Thursday, November 17, 2022

Eight charged with RICO for hacking tax preparation companies, stealing identities, and filing for refunds

 Government lawyers have threatened legal action to stop the publication of a secret report into the workplace culture of the controversial building watchdog after employees criticised it as a stats-driven agency that focused too much on litigation.

A confidential staff survey of the NSW and ACT region of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) found it was racked by “contagious negative morale” and a “culture typified by active mistrust”

Readout of President Joe Biden’s Meeting with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China White House. As I am sure you know, “candidly” is not a positive word.

Biden-Xi lower the temperature in cooldown summit Asia Times. Showing my reflexive pessimism, but this is not how I read it. Having Biden lie yet again to Xi and not change course, which seems the likely outcome, is not going to improve matters. The US just launched a chip war, FFS. And see below re the fact that it is trying to escalate:

Orlando: Eight charged with RICO for hacking tax preparation companies, stealing identities, and filing for refunds

In April this year, Mildura detectives detected local instances of GST fraud, which total approximately $5 million. Victoria Police contacted the ATO as soon as this information was uncovered. 

The arrests were undertaken in connection with the ATO’s Operation Protego, an investigation into widespread GST fraud.

This investigation remains ongoing as police are aware of further connected instances of fraud. Anyone with information in relation to these matters is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit

Security researcher Ronnie Tokazowki and his team provided real gift cards to scammers doing BEC fraud, and tracked what happened to them

  • At least one scammer admitted to being in Nigeria
  • All were cashed out within 24 hours
  • Scammers wanted store cards, not ones from credit card companies

A note on terminology:  As readers know, several years ago some romance scammers tweaked this scam so that instead of needing money for an emergency, they instead urge victims to invest in crypto. It looks like the scammers refer to this as “pig butchering,”  a loathsome expression that tells us nothing about the scam itself. 

 Does Bankman-Fried Deserve A Bail Out? Heisnberg Report (resilc). Delicious:

All I’m suggesting is that if, instead of possibly mishandling enormous sums at a crypto exchange and trading house, Bankman-Fried allegedly ran a drug exchange and trading house, and if, instead of being Sam Bankman-Fried, born on Stanford’s campus (literally) to a pair of highly accomplished law school professors, he were a hypothetical Terrell “Big Dolla” Williams, born in a Chicago housing project to a poor single mother, or Williams’s hypothetical boss, Diego “El Jefe” González, born to nobody knows who in Sinaloa, and currently living in the Chicago suburbs in a $4 million home purchased by his wife, would he still have an active Twitter account? (Maybe, under Elon Musk, but that’s a separate discussion.) Would his organizations still be functioning at all? Would he be in discussions with an investor group to inject $9 billion into his crumbling empire? Would Bloomberg and Reuters still be reaching out for quotes? If not, why not? After all, the scenario I’ve just posited assumes that no guilt has been established for Bankman-Fried, Big Dolla or El Jefe. They’re all innocent until proven otherwise. Or at least that’s the way the legal system is supposed to work….

Finally, let me pose an even more uncomfortable question to readers: Who’s smarter, more capable and deserving our collective adoration: The Stanford-born, all-lanes-open whiz kid who made $16 billion by way of legal goods and services which some believe should be illegal, or the child born to nothing, with nothing and with no lanes open, who made $16 million trading illicit goods and services which many people believe should be legal?

Stupid move. Argentina has an extradition treaty with the US

Australia needs an honest conversation about tax and budgets – and Jim Chalmers is ready to talk

Jim Chalmers is a wily operator. Ahead of delivering his first budget next Tuesday, he has given himself room to do the things a treasurer needs to do. 

Will the NACC expose corruption in major defence contracts?

If Australia is serious about detecting and exposing corruption in arms deals and other defence contracts, the National Anti-Corruption Commission bill needs to be significantly strengthened. 

Retired US generals, admirals take top jobs with Saudi crown prince, other foreign governments

More than 500 retired U.S. military personnel — including scores of generals and admirals — have taken lucrative jobs since 2015 working for foreign governments, mostly in countries known for human rights abuses and political repression, according to a Washington Post investigation. 

The rise of Rishi and the contradictions of multicultural Britain

Rishi Sunak’s spectacular rise in British politics has understandably drawn a great deal of global attention. His achievements are indeed for the history books: the first ever non-white British Prime Minister of Indian heritage who is also a practicing Hindu; the youngest in more than 200 years. 

Donuts, chips and pizza should be redefined as DRUGS, scientist say Daily Mail Online 

Istanbul explosion: 6 killed in suspected terror attack DW