fraud

derekGavey | Flickr

While technology has changed, at least one thing has remained constant: Scammers are always looking for new ways to exploit those who are easily victimized.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., the ranking member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging says, tech-support scams are “confidence scams, pure and simple.” In comments prepared for today’s hearing, McCaskill says “if there’s one thing many seniors are not confident about, it’s technology. So it makes perfect sense that these fraudsters would cling to a senior’s insecurity about technology to swoop in under the guise of assistance.”

Gerald Roy with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services speaks at a news conferenc announcing fraud charges while Stephen Wiggington, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois looks on to the right on Thursday, June 18, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Twelve people are facing federal charges in southern Illinois for allegedly defrauding a Medicaid program that provides home care for people with disabilities.

State and federal officials announced the charges Thursday in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Illinois as part of a coordinated national crackdown on health care fraud that brought charges against more than 240 people in 17 different federal districts.

fraud
FBI

While digging through the consumer fraud warnings piling up in our inbox, we’ve concluded that scams are like slick sidewalks in the wintertime: At first glance, they seem so safe.

* The Most Shameful: Re-Scamming The Scammed

Jess Jiang / St. Louis Public Radio

The Department of Justice is charging 14 people with Medicaid fraud in Illinois.

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen Wigginton, said over the past few years, dozens of people have fleeced a Medicaid program that pays personal assistants to help disabled or sick Medicaid recipients live at home. The intention is to save the state money by keeping people in their homes and out of costly institutions such as hospitals or nursing homes.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

The U.S. District Court of Eastern Missouri has sentenced a former St. Louis city official to three years in federal prison for embezzlement. 

(via Flickr/ChrisYunker)

The head of the St. Louis city parks department has apologized for an elaborate fraud in which two high-level employees stole nearly $465,000 from the city.

"We know that we are the stewards of an incredible legacy, and stewards of the taxpayers' money," Gary Bess told the parks committee. "We want their trust, and know that we have to earn it. That's why I'm as disappointed as anyone that this has happened. On behalf of everyone in the administration, and the parks department, I'd like to apologize. It's not who we are."

(via Flickr/Tracy O)

Illinois is getting $2.7 million to strengthen its efforts to fight waste and fraud in unemployment claims.

The grant from the U.S. Labor Department will help beef up anti-fraud programs launched in the past year.
 
The Illinois Department of Employment Security says it has begun garnishing tax returns of unemployment cheats, working more closely with the attorney general and holding business leaders personally liable for misstating company obligations.

(via Flickr/Images_of_Money)

Two Illinois women have been sentenced to federal probation for their roles in a credit card fraud scheme involving customers at a steakhouse where they worked.

Thirty-two-year-old Jamie Erwin of Glen Carbon was given five years of probation and 22-year-old Shadwonna Bausily of Alton was given three years.

They pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to commit access device fraud.

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

A federal appeals court has reinstated the wire fraud conviction of a former supervisor for the Illinois secretary of state's office.

Cecil Turner was convicted on four counts of wire fraud in 2006 for covering up a scheme in which three janitors were paid for hours they didn't work.

Turner did not take any illegal money. He was convicted on the legal theory that he denied taxpayers the honest services they deserved.

The U.S. Supreme Court later narrowed the scope of "honest services" violations, and Turner's conviction was reversed.

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

Nineteen residents of the Metro East and southern Illinois have been charged with stealing money from the state and federal unemployment insurance programs.

The 12 men and 7 women are accused of stealing a total of $368,000 in benefits. Two of those charged were incarcerated while receiving benefits, and 17 others were employed.

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

An Idaho woman who operated a fertility brokerage business has admitted to defrauding six Missouri women who provided eggs for the business.

Janae Helgerson of Boise, Idaho, pleaded guilty Wednesday to wire fraud in U.S. District Court in St. Louis. Sentencing is March 16.

Helgerson was arrested in February. Her business, Mid-West Egg Donation, matched couples seeking to conceive a baby with women willing to provide eggs. Federal prosecutors say Helgerson collected payments from couples, but egg donors in Missouri failed to receive nearly $30,000 owed to them.

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

Updated 3:53 p.m.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Fred W. Robinson, 69, of St. Louis, and chairman of the board of trustees for Paideia Academy, a now-shuttered charter school in St. Louis, has been indicted multiple fraud charges.

(via Flickr/iChaz)

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) is warning citizens to beware of several threats to those seeking to invest their savings.

Carnahan says one such threat is called affinity fraud, which is used to target church congregations, senior centers and social networking websites.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Governor Jay Nixon has signed into law legislation designed to protect Missouri farmers from dishonest or financially struggling grain dealers.

The measure comes out of what state officials call the largest grain fraud scheme in Missouri history:  Prosecutors charged Cathy Gieseker with defrauding 180 grain farmers out of at least $27 million as her business went under.  She pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and is now in prison.

(via Flickr/Paul Sableman)

The federal government has filed a new indictment against former St. Louis real estate mogul John Steffen for allegedly misusing funds he had promised as collateral for a bank loan.