24 Sep

Apple Warning Consumers About iPhone Hacks

There was jubilation amongst current and future iPhone users when it was announced that techies had created hacks to get around some security features. One of the more popular hacks was one to help iPhone users be able to use wireless networks other than AT&T (the only “authorized” provider of iPhone service right now).

Well, Apple is saying that this hack can damage the iPhone. The “unlocking” programs run the risk of damaging the software in the phones, and making them permanently inoperable once new software updates from Apple are downloaded to the phone. Read More

21 Sep

Judd Bagley antics: Part 3

Judd Bagley, cyberstalker at Overstock.comScipioAfricanus then brings us to the story of SlimVirgin. SlimVirgin is an administrator for Wikipedia. Judd Bagley has been known to sock puppet on Wikipedia with many screen names, and the administrators have disallowed these things. (They even went so far as to ban Wikipedia editing from all IP addresses owned by Overstock.com.)

Naturally, Bagley isn’t too happy that SlimVirgin is involved in the quest to stop him from his Black Ops which include vandalism to Wikipedia articles.

So Bagley decides to send SlimVirgin some emails laced with spyware. What’s the point? Scipio explains: Read More

21 Sep

More Judd Bagley: Part 2

Cyberstalker Judd BagleyOur pal ScipioAfricanus gives us more information on the Overstock.com “Black Ops” activity. Judd Bagley, Director of Communications at Overstock.com, has this nasty little habit related to spyware. He’s been caught embedding images in public message board posts… those special images (not visible if you just look at the face of the post itself) send back to Bagley the IP addresses of those who view his messages.

Now it’s one thing to look at IP addresses for sites you own. No harm there. It’s another thing to use secret spyware to grab the IP addresses of people using someone else’s site.

Scipio revealed that Bagley has a file on a computer he uses with the following directory structure: Read More

21 Sep

Catching up on Judd Bagley: Part 1

Judd Bagley, cyberstalker at Overstock.comI’ve been a bit remiss in my blogging about the train wreck that is called Overstock. com. The CEO, Patrick Byrne (known to many as “Wacky Patty”) and his Director of Communications, Judd Bagley regularly engage in questionable behavior in an attempt to shut up the critics of Overstock.

The crazy thing? Why don’t they just run the company? I mean, really. Overstock.com sucks. The company can’t turn a profit. Loss after loss after loss. You think they’d be concerned and actually try to do something right with the company??? Nope. Too busy chasing after Sith Lords because they shouldn’t be pointing out the problems with the company.

Well here’s the latest, and it’s good. I’ll break it up into 3 posts to give you a little time to digest it all… Read More

20 Sep

Book publishing: The Book is Done!

The final manuscript was sent today, so Essentials of Corporate Fraud is officially done. I’ll have a small bit of work to do after the copy editors get their hands on it, but I don’t expect there to be much to do in that regard.

Overall the process of writing the book was fun. I wrote at a good pace and it stayed interesting because I jumped around from chapter to chapter as I was writing. One of the drawbacks of doing that was that I had a little bit of redundancy that I had to eliminate in my final edits to the manuscript. But it was not a big deal. Read More

19 Sep

Okay, I did it. I watched Kid Nation.

A month ago, I did a post on the new reality television show called Kid Nation. I was basically horrified as I learned that the children on this show were exploited by their parents, who signed lengthy contracts allowing their children to participate. The kids were given little supervision, and the parents agreed to not hold the show’s producers responsible if the children got sick or injured. The show may have violated labor and safety laws. Yikes.

I’m not horrified by what the children were doing. It’s an interesting idea to have a group of children try to build a community. I guess I just can’t get over the idea that their parents signed off on these contracts and shipped them off. Does that sound like responsible parenting? I don’t think so.

18 Sep

Plea Agreement with Bill Lerach

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has announced a plea agreement with Bill Lerach, former partner at Milberg Weiss. He will plead guilty one one count of conspiracy, forfeit $7.75 million, and pay a $250,000 fine. He will receive a prison sentence that could be from one to two years.

The charges against Lerach were part of a string of indictments in an investigation of millions of dollars in secret kickbacks paid by Milberg Weiss in exchange for people being named plaintiffs in class-action suits and shareholder suits. The government has alleged that Milberg Weiss received more than $200 million in fees from these lawsuits. Read More

18 Sep

Finding fraud by looking at ratios

While doing some research, I came across an old article written by Joe Wells on analyzing ratios to find fraud. The article Irrational Ratios was published in the Journal of Accountancy, and used the ZZZZ Best case to illustrate the point.

I’m a believer that today’s really good fraudsters manipulate the financial statements so that the ratios are in line with expectations. Executives who are committing fraud know what the financial statements should look like. So we can’t always assume that normal-looking financial statements are free from fraud.

Yet sometimes there’s too much to keep track of, and flaws in the financial statements are revealed with ratio analysis. The longer a fraud goes on, the greater the likelihood that a clue may turn up. Read More