Investment Fraud: The Bigger They Are, the More Damage They Do

by Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE

Stock Fraud

Minor Vargas Calvo, 60, who was president of Provident Capital Indemnity Ltd. was convicted by a federal jury in Virginia. Calvo, a former Costa Rican insurance executive was convicted of all counts in a $485 million fraud scheme in which he was accused of lying to clients and investors about the financial stability of his company.

Calvo and Provident sold bonds guaranteeing funding for life settlement companies … Continue Reading

Insurance and Investment Fraud: Do You Really Have that Policy or Investment?

by Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE

Insurance Agent

Michael A. Cox, of Powell, Ohio committed theft when he continued to accept insurance premiums from past clients after his license was revoked by the Department of Insurance on July 23, 2009. His clients believed that they had insurance coverage since they were making payments to Cox, but there was no actual policy in place. Cox used the funds for his personal use. … Continue Reading

Investment Fraud: Trusted Insurance Broker Steals from Friends, Relatives and Fellow Congregants

by Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE


Walter Marion Williams pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, and was sentenced to a term of 108 months’ imprisonment to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Mr. Williams then had the gall to protest the length of the sentence. From 1992 until 2009, Williams, who was a licensed insurance broker, took over $1.9 million from several of his friends, relatives, and congregants at the church he attended … Continue Reading

Investment Fraud: Ponzi Scheme Allegations Against Full Tilt Poker

by Robin Slade

house of cards

On April 15, 2011, also known as “Black Friday” to the 1.7M online poker players in the United States, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted the owners of the biggest online poker sites, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker, and seized the URLs to prevent the sites from operating in the U.S. In the months that followed, DOJ allegedly uncovered a Ponzi scheme and in September, they filed a civil suit that accused the owners of Full Tilt Poker of defrauding thousands of their online players out of more than $300M.

You’ve likely heard of Ponzi schemes, but do you know what’s involved in this fraudulent activity and how to identify the red flags to prevent you from falling victim? … Continue Reading

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Red triangular other dangers warning sign on white
Fake Scanner Emails Infect Office Computers

Scammers are taking advantage of the standard emails sent by most office scanners. They have replicated the messages of famous printer brands but attach malware to the emails instead of documents.

How the Scam Works:

You are at work, and you receive a message from what you think is your office printer/scanner. It appears that someone sent you a copy of a scanned document. The name doesn’t ring a bell, but you open the attachment anyway.

When you click on the file, you find that it isn’t a scanned copy of the latest office report. It’s really a link to a third-party website that will download a virus to your computer. These viruses phish for personal and banking information on your machine. … Continue Reading

Credit card background, shallow DOF
Unknown Credit Card Charges: Fraud or Legit?

Recently, my mother-in-law discovered that a pretty significant piece of jewelry had gone missing. There had been a number of construction workers in the house for a few weeks and when she went to get her jewelry, it was gone. After searching like a crazy person under/in/on top of everything, she called the police.

When the police arrived they asked a bunch of questions, did an onsite investigation and calmly and collectively stated to her: “You misplaced it. It probably hasn’t been stolen. You will find it in a few days.” … Continue Reading

Losing By “Winning” – Scam Foreign Lotteries

I was at my local Post Office where a very eye-catching brochure caught my attention. Turns out, it’s a very informative brochure with tips compiled by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in partnership with AARP. The brochure is well done both visually and substantively. The brochure’s theme pops out due to great graphics, the bold purple cover and the words blazoned on the cover. The cover says “If You Have To Send $250 To Claim Your Prize Odds Are It’s A Scam — Don’t Risk It”. … Continue Reading

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