Follow Blog on Twitter

Updates on Twitter @zerofraud




Thursday, December 17, 2015

Justice! Scumbag Shkreli Is Arrested!

Martin Shkreli, the scumbag Wall Streeter (was that redundant?) who bought a drug company and promised to reduce drug prices and instead promptly raised the price of the drug Daraprim from $13.50 a tablet to $750 has been arrested for securities fraud.

The fraud he's been arrested for is nothing to do with the greedy Daraprim move, but prison seems to be in his future. Finally some justice!

Here's the irony: The drug he raised the price on is used to treat a parasite called toxoplasmosis, which becomes active from a weakened immune system from HIV or chemo. I am hoping when he becomes someone's bitch in prison that he needs this drug to treat his HIV. Now that would be justice.



http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-martin-shkreli-securities-fraud/

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Doctors and Dentists Are Scammers, Oh My!

I despise doctors and dentists, and not just because I hate going for checkups and went to law school so am somewhat programmed to. I hate them because they order tests they don't need, keep you waiting in their offices and then act like the crap that comes out of them is lavender and smells like a rose.

Take my ex-dentist, please. Just last month she tried to give me two root canals. Feeling suspicious, mostly because she didn't bother to even look at my teeth before she told me I needed them, but also because of her Russian accent and the fact that she looked and sounded more like a hooker than a dentist.

Off I went to my old dentist that I trust (and looks like Tom Selleck) but is 200 miles away, only to have my suspicions confirmed. Not only did I not need the root canals,  I didn't even have cavities. All I can say about dentist #1 is: The Russian bitch lied.

Why do they lie and do unnecessary procedures? MONEY. One or two unnecessary fillings and a root canal adds up, that's about $2000 extra in her pocket. I think these doctors / dentists should lose their licenses after just one of these incidents. A few of the really egregious cases have gone to prison.

So what to do? You have to learn to say no and get second opinions if it feels off to you. I had a strange feeling about my dentist/hooker and followed up on it with a dentist I've known for years. Had I not, I would be out a lot of money and who knows what from the treatment I didn't need.

Bottom line? All anyone cares about these days is themselves and their bank account and most medical "professionals" have ordered tests and done treatments that aren't necessary. Patient beware.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Some Good News For Student Loan Holders

Finally, a little good  news. Today's post is not about a fraud or a fool, but sometimes you just have to spread good cheer. Fidelity Investments is offering employees student loan reimbursement as a perk!

They haven't worked out the details yet, but they recently announced this new benefit. Here's hoping it catches on to other companies soon!

If I were cynical, and I am, I would say they are doing it because the job market is getting tighter.  Giving this benefit as an incentive to stick around is cheaper for the company than deal with high turnover.

Whatever their reason, whoever had this idea at Fidelity deserves a nice cold beer. And may the idea spread to other companies soon.




http://blogs.mprnews.org/newscut/2015/12/growing-company-perk-paying-student-loans/

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Waiter Turned Fake Money Manager

Gotta love this Fraudster. Today's scumbag is a former waiter who posed as a hedge fund manager and was able to get 17 suckers to invest $800,000 dollars with him. Of course he just used the money for himself, buying electronics and taking trips, but this fraudster also used the money for karaoke. Steal money to go to karaoke bars? He deserved to get caught.

When investors wised up and starting asking for their money, this is one of the excuses he gave "I'm going deer hunting." OK, but can you send the check before you take a shot at an innocent animal?

No surprise, he was found guilty on all 28 counts, which included securities fraud and larceny. Sentencing on Dec 18, no word if he will request a microphone while in his cell.




http://www.wsj.com/articles/fake-hedge-fund-manager-convicted-of-securities-fraud-1449264551

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Don't Be Evil

Google's corporate slogan is "Don't Be Evil" but evil they are in so many ways. But today, let's just look at how one of the richest companies in the world is screwing some of their workers over.

Google has been hiring firms like Zerochaos and Lionbridge to hire temporary employees for up to one year. They require these employees to have college educations from top schools and speak another language fluently. They are hired to evaluate ads in other languages. They pay them $15 an hour with no benefits. The employees don't even get notice of when their contract will end, an email is sent the same day saying this will be their last day of work.

Seems to me it's evil to have billions of dollars and not pay someone a living wage.  So Google or Alphabet or whatever the fuck you're calling yourself these days, if you want your company slogan to be "Don't Be Evil" then you need to stop being evil and pay folks a decent wage.

