Who Holds the Note? A Loaded Question for Credit Scores.

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Before Steven Marks started looking for debt relief on his Reno, Nev. home, he sent a simple request to Bank of America to ask who owned his mortgage.  He also wanted documentation of this.  What he got in return was an initial decline regarding who owned his loan by Bank of America and a lowering of his credit score. … Read more »

Return Fraud

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Return fraud costs the retail industry billions of dollars in lost revenues every year. The growing crime is expected to cost retail stores across the nation an estimated $3.7 billion this holiday shopping season alone, according to the National Retail Federation. If that estimate holds true, it will represent 35 percent increase over last year’s… Read more »

Conflict of Interest Leading to a Fraud Investigation

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Joel Bondy, executive director of the Office of Payroll Administration in New York City since April 2004, is at the heart of an alleged $80 million information technology fraud scheme. He has been suspended without pay since December 16, 2010, by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Comptroller John C. Liu, pending investigation. Federal prosecutors have… Read more »

New rules for Debt-Relief Services

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Starting this week, for-profit companies marketing debt-relief services over the telephone are prohibited from charging a fee before they settle or reduce a customer’s debt to the Internal Revenue Service, credit card company, or other unsecured debt. The new rule by the Federal Trade Commission covers telemarketers of for-profit debt-relief services, including credit counseling, debt… Read more »

Hiding The Truth?

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Jane Buchan is a rarity on Wall Street. Not only has she built a hugely successful hedge fund investment firm but the firm is also the only one that is, on paper, owned and run by women. Unfortunately, it now appears that the firm Pacific Alternative Asset Management Company (PAAMCO) was bankrolled by some of… Read more »

We’re Number One

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According to Joshua Bamfield, author of the 2010 Global Retail Theft Barometer report from the U.K.-based Center for Retail Research, U.S. retailers lost about $40 billion in stolen goods in 2010.  This is about 1.5% of the nation’s sales. Even though this sounds really bad, the losses are down by 6.8% from the prior year…. Read more »

Accept Credit Cards at Garage Sales and Bake Sales

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Why can’t everyone accept credit cards? Now there is no good reason because the Square Up system eliminates card reading equipment by providing cell phone users with an app that snaps into a headphone jack. The plug is free and you are spared the contracts, the minimums and the monthly fees. For each transaction, Square… Read more »

No MBA for Insider Trading

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In a recent ruling, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan held that a certified public accountant who hid his conviction for insider trading from his teachers at NYUs Stern School of Business wasn’t entitled to the MBA degree that he thought he earned. The former PricewaterhouseCoopers employee, Ayal Rosenthal, pleaded guilty in February 2007 to one… Read more »

What a Tale!

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During the boom, Wachovia banker Robert Verrone made money by slicing and dicing billions of dollars in commercial real estate loans. After the crash, he made money by restructuring those loans before they blew up. As Wachovia’s No. 1 underwriter of securitized commercial real estate debt between 2002 and 2007, Verrone resigned just months before… Read more »

Star Power Fraud

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Kenneth Starr, a celebrity financial adviser to stars including actors Wesley Snipes and Sly Stallone, was charged with carrying out a massive $30 million fraud on his clients and then spending the money on a luxury apartment and jewelry, federal prosecutors said. Starr, head of the Manhattan-based Starr and Co., was charged with wire fraud,… Read more »