Nationwide HQ to sort out the problem. No one offered any support.

After lengthy waits and several more questions, I was told that once it was proved that I had not set up the standing orders, I would be refunded. Someone would ring me on Friday or Monday. When I arrived home, I had a message from a woman who worked for the Carlisle branch. She wanted to know if I had set up a standing order to Alpha Lettings. She said the signature very clearly did not match mine, so she had declined it.

Since then it has emerged that someone – or a group of people – has tried to set up a string of standing orders on my account, all to estate agents around the country. A second trip to a bigger branch wasn’t much good, either, and promised call-backs have not materialised. It seems to me that Nationwide doesn’t know what it’s doing when it comes to identity fraud of this kind. Can you please help? CB, south-west London

It’s clear from your letter that the building society hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory when dealing with this problem. The staff seemed to have no idea how stressful it was to discover £1,300 had gone from your bank account, and you should have been treated more sympathetically.

Standing order fraud is, according to our research, relatively rare, but your case has highlighted how easy it is to commit. You later realised that one of your bank statements failed to arrive around Christmas and, armed with this, the culprit probably set up the standing orders, relying on staff not looking at the signature too closely.

We suspect that although estate agent names were used, the money ended up in an unrelated, non-business account. For some reason, these frauds often seem to lead to a Barclays account at a branch in east London.

Nationwide accepts it should have handled the matter better. “While we have measures in place to prevent standing order fraud, and the overwhelming majority of attempts are prevented, it is clear we have let CB down on this occasion. It is important to note any innocent victim of fraud will always be refunded,” says a spokesman.

The money taken from your account has been returned, with an additional £200 to make up for the poor service.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at or write to Bachelor & Brignall, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number

UK fraud probe for Kazakh miner ENRC

Category : World News

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office starts an investigation into Kazakh mining company and FTSE 100 member Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation.

Read more: UK fraud probe for Kazakh miner ENRC

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Ray Bitar, Full Tilt Poker founder, strikes deal with US prosecutors

Category : Business

Ray Bitar who was charged with bank fraud, money laundering and online gambling offences faced a jail sentence of 65 years

Ray Bitar, the online poker tycoon who ran the world’s second largest poker site from servers in Guernsey, has abandoned his defence against criminal charges brought by US prosecutors, striking a plea bargain as he awaits a heart transplant in California.

Bitar, 41, one of the founding figures behind Full Tilt Poker, becomes the second of 11 senior poker executives and payment processor intermediaries charged two years ago with bank fraud, money laundering and online gambling offences.

He was charged in April 2011 on five counts, and faced a maximum jail sentence of 65 years. Full Tilt was shut down and assets frozen. In four and a half years since the US enacted anti-online gambling laws, prosecutors alleged Full Tilt – branded around star players Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, each of whom had a stake in the business – had taken “at least an estimated $1bn” from the US alone.

However, bank fraud and money laundering allegations turn out to be just the start of Bitar’s woes. Detailed investigation led the US authorities to further allege that he and co-conspirators had secretly been plundering purportedly ring-fenced customer accounts, where poker players thought they had safely deposited cash and winnings.

Preet Bharara, US attorney for the southern district of New York, said Full Tilt had become a “Ponzi-style scheme”, with a $350m (£228m) black hole. The formidable prosecutor – best known for breaking the insider trading ring linked to New York hedge fund Galleon – said Bitar had “bluffed his player-customers and fixed the game against them as part of an international Ponzi scheme that left players empty-handed.”

A fresh indictment was issued and Bitar returned to his native the US last July. At the time he issued a statement through his lawyers saying: “I know that a lot of people are very angry at me. I understand why. Full Tilt should never have gotten into a position where it could not repay player funds.”

On Tuesday, his US lawyer John Baughman confirmed to the Guardian that an unusual plea bargain had now been struck, which took account of his exceptional health circumstances. Bitar is said to be awaiting a heart transplant in California. His serious health condition had not been made public previously.

Full Tilt had operated under a licence from the remote Channel Island of Alderney, though inadequate IT infrastructure meant it was forced to locate its servers on nearby Guernsey. Allegations that player accounts were plundered and that the company had been deeply involved in bank fraud for many years are highly damaging the reputation of the Channel Islands, where the offshore financial industry trades a on a reputation for not tolerating criminality.

While Full Tilt’s regulatory and IT functions were largely conducted from the Channel Islands, other operations were located on a business park just south of Dublin. Bitar is said to have spent much of his time between the Channel Islands and Ireland.