In case nobody told you Google, replacing workers over and over probably costs you more than keeping them on and paying them a fair wage. I can only imagine the person at the company who came up with the bright idea of renaming the company Alphabet is the same asshole who came up with the "let's screw some employees because we can" idea.

Google, you're not just an evil hypocrite, you're really fucking cheap!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Wealth Gap Injustice


The wealth gap is far greater than I had thought, with the members of the Fortune 400 holding 2.3 TRILLION in assets. The average American net worth is around $81,000. 

Ever watch the movie Arbitrage with Richard Gere? I can't think of a better way to show how the rich are different from the average bear. I won't spoil it for you, but let's just say it shows rich privilege in all its ugly glory.

So what's to be done? The rich own Congress, and that's the reason they don't get taxed anywhere near what they should. If they had to pay a fair amount, the country would be in much better shape. The difference is in the tax rate. For example until 1982 and Ronald Regan, 70% was the rate on income over $215,000 for a married couple. Today, a married couple can make $450,000 and only pay 39.6%. Fair? I think not.


 
http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/12/03/if-the-answer-is-2-3-trillion-can-you-guess-the-question/

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Victim Of Predatory Lending Or Just A Fool?

There was an article a couple of days ago in the New York Times, Lend With A Smile, Collect With A Fist. The title caught my attention, because as a holder of student loans, I know all too well where the fist goes, and sadly, no lube.

It talked about the compounding interest, collection tactics, the usual. However, they picked a terrible student to use as an example. It was a non - traditional student who kept getting worthless degrees and managed to put off paying her loans for 25 years without a payment. I admit I admired the fact that in a quarter of a century the loan companies didn't get a dime.

She claims now she can't make payments, I guess no one told her about IBR. Most of that debt is due to interest, no surprise after 25 years on non payment. I found it difficult to muster up sympathy for her, even though I have made as many mistakes, if not more, in life as she has. Maybe if she would stop whining and go on IBR like the rest of us?

Can't decide if she's a victim of predatory lending, or a fool for continuing to pile up worthless degrees. You decide, here's the link to the article. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/29/upshot/student-debt-in-america-lend-with-a-smile-collect-with-a-fist.html?_r=0

Monday, November 23, 2015

Today's Fool: Blind Date From Hell

Sometimes it really is better to stay home instead of going on a blind date.  Melissa Bickel went on a blind date with a man who left while she was in to the bathroom and stuck her with the bill. She couldn't pay, and was arrested.

The only confusing part to me is the police offered to let her go if she just paid her share, but she refused. The jerk date who left her holding the bag returned the next day to settle up after police visited his home. The charges were dropped.

Melissa, sadly, is today's fool. You don't go to a restaurant unless there's money in your pocket, you can't depend on anyone in this world. But the greater question is: Why anyone would go on a blind date when you could just stay home?  In the words of Woody Allen, "Don't knock masturbation, it's sex with someone I love."
 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Caught With His Pants Down

The French caught this terrorist this morning with his pants down. The terrorist is today's fool for not only being a terrorist but for sleeping with pants off and a shirt on. Who spanks their monkey all night while the police are hunting you down? Glad you're a fool and going to prison.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Arbitration Only Benefits Employers With Discrimination To Hide

I've posted about Arbitration last week, but I stumbled upon a video that makes the best case against workplace arbitration. Sadly, the video was just removed from Youtube, but I found an article on it.

Mark Anderson was a trainee at Cantor Fitzgerald, a brokerage firm. They harassed him in an unbelievably sickening manner, but he couldn't sue them because he had signed an arbitration agreement.

This happened back in 1995, so I'm hoping workers on Wall Street have matured and cleaned up their act, but I think that's hoping for too much. And why are these ass clowns still in business?

Warning: this is not something to read on a full stomach.

http://www.thewebfairy.com/911/boeing/brokers_wild.htm

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Young and Educated? You're Probably Living With Mom and Dad

Interesting article in the New York Times about how 20 and even 30 year olds are still living at home.
Anyone who has a student loan knows the answer to this, it's so simple, but the New York Times, always a day late and a dollar short is confused. They are today's Fool.

“Some of what’s happening is probably economics, because the great recession really hit young adults hard,” Dr. Fry said. “But I’m still struggling with the economic explanation, since the labor market for young adults has improved in the last five years, and yet the percentage living with their family is still going up. It seems to be somewhat decoupled from economics.”

