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Whistleblower reward scheme possible

#1 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 01:22 PM

Kiwis get fraud lowdown
By Tamsyn Parker
5:30 AM Monday Feb 11, 2013

Bernie Madoff's nemesis to give public talk ahead of top-level international summit.

Serious Fraud Office boss Simon McArley is hoping a talk from the man who blew the whistle on the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme will help New Zealanders to identify future financial rip-offs.

Harry Markopolos will speak at a public seminar today ahead of a two-day private conference of leaders from economic crime agencies from around the world.

Markopolos, a quantitative financial specialist, began to get suspicious about the Madoff scheme nine years before it imploded after his boss asked him to create an investment product with similar returns.

The scheme fell apart in 2008 and Madoff was convicted and given a 150-year sentence in 2009.

McArley said that in the past two years the Serious Fraud Office had dealt with six actual or alleged Ponzi schemes with total losses likely to be more than $500 million.

"The presentation from Harry Markopolos is timely given the recent conviction in the B'On case and the suspicions around Ross Asset Management.

B'On principal Jacqui Bradley was last year found guilty of 75 fraud-related charges involving the loss of $15.5 million. Ross Asset Management collapsed before Christmas and is now being investigated.

McArley said New Zealanders could learn a lot from Markopolos.

"Hopefully we can learn the lessons from him that will enable the SFO to continue its drive towards prevention and early intervention and thereby minimise the impact of such frauds on people and the economy."

The public seminar will also feature two FBI agents who will talk about insider trading and Commander Stephen Head from the City of London police.

The seminar comes ahead of the first meeting of the International Economic Crime Agency - a new group formed to boost co-operation on financial fraud between countries.

Representatives from Canada, Malaysia, Europe, America, Indonesia, Singapore and the United Kingdom will attend the event.

McArley said the group had decided to get together at last year's Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime to get a more operational focus.

McArley saidthat previously most international interaction on fraud had been via the police or formal legal liaisons.

The network was aimed at improving the exchange of intelligence and sharing any possible risks that were emerging.

"We are noticing more and more of our cases have an international bent to them. This is a way to build up our expertise," McArley said.

New Zealand had had direct links with some jurisdictions in the past like Britain, Europe and Australia but the movement of population meant its focus was shifting from Europe to Asia.

"The world economies are getting more interconnected."
By Tamsyn Parker Email Tamsyn



http://www.nzherald....jectid=10864590

Whistleblower reward scheme possible
By Tamsyn Parker
12:25 PM Monday Feb 11, 2013

New Zealand is considering a system which would pay whistleblowers to come forward with fraud-related tips.

Serious Fraud Office acting chief executive Simon McArley said a reward scheme had been discussed between the government departments.

"It's at an early policy state. But there have been some discussions."

Bernie Madoff whistleblower Harry Markopolos, who is in town as part of an international economic crime conference, said a reward system for tips set up in America since global financial crisis was prompting more people to come forward.

Markopolos said it received seven to eight complaints per day through the tip-off scheme and past experience showed around 20 per cent turned into something more serious.

The American Congress had approved US$452 million for the tip-off fund but so far only US$50,000 had been paid out.

Markopolos said the whistleblower system helped fraud investigators get hold of "smoking gun" emails and saved scarce government resources.

Markopolos said ponzi-operators tended to be off the radar - they did not register with the authorities and the authorities often only found out about them when investors rang them to say they had not been paid their money.

But other countries have not gone down the reward route. The United Kingdom does not have a reward scheme and neither does Europe.

Giovanni Kessler, director general of the European Antifraud Office, said the focus was more on protecting the whistle-blower so they did not suffer any retaliation.

"For a whistle-blower the existence of a reward is not the main issue - the point is to be protected in their career."

McArley said he would be open to anything that encouraged people to come forward with information.

McArley is hoping Markopolos' visit to New Zealand will help New Zealanders to identify future financial rip-offs.

Markopolos will speak at a public seminar today ahead of a two-day private conference of leaders from economic crime agencies from around the world.

Markopolos, a quantitative financial specialist, began to get suspicious about the Madoff scheme nine years before it imploded after his boss asked him to create an investment product with similar returns.

The scheme fell apart in 2008 and Madoff was convicted and given a 150-year sentence in 2009.

McArley said that in the past two years the Serious Fraud Office had dealt with six actual or alleged Ponzi schemes with total losses likely to be more than $500 million.

"The presentation from Harry Markopolos is timely given the recent conviction in the B'On case and the suspicions around Ross Asset Management."

B'On principal Jacqui Bradley was last year found guilty of 75 fraud-related charges involving the loss of $15.5 million. Ross Asset Management collapsed before Christmas and is now being investigated.

McArley said New Zealanders could learn a lot from Markopolos.

"Hopefully we can learn the lessons from him that will enable the SFO to continue its drive towards prevention and early intervention and thereby minimise the impact of such frauds on people and the economy."

ADVICE TO INVESTORS

*look out for returns that are too good to be true

*no separation of the investment manager and the money is cause for concern

*double check your investment statements

*make sure the assets that were bought or sold on your behalf were done at the listed price for that day
By Tamsyn Parker Email Tamsyn

http://www.nzherald....jectid=10864691
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#2 User is offline   shulgin 

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 06:05 PM

I can help remove all un-licensed private investigators!

Simply catch them when they are reported and give them a $20,000 fine... 16 have been reported and simply applied for a license and got one.

$20,000 - $60,000 fines and ban from trading and save us all from crap investigations... as they were unable to investigate their need for a license!
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#3 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:50 PM

http://www.stuff.co....h-fraud-busters

Kiwi cases raised with fraud-busters

MATT NIPPERT
Last updated 17:04 13/02/2013


White collar criminals have been warned that national borders offer no defence, at the end of the inaugural meeting of international fraud-busters in Auckland.

New Zealand's Serious Fraud Office hosted the inaugural meeting of the Economic Crime Agencies Network, and the meeting was attended by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the European Anti-Fraud Office and authorities from the United Kingdom and Asia.

SFO acting chief executive Simon McArley said discussions had laid the foundation for better co-operation between agencies.

McArley said he had talked through two local cases with his international colleagues; the convictions of fraudster Loizos Michaels and directors of failed finance company Capital + Merchant Finance.

"We picked the Loizos Michaels case - because it was just so colourful - and the Capital + Merchant case because it was a complex structural fraud, the very opposite," he said.

McArley said other discussions were broadly on how to better share information. "We explored a wide range of tools we can use to work better together and address the increasingly cross border aspects of our cases," he said.

McArley was happy with progress made. "I'm extremely pleased with the way thing went, it was very productive."

The majority of the summit took place behind closed doors, but a public seminar heard how Harry Markopolos had cracked Bernie Madoff's US$65 billion ($77 billion) Ponzi scheme.

The next ECAN meeting will be held in Singapore.


- © Fairfax NZ News
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