One common misconception among small business owners is that fraud prevention is expensive. And like anything else in this world, it can be expensive. A company that strives to eliminate virtually all opportunities for fraud by employees can spend a chunk of money doing so.
But it’s not always necessary to spend lots of money on fraud prevention. And it’s not always possible for a small business owner to spend a lot on fraud prevention. Let’s face it… budgets are tight and big new projects aren’t often possible. Continue reading
As victims of occupational fraud reflect on crimes committed against their companies, they wonder if there were any signs that a fraud was occurring. They wonder how a trusted employee could steal from the company. Sadly, frauds are committed by people in positions of trust. What is it about those people that leads them to commit fraud?
Corporate thieves have many things in common with one another. There are many tell-tale characteristics about people and their lifestyles that signal the potential for fraud. These range from personal financial circumstances to attitudes on the job. A few of these traits alone do not indicate the potential for fraud, but the probability rises as we identify more of the characteristics. Continue reading
Fraud is big business. Companies are at the greatest risk of fraud from their employees, since the employees have easy access to information and assets. Some experts estimate that companies lose 5% of their revenues to internal fraud. At a company with annual sales of $100 million, that means that $5 million is walking out the door each year.
Executives tell themselves that their company isn’t the norm. They do better than average. They certainly haven’t been a victim of internal fraud to the tune of 5% of revenues. The sad truth is that they don’t know exactly how much has been stolen from their companies because they aren’t aware of all the fraudulent activities committed. Five percent is an average level of fraud for a company, and it would be wise for executives to take this number seriously. Continue reading
Johnny G. DeGirolamo, founder of The Law Offices Of John DeGirolamo, Esq., uses the tagline “In Law We Trust.” The firm’s website says:
Having spent two years at the firm, it became clear to John that he missed the criminal law that he spent his college and law school careers studying.
His affinity for criminal law during college and law school is well-documented. At the right are three mugshots of John G. DeGirolamo (click on any of them to see them full size). His arrests and/or cases include these in Hillsborough County, Florida: Continue reading
Roca Labs is no stranger to ridiculous litigation. Last year, Roca Labs filed lawsuits against a multitude of companies and individuals in an attempt to silence critics. Essentially, the company sells a sketchy product called Gastric Bypass No Surgery. Roca Labs claims it is an alternative to gastric bypass surgery, but it has questionable results, and some people have even said it is dangerous. There are plenty of people alleging that Roca Labs is making false claims about its product, thus the company seems to truly earn the label of scam or fraud.
Roca Labs wants to stop customers (and others) from discussing their negative opinions of the company and the products. The company says critics have damaged is reputation, but I submit to you that Roca Labs itself damages its reputation.
Roca Labs filed suit against me in Florida, using a couple of theories that they thought were novel. Unfortunately for them, those two litigation theories have already been tried against me and were shot down by federal courts at both the district court level and the appeals court level. Back in 2010, Medifast Inc. filed a $270 million lawsuit against me (and others) in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California. I was dismissed from that case by the district court. Medifast appealed, and the appeals court upheld my dismissal from the case. Counsel for Roca Labs could learn a thing or two from that case. Continue reading
Would you recognize the clues that your client has been ripped off by one of its employees? Or would management conduct business as usual, blindly trusting their employees? Companies make the mistake of not actively searching for fraud. They tend to trust their employees and trust the procedures in place to safeguard company assets.
It may be good business to trust employees and empower them to make real contributions to the growth of the company. However, it is not wise to turn a blind eye to signs that a trusted employee may be stealing. Continue reading
A few months ago, I wrote here about “Food Babe,” the persona invented by Vani Hari. She is a pretend expert on food, blogging about supposedly dangerous additives. Some call her a “food activist,” but the truth is that she is paid for bringing paranoia and hysteria to her cult-like following.
I believe Vani Hari is a complete fraud for a multitude of reasons. The most compelling include:
A month ago I wrote about Marquette Professor John McAdams and his criticism of teaching assistant (and graduate student) Cheryl Abbate. Essentially, Abbate told a student that discussion of opposition to gay marriage equaled homophobia, and would not be allowed in her classroom. That seemed to be an unfair restriction on speech to Professor McAdams, and to me.
Last week, following the end of the fall semester, Marquette University suspended Professor McAdams with pay. The school doesn’t want this to be called a suspension, instead saying that he is relieved of all teaching and faculty duties. I initially thought this was a move by Marquette to make it look like they were taking some action, so the Abbate supporters would be appeased. It seemed unusual that he would be suspended during winter break, as no teaching goes on at that time. However, I understand that all of Professor McAdams’s classes for the winter semester have been canceled, so this appears more serious than I originally thought. Continue reading
We’ve all heard about this “college rape crisis” that has been manufactured and plastered all over the internet and media. The story line is that there is an incredibly high instance of rape on college campuses. The [false] story is promoted like this, and this, and this, and this. It’s all a hoax, and the situation becomes even more egregious when so-called journalists make statements like “virtually everyone agrees.” No, virtually everyone does NOT agree.
Occasionally, a brave soul will speak up and inform everyone that the “college rape crisis” story is a myth. The hoax has been perpetuated through fake statistics and fake narratives, like the story Jackie told to Rolling Stone about the rape that never happened. This whole college rape crisis hoax is insulting and belittling to real victims of rape.
So where is the proof that this crisis has been manufactured? Look no further than the Bureau of Justice Statistics and a study entitled Rape and Sexual Assault Among College-age Females, 1995-2013. A summary of the study is found here. Continue reading
Marquette University teaching assistant Cheryl Abbate doesn’t like the fact that Professor John McAdams criticized her for not allowing students to discuss gay rights. His article got noticed by Inside Higher Ed, so instead of defending her possibly indefensible actions, Cheryl Abbate cried to the publication:
Abbate, however, said she hoped Marquette would “use this event as an opportunity to create and actively enforce a policy on cyberbullying and harassment.” She added: “It is astounding to me that the university has not created some sort of policy that would prohibit this behavior which undoubtedly leads to a toxic environment for both students and faculty. I would hope that Marquette would do everything in its power to cultivate a climate where Marquette employees, especially students, are not publicly demeaned by tenured faculty.”