No, Sunshine, it's actually kind of simple economics. Rents have gone up, waaay up, and salaries have gone down. But the real problem is, most young people have at least $100,000 in student loans and the loans get bigger every year, thanks to compounding interest. After paying them, even with IBR, there's precious little left to do things like paying $3000 a month for a studio in NYC when you are lucky to be making $50,000 a year.

And this fool has a doctorate, as if anyone needed more proof that higher education is a waste of money.

full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/12/us/more-young-women-waiting-to-leave-home.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How To Beat Debt Collectors

Debt Collectors have a special place in hell waiting for them, along with law school deans and Sallie Mae employees. But until the day the collector calling you 24/7  is hit by a truck and dies a slow painful death, here are some tips for dealing with them.

First of all, they can't collect money until they get a judgment against you. Only your federal school loans and the IRS can dip into your accounts without a judgment. So for credit card debt, unpaid utilities, etc., they will have to go to court first and win.  So if they threaten to empty bank accounts or have you put in jail (not possible) make note of when it was said and who said it, and sue them.

I successfully fought off debt collectors on a Chase card because Chase did some questionable things. Not only was the debt discharged, they had to pay a $25,000 fine. Look for something illegal that the company did or that the debt collector is doing.

Examples: Chase added a charge of $350. to lower my interest rate. That's illegal, and they paid a fine for it. Debt collectors can't continue to call you after you send a certified letter asking them to stop. Debt collectors can't call your place of employment. They can be fined $1000 a call. If the debt collector calls at work cause you to lose your job, you can sue them.

If you want to pay, offer to pay 10% to 20% of the outstanding debt to have it wiped out. By the time a debt gets to a collector, it means that the owner of the debt has sold it to the debt collector for pennies on the dollar. They just want to get something.

Never forget that debt collectors are simply hustlers trying to get you to pay because they get a commission every time you pay.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Arbitration Fine Print Con

Ten years and twenty pounds ago, I worked on Wall Street. The pay was decent, the people were not. One of the downsides was that you had to sign an arbitration form to work anywhere that meant that if you were discriminated against or screwed over, you had to bend over again because you'd signed your rights to a trial away.

Basically, it boils down to this: You waive your rights to a trial and agree to have all disputes arbitrated. All decisions are final, no appeals. The fun part? Most of the arbitrators are paid by the firm you work for, so guess who usually loses? Right, the one who didn't pay. There's no public record like with trials, so companies can hide their dirty secrets. Sounds unfair because it is.

This practice is spreading and many more companies have joined the arbitration game. What do you do if a firm offers you a job but you don't want to sign? The offer will probably be rescinded.  It's worth it to try and negotiate the terms of future arbitrations if you must sign. Ask if the firm will pay all the costs and try to get them to let you have a say in the pick of the arbitrator. Most likely it will be their way or the door, so only you can decide how badly you need the job and to throw away your rights.

Why are firms getting away with it? The same reason banks screw us, insurance companies don't pay and cheaters cheat. Because they can, because we let them. Because nobody stands up and says NO.
 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Corinthian College Loss May Be Gain For Scammed Students

Corinthian College was ordered to pay out 530 million dollars to former students this week for scamming them, but the students probably won't see a dime since the fraudsters declared bankruptcy earlier this year.

 The Corinthian lawsuit was filed and won by The Consumer Protection Board was that the school engaged in deceptive practices to lure students in and then methods that would make a loan shark blush to pay up.

So how do others benefit? This case might make it easier to try and get federal loans discharged. Among other things, the judgment found that Corinthian violated the law by using inflated job prospects to lure in students. What graduate school hasn't done that?

So fret not, indebted students, someday and I don't know when it will be, but soon and in our lifetime, we may finally be able to live in a country where scamming schools are punished instead of the students.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bar Results Worst In Ten Years

 The good news is intelligent people stopped going to law school several years ago. Bad news? The law schools didn't want to give up the gravy train, so they lowered their standards and let students who simply aren't bright enough for law in.

I have zero sympathy for the law graduates who just flunked the bar and are now starting to realize a J.D. isn't a winning lottery ticket. The scam was exposed back in 2009, so they could have easily spared themselves the debt and disappointment.

I do however, feel sorry for all the folks who will need a good lawyer, because if this continues, that's not going to be easy to find. The law schools will continue admitting subpar students until they are shut down. So do yourself a favor if you need a lawyer; get one who graduated before 2000, that's about the time the diploma mills really got going.

More about the decline:
http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2015/10/27/new-york-bar-exam-pass-rate-hits-historic-low/

Sunday, October 25, 2015

NYT Late To The Law School Scam Party

Nando of Third Tier Reality http://thirdtierreality.blogspot.com/ has done an AMAZING job for the past 6 years alerting potential law students to the scam and dangers of spending over $100,000 on an education that will most likely not lead to employment.