Together with market leader PokerStars, Full Tilt came to dominate the multibillion online poker industry after the US introduced tough laws making it illegal for banks to process payments from US citizens for internet gambling.

Scores of websites closed their operations in the US, including Party Poker, now part of London stock market-listed PokerStars and Full Tilt for years appeared to flout the rules, continuing to take bets from America, which was said to account for almost half of global demand for poker games.

The two sites allegedly used a string of intermediaries who set up sham online retail websites – purporting to sell golf clubs, watches, bicycles, jewellery, clothing, or even settling medical bills. In truth, payments through these sites masked deposits into poker accounts.

PokerStars, based in the Isle of Man, was also targeted by Bharara, but struck a deal last July that saw it forfeit $547m to the US authorities. It had managed to continue trading outside the US, unlike Full Tilt. In addition, PokerStars agreed to rescue Full Tilt, pledging to reimburse $184m owed to the effectively bankrupt group’s players outside the US.

The Full Tilt site has since been resurrected and is operated by PokerStars.

Under the terms of its settlement with Bharara, PokerStars had to promise that its founder Isai Scheinberg would step down as a director of the company. Scheinberg, a former Canadian executive with IBM, is one of three facing outstanding criminal charges and is said by the US authorities to still be at large. Two years ago was charged in the US with five offences of variously committing bank fraud, money laundering and online gambling offences. Reputedly resident in the Isle of Man, but with strong links to Israel, he faces a maximum of 65 years in jail.

Experian plc (EXPGY: OTCQX International Premier) | Experian expands Software-as-a-Service offering with acquisition of Decisioning Solutions

Category : World News

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Experian expands Software-as-a-Service offering with acquisition of Decisioning Solutions

Acquisition strengthens Experian’s global leadership position in customer acquisition and originations

PR Newswire

COSTA MESA, Calif., April 3, 2013

COSTA MESA, Calif., April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/

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CalPERS indictment leaves key questions unanswered

Category : Business, Stocks

The former head of America’s largest public pension has been indicted for fraud, but key questions remain.

Continued here: CalPERS indictment leaves key questions unanswered

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Are Russian killers on the streets of Britain?

Category : Business

A jogger who collapsed and died in leafy Weybridge turns out to have been blowing the whistle on one of Russia’s biggest tax frauds. Mark Townsend reports on a crisis that has pitted the Kremlin against the US Senate and British police

Shortly after 5.15pm on 10 November 2012, a jogger turned into Granville Road, Weybridge, running along the hedge-lined street of one of Britain’s wealthiest enclaves. Then, 50m from his home, he staggered into the road and died.

In the days that followed, Surrey police believed they were dealing with a natural, if unusual, death. Four months on, the passing of 44-year-old Alexander Perepilichnyy still remains a mystery. Two post-mortems have proved inconclusive, but the outcome of what Surrey police promise is their “full range” of toxicology tests is imminent.

To piece together Perepilichnyy’s final years is to drill down into the core of Russian criminality, according to one account.

What we know of Perepilichnyy is slight. In another age he might have been a rocket scientist. Peers called him a “genius”, a Ukranian whiz-kid with an uncanny knack for numbers. His favourite waste of time was, they say, discussing the theories behind cosmogony and Kondratiev waves – the long-term cycles of capitalism. However by the time Perepilichnyy arrived to study at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology – famous for supplying the brains behind the Soviet space race – Russia’s lunar ambitions had curdled with the collapse of communism. Instead Perepilichnyy applied his talents to the world of finance and

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SFO to investigate Autonomy, says HP

Category : Business

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is investigating the sale of technology firm Autonomy to Hewlett Packard, according to a filing from HP.

Continued here: SFO to investigate Autonomy, says HP

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Warning about student ‘money mules’

Category : Business

Fraud experts are warning that hundreds of thousands of people are in danger of being duped into laundering money for fraudsters.

Read the original post: Warning about student ‘money mules’

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Acme Packet Announces Real-Time Monitoring Solution for Next-Generation Service Provider Networks

Category : Stocks

Palladion 3.0 Enables End-to-End Network Management — Reducing Operational Costs, Increasing User Satisfaction, and Preventing Voice Fraud

Follow this link: Acme Packet Announces Real-Time Monitoring Solution for Next-Generation Service Provider Networks

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HMRC told to ‘get a grip’ on fraud

Category : Business

Public Accounts Committee chair Margaret Hodge tells HM Revenue and Customs to “get a grip”, after it misses a target to tackle tax credit fraud and error “by a mile”.

More: HMRC told to ‘get a grip’ on fraud

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