31 Jan

The Truth About the Airport Body Scanners

A former Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Agent confesses… that what you experience in airports is nothing but security theater. The TSA agent reveals how the body scanners don’t work:

Our instructor [on the Rapiscan Systems full body scanner] was a balding middle-aged man who shrugged his shoulders after everything he said, as though in apology. At the conclusion of our crash course, one of the officers in our class asked him to tell us, off the record, what he really thought about the machines. Read More

29 Jan

Are All Multi-Level Marketing Companies Pyramid Schemes?

Recently Robert FitzPatrick of Pyramid Scheme Alert sent out a newsletter that included a discussion of the issue of whether all multi-level marketing companies are pyramid schemes. MLMs are frequently accused of being pyramid schemes, as we see has been the case with Mary Kay Cosmetics, BurnLounge, Herbalife, Medifast, Fortune Hi Tech Marketing, and Usana Health Sciences.

It is common for participants in multilevel marketing schemes to ask whether one MLM or another is also a pyramid scheme. Consumers are hoping that they have found the one legitimate or good multi-level marketing opportunity. The following information comes from Robert FitzPatrick’s newsletter article on the topic: Read More

19 Jan

Tim Grittani, Fellow Marquette Alumnus, Makes $1 Million Trading Penny Stocks

Tim Grittani, a student in the Timothy Sykes Millionaire Trading Challenge, hit the $1 million profit mark a few weeks ago.

Grittani graduated with a finance degree from Marquette University, my alma mater (and the university at which I am now teaching Fraud Examination to graduate students), and started trading penny stocks with $1,500.  In less than three years, Grittani turned his $1,500 into more than $1 million.

See Sykes and Grittani appearing on Fox & Friends today:

18 Jan

Crystal Cox Has a History of Seeking Payoffs in Exchange For Retraction

Extortionist Crystal Cox got a favorable ruling yesterday in her appeal of a $2.5 million judgment against her by Obsidian Finance.  The appeals court’s ruling can be found here, and the bottom line is that the case has been kicked back for a new trial.

This does not mean, however, that what Crystal Cox does is acceptable. It just means that she gets a new shot at arguing her case in front of a jury. What does she do that is objectionable?

In this case involving Kevin Padrick and Obsidian Finance, Padrick was appointed as the trustee for the Summit Accommodators bankruptcy. It was then that Cox began her defamation of Padrick and Obsidian. When asked to remove the false materials from her websites, Cox told Padrick and Obsidian that if they paid her $2,500 per month, she would provide them with reputation management services.  Normal people recognize that as extortion. In the ruling published yesterday, the court said: Read More

03 Jan

Analyzing Historical Earnings for Support Calculations

This article was originally printed in the ABA Section of Family Law eNewsletter, December 2013.

Spousal support and child support are most heavily influenced by the earnings of the parties. Historical earnings will play a big part in these calculations, so it is important to properly analyze them.

Income can easily be determined in cases in which the party or parties only receive traditional wages. The rate of pay is constant, and it is easy to confirm historical earnings. The forensic accountant must be careful to account for things like raises, overtime earnings, or periods during which a party does not work. However, as a general rule, past earnings can be easily analyzed and future earnings are fairly predictable. Read More