The New York Times chimed in today with the same information Nando has been telling everyone for the past six years. They point out that the law school scam has gotten worse, and debt has gotten higher since 2006, when Fed Plus loans became available.

Nothing here that Nando hasn't already noted, but worth a look if you have a minute.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/25/opinion/sunday/the-law-school-debt-crisis.html?smid=tw-nytopinion&smtyp=cur

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Bailout For Banksters, Why Not Students?

Everyone who has a student loan knows how unfair it is, and that the loans will follow you and any cosigners to their graves. Student loan debt is almost impossible to get discharged in bankruptcy, defaulted federal loans result in harsh penalties including garnished wages, tax refunds and even garnished social security payments.

Earlier this week, I noted that some small progress has been made in discharging loans in bankruptcy.  There is finally talk about reducing the amount of money that can be reduced from social security. Small steps in the right direction, but it's not enough.

Here is a question everyone who can vote should be asking themselves. Why does my country use taxpayer money to bail out banksters who got into trouble speculating on crap investments, and refuses to help the students who took out loans to get ahead and get a good job?

Here's another troubling issue - many of the students who took out loans were deceived by fraudulent statistics to lure them in, and then screwed over by loan sharks like Sallie Mae. Why is Congress sitting on its fat ass and not helping?

In a nutshell here's why: The banks own Congress, and Congress wants to make them happy. Students don't do anything for Congress. So maybe this next election, we only vote for someone who has a bailout plan in mind for Americans that deserve it, not a bunch of rich bankers who, despite inside information and lots of cash, still managed to not only lose money, but almost brought down the country.



Friday, October 23, 2015

Russell Simmons - Fool Turned Fraudster

Russell Simmons is head of RushCard, a debit card for poor struggling people who can't get traditional bank accounts. You can make direct deposits, even put your tax refund on it. The fees are about the same as banks; $9.95 per month, an activation fee of $3.95 to $14.95 (depending on which card you choose), and  $2.50  every time you hit the ATM.

The difference is, for the past 11 days, the cards haven't been working due to a "glitch." RushCard customers who had their paychecks put on the card can't get their money. So they have been going without food, not paying their bills (which will cost them additional late fees from whoever they owe money to). The company claims it is having technical problems. I could believe that excuse for 1 day, but 11? Something is off, smells like fraud brewing to me.

Why do the rich exploit the poor so much? Because they can. Because they only know how good it feels to see their bank accounts grow and not the pain of the people they stepped on to make it grow. 

Russell, go to Twitter and read what your customers, the folks who paid for your lifestyle, are going through because your company is not letting them access their money. Read about the sleepless nights, the lack of food, the lights getting turned off. Do you care? Or just worried about how much you are going to get sued for?

Lawyers are already trying to put together a class action. Unfortunately, only the lawyers will win. Simmons will pay an expensive lawyer to get him out of trouble, the class action lawyers will make money, and each of the people screwed will probably end up with an extra $4.23 from the class action.

Russell Simmons, fool turned fraudster, will only lose his reputation for a short while due to this mess. He will find someone new to exploit, the poor will stay poor, and the lawyers will be the only winners of this mess. I need to go puke now, the world is making me sick again.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

RushCard In No Rush To Let Customers Access Accounts

It's no secret that I hate banks and bankers, as well as fraud and fraudsters, which I guess is redundant. Today's fraud is brought to you by RushCard, the Russell Simmons prepaid debit card. What a hip- hop "impresario" is doing running a debit card business is a mystery I hope never to solve.

The card hasn't been working for a week. Which means that folks that have their direct deposits sent to the card can't access their money. So they've been forced to borrow from friends to get by. Most of the customers are low income and don't have traditional bank accounts.

I'm curious what the company is going to do to help their customers and what they are going to do to make it up to them. I hope the customers will just tell Mr. Simmons to go back to whatever it is a hip- hop impresario pretending to be a banker does. Because right now, he's neither a banker or an impresario, he's a straight up fraudster.



Simmons praying he will get away with it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How To Not Pay Your Student Loans

If you are one of the thousands who got scammed by one of the fraud schools who inflated job prospects to lure you in to thousands of  dollars of debt and no job to show for it, this is for you.

