The Brian Lehrer Show

Construction Company Admits Fraud

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bob Hennelly, WNYC's contributing editor for politics and investigations, talks about the construction company that agreed to pay $56 million in fines yesterday, after admitting to widespread fraud.

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NY Anti-Fraud Law Gets Delayed Start, Following Big Federal Bust

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office says it will make good on an anti-fraud law that was passed in 2005 but never enforced until now.


The Brian Lehrer Show

AG Schneiderman Promises Swift Action From New Financial Regulation Group

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Recap from It's a Free Country.

Welcome to Politics Bites, where every afternoon at It's A Free Country, we bring you the unmissable quotes from the morning's political conversations on WNYC. Today on the Brian Lehrer Show, Eric Schneiderman, New York State Attorney General and  co-chair of the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, talked about his appointment to co-chair the federal working group examining mortgage fraud.

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55 Indicted in Alleged City Fraud Ring

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fifty-five employees were indicted for allegedly taking part in an identity theft and cyber-fraud ring, the Manhattan District Attorney's office announced Friday.


The Takeaway

UK Loses £3.2 Million to Fraud in Kabul

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The BBC has learned that the British government paid £3.2 million AGEF, an aid agency which has shuttered over allegations of fraud. AGEF's mission was to help resettle failed asylum-seekers sent back to Kabul and to train local people. The British government was aware of problems since 2009, according to the BBC, but continued to pay AGEF until this year. Angus Crawford, correspondent for the BBC, filed this report.



Technology Contractors Are Accused of Fraud

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Two technology company executives stole at least $6.5 million from the city, the special investigator for the New York City school system charged.

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The Takeaway

Online Poker Company Accused of Stealing Players' Money

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Justice Department made a claim against Full Tilt Poker on Tuesday, saying the website, where millions of members played poker for money, defrauded thousands of people out of more than $300 million. On the site, players created accounts from which they would add or subtract funds during games. The site assured them that they could close their accounts and withdraw the money stored there at anytime, but now federal prosecutors are saying Full Tilt's managers had been taking money from the accounts since April of 2007. Online gambling is a $60 billion a year industry, and is not subject to much regulation.


The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Debt Settlement Companies

Thursday, August 11, 2011

This week the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs announced it is issuing 15 subpoenas to companies that promise “debt settlement” services—but in many cases seem unable to deliver. DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz joins us to explain the investigation and why the debt settlement industry represented the single greatest consumer fraud of the year.

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Six Indicted For Alleged Concrete Testing Fraud

Thursday, August 04, 2011

For the second time since 2008, a concrete testing laboratory has been indicted for falsifying results of inspections for major private and public projects including the Second Avenue Subway, a LaGuardia Airport Control Tower and the Fulton Street Transit Center.


The Takeaway

Complaints to Fannie and Freddie's Overseer Go Ignored

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The federal agency overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failed to act on almost 100 complaints filed from July 2008 to October 2010, pertaining to possible foreclosure abuse and mortgage fraud at the taxpayer-owned mortgage finance agencies. The companies did not refer the complaints to criminal investigators or other law-enforcement authorities, according to a report issued late Tuesday by the inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Mark Seal tells the story of Clark Rockefeller, a stranger-than-fiction tale of a con man who convincingly passed himself off as Rockefeller. The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter looks at the man behind the lie, and how, over 30 years, he boldly assumed a series of false identities, moved up the social ladder on both coasts, and married a rising star businesswoman with a Harvard MBA who believed he was a Rockefeller. When his marriage ended and he was arrested for kidnapping his daughter, his past of astounding deceptions was exposed.

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Economist Among Clients Allegedly Bilked by City Construction Company: DA

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A major New York City construction company is charged with defrauding its clients — including The Economist magazine — out of more than $30 million over the past decade.



Financial 411: The Weekly Round-Up

Friday, April 15, 2011


This week, Washington finally approved a spending bill to fund the government — and then quickly began sparring over competing proposals to cut the deficit.  A key figure in the state's pay-to-play pension fund investigation was sentenced, and Madison Square Garden could get a boost thanks to the Knicks and the Rangers.


WQXR Features

They Called Him the Bernie Madoff of Violin Dealers

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

German violin dealer Dietmar Machold lived in an Austrian castle, owned a collection of sports cars and was always impeccably dressed. Over several decades, he allegedly swindled banks, customers and dealers from millions of dollars. It recently all caught up with him.

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Four Consultants Charged in Alleged CityTime Fraud

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Four consultants have been accused of defrauding New York City of $80 million by steering contracts to shell companies that they controlled. The wife and mother of one of the consultants were also charged. The defendents were charged with conspiracy in Manhattan Federal Court on Wednesday, but haven't entered pleas.

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City Doles Out Thousands in Benefits to Dead City Workers

Monday, September 27, 2010

The pension fund that serves retired New York City workers continued to make payments to at least 14 beneficiaries, even after they died, and those payments were received by living persons not entitled to the money, according City Comptroller John Liu.


The Takeaway

Chair of Oversight Committee on Fraud, Waste in Afghanistan

Monday, August 09, 2010

Since General David Petraeus took over command of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan more than a month ago, one of his top priorities has been rooting out corruption there. He has intensified efforts to uncover bribery in the Afghan government and watch the workings of U.S. contracting practices. Last week, he was joined in his efforts by Congressman Edolphus Towns, the chair of the House Oversight Committee. The New York Democrat just returned from a trip to Afghanistan where he visited with Petraeus to investigate waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars.


The Takeaway

Goldman Sachs to Settle with SEC in Fraud Case

Friday, July 16, 2010

Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $550 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission in hopes of settling the fraud suit levied on the company back in April. The settlement is pending approval by a federal judge; if approved, it would be the largest penalty ever assessed against a financial firm in the SEC's history.

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Financial Adviser to Celebs Indicted

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A well-known investment adviser and a former high-ranking official in city government have been arrested and charged by federal prosecutors.


The Takeaway

The false hope of debt settlers

Monday, April 20, 2009

Desperate to not be deadbeats, hundreds of thousands of consumers are turning to debt settlement agencies to escape crushing piles of bills. Everyone has seen the ads: you call, they help, and eventually you are a debt free. But a report in today's New York Times says many consumers have begun to complain that those companies collect large fees and don't do much to help. Unfortunately, it seems the typical experience according to consumers is that a settlement company collects a large fee, often 15 percent of the total debt, and accomplishes little or nothing on the consumer’s behalf. Needless to say, state attorneys general are being flooded with complaints about settlement companies. The Takeaway talks with New York Times business reporter David Streitfeld for more on the story.
"A lot of the people in the debt settlement industry are former workers in the mortgage industry, who probably sold you the mortgage for your house that cost too much money to begin with."
—New York Times business reporter David Streitfeld on debt consultants

For more, read David Streitfeld's article, Debt Settlers Offer Promises but Little Help

Ads like this one from In Charge Debt Solutions offer consumers hope that they can help resolve disputes with debt colletors:

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