Crime and Law

Avon takeover hoax

An unbelievable takeover offer sends shares of Avon soaring, but the bid was phony.

Bradley C. Bower | Getty Images
Bradley Birkenfeld, a former UBS AG banker, speaks during an interview at Schuylkill County Federal Correctional Institution in Minersville, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, April 27, 2009.

Bradley Birkenfeld was released from federal prison in August 2012 after serving 2½ years for his role as a Swiss banker hiding millions of dollars for wealthy American clients. Five weeks later, he found himself in the kitchen of a small rental house in Raymond, New Hampshire. At that moment, Birkenfeld was an ex-con. He …

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A NYSE trader during the flash crash on May 6, 2010.

A high-frequency futures trader has been charged with illegally manipulating the stock market, contributing to the May 2010 “flash crash,” according to documents unsealed Tuesday. The Justice Department charged the United Kingdom’s Navinder Singh Sarao with wire fraud, 10 counts of commodities fraud, 10 counts of commodities manipulation, and one count of spoofing (which is …

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Copper water pipes.

Farmers in rural Madera County, California, are worried about water—no surprise considering the state’s intense drought. But now they have something else to concern them: copper. The red metal’s overall scarcity and its wide range of uses make it more profitable to steal than most other metals. Copper prices have fallen from highs reached in …

Preet Bharara’s setback

Preet Bharara suffered a potential setback last week and it has the potential to undo other insider trading cases he thought he’d won.

cabania | Getty Images

Tax-refund fraud is expected to soar again this tax season, and hit a whopping $21 billion by 2016, from just $6.5 billion two years ago, according to the Internal Revenue Service. And the problem—which the agency admits is growing quickly—is compounded by an outdated fraud-detection system that has trouble identifying many attempts to trick it. …

Black market iPhones in China

Eunice Yoon explains why China’s iPhone black market is booming.

The illegal online market

Law enforcement is cracking down on websites that sell illegal drugs, guns and stolen credit cards, but business is still strong.

Getty Images
Bernard Madoff in 2009

The court-appointed trustee rounding up funds for victims of the epic Madoff Ponzi scheme says the total recovered now tops $10 billion, an amount virtually no one thought possible when the scam collapsed nearly six years ago. Trustee Irving Picard filed the latest proposed settlement Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. The deal would …

Andrew Rowat | The Image Bank | Getty Images
Cargo ships sit idle in the Singapore Strait as the sun sets over a hazy Singapore skyline.

SINGAPORE — The Ai Maru steamed alone under night skies on June 14 when a speedboat slipped in from the darkness and overtook the tanker about 30 miles off the coast of Malaysia. At 9:15 p.m., seven men with handguns and knives clambered up over the side, smashed through doors, tied up crew members at …

Carlos Barria | Reuters
An internal court video shows British investigator Peter Humphrey arriving at a courtroom after a lunch break, during his trial at Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court August 8, 2014.

A British investigator linked to the U.K. drug giant GlaxoSmithKline was convicted in China on Friday in a case that many in the international business community believe highlights the risks of conducting due diligence on Chinese companies and investments. The investigator, Peter Humphrey, and his American wife Yu Yingzeng werefound guilty of illegally acquiring personal information of Chinese nationals, …

FedEx indicted in drug probe

FedEx has been indicted on 15 criminal counts for helping internet pharmacies deliver drugs to buyers in the U.S. without prescriptions.

1 in 4 deals involves insider trading

An exhaustive new study concludes that one quarter of all public company deals involves some type of insider trading. That report, which was conducted by professors from New York University and McGill University examined transactions back to 1996.

Source: FBI
Starting gate at the All-American Futurity 2010, where Jose Trevino Morales' horse, Mr. Piloto, won.

It was in 2011, when a particular quarter horse farm in Oklahoma was booming with business. This as the recession was taking a toll on the usually lucrative industry. The farm’s owner, Jose Trevino Morales, had only recently broken into the quarter horse scene and was making waves with his million dollar prize winnings, and …

Fighting tax fraud

Tax season is high season for crooks who want to steal your identity and claim your refund.