As everyone with a degree knows, student loans are the only loans that are difficult to discharge in bankruptcy. Progress is being made. Michael Hedlund went to law school and flunked the bar three times and then spent the next ten years trying to get $85,000 in student loans discharged in bankruptcy. Finally in 2013, he won a partial discharge, which could make it easier for those who were unable to get work in law.

Of course there are unemployment deferments, financial hardship deferments, and IBR. I have a friend who graduated law school six years ago and hasn't paid a dime just using deferments.

If you're not poverty stricken, think about getting another worthless degree in the evening. Even if in school only part time, you don't have to pay your loans. Obviously, this only works if the courses you are taking are cheaper than your loan payments. Finally, if you are willing to teach in a dangerous neighborhood for a few years, you can get your loan discharged.

http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/student-loan-ranger/2013/06/12/bankruptcy-case-offers-hope-for-student-borrowers

Spokeo's Day Of Reckoning

On November 2 SCOTUS will hear arguments against Spokeo, the people search company that puts information on the internet about everyone whether or not it's correct, and violates consumer data and privacy laws.

The case is seeking class action status. I will be on board if they win.  For information on how to clean up your online information, see my post Privacy Thieves below. In the meantime, Spokeo, please take your nose out of our butts.



http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/spokeo-inc-v-robins/

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fool Cuts Off Ears - To Resemble His Parrot

What a fool! Ted Richard's had his ears cut off so that he could look like his pet parrot. The fraudster in this is the surgeon for performing the operation. Shouldn't doctors have to say no to ridiculous requests like this? Clearly this doctor was only thinking about his bank account.

 Warning: clicking on the link is not for the faint hearted.
http://nypost.com/2015/10/16/i-cut-off-my-ears-to-look-like-my-parrot/

Friday, October 16, 2015

Jamie Dimon's Business Model

This Fraudster isn't a felon (yet), but he should be in prison. Meet Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, the man who borrowed 25 billion from the taxpayers in 2008, and made over 20 million dollars last year. His net worth is estimated to just over one billion dollars.

Just four years after Mr. Dimon received billions of dollars from the taxpayers to bail out JP Morgan Chase, his firm bet and lost over 6 billion dollars on speculative derivatives in London. That's a lot of risk for anyone, but for a firm taking handouts from the taxpayers, that's criminal. But no jail for Jamie. I'm wondering what would happen if I took government aid and used it to speculate on stock options or go to the racetrack.

One only has to look at his close government ties, and his past "service" as a director on the board of The Federal Reserve Bank of New York to understand Jamie's freedom and net worth. What I find most interesting is that even with all the inside information his firm is privy to, they still lost all that money on derivatives. That's like knowing what horse will win and still losing. Good job, Jamie!

He commits crimes that harm working Americans, and he gets away with it by paying large fines. Those fines are already included in his business model. Who cares if they have to pay a 100 million fine when the illegal activity is bringing in a billion or more?

In a nutshell the Jamie Dimon business model is:
1)Gains need to be greater than fines paid
2) Government contacts
3) Take handouts from taxpayers
4) No conscience
5) Good lawyers

And that all adds up to a very nice lifestyle at our expense.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Privacy Thieves

My first scam is one that most see as a mild annoyance of the internet age, but is in fact a serious threat to your privacy. Companies like Radaris, Spokeo, MyLife, and Intelius, to name but a few, are in the business of giving away your information.

Removing your info from these sites which tell the world your age, where you live and have lived for the past decade, is not easy but it can be done. Start by looking on their page for the opt out option, most are difficult to find, by design.

If  there isn't an opt out option on the page, you'll need to send an email. I have found that it takes several emails and threats to sue before they will remove your information. After it has been removed, keep googling your name and checking the various sites. Many of them will simply put your information up again, this time adding a middle initial or some variation of your name so you have to go through the process all over again.

Because of my frustration with my information being used without my permission, I've decided to return the favor. Here's the email of one of the workers who will refuse to remove your info. Here's the deal: I'll remove yours when you remove mine. daniel@radaris.com

Monday, October 5, 2015

Welcome!


Welcome to my blog, Fraudsters, Felons and Fools! The purpose of this blog is to expose scams and the fraudsters, felons and fools who commit them.
This blog was inspired by the bloggers who blew the whistle on law school scam and helped save many potential students from wasting money on a worthless  degree. 

Our main ambition is to bring down those who profit illegally and get the word out on the fraudsters, felons and fools who prey on others, and also to help to find solutions for those who have been a victim of a scammer.
Been a victim of a scam? I would love to hear from you! Send your emails to: fraudstersfelonsandfools@gmail.com.