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ITMG Insider Threat Cases – January 21, 2022

FBI Arrests Social Engineer Who Allegedly Stole Unpublished Manuscripts from Authors

On January 5, 2022, the Department of Justice (DoJ) announced the FBI’s arrest of Italian citizen Filippo Bernardini at JFK International Airport in New York for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. With the arrest of Bernardini, the DoJ unsealed a grand jury indictment dated July 14, 2021, of Bernardini that revealed a “multi-year scheme to impersonate individuals involved in the publishing industry in order to fraudulently obtain hundreds of prepublication manuscripts of novels and other forthcoming books.”

The indictment of Bernardini shares how over the course of the previous five years (August 2016 through July 2021) he created a personal ecosystem that served to dupe those within the publishing industry. The document shares how he defrauded or attempted to defraud hundreds of individuals and “obtained hundreds of unpublished manuscripts during the course of the scheme.”

Fisherman Beats Theft-of-Trade-Secrets Conviction Involving Hack

A tech savvy grouper fisherman from Mobile, Ala., saw his theft-of-trade-secrets conviction vacated Wednesday, at least temporarily, when the Eleventh Circuit said venue wasn’t proper in the federal district court in which he was tried.

Timothy Smith hacked into the computers of StrikeLines, a business that sells the coordinates of artificial fishing reefs. Smith stole reef coordinates and then offered them to other anglers on Facebook.

Smith told one of the owners of StrikeLines that he would take the Facebook posts down if they gave him the coordinates for deep grouper fishing.

Former Chief Executive Officer Pleads Guilty to Embezzling more than $15 Million from her Employer

According to filed plea documents and admissions made by Steele in court, from at least 2013 to January 2020, the defendant executed an extensive scheme to defraud her employer, identified in court documents as Victim Company A, a privately held U.S. based subsidiary of a foreign company that manufactures carbide products. The owners of Victim Company A and its parent company reside overseas. Court records show that Steele embezzled over $15 million from Victim Company A and used the money to support a business run by her and her family and to fund an extravagant lifestyle.

Jonesport Man Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Funds from Estate

According to court records, from April through October 2020, Donald McMahon, 34, embezzled approximately $95,000 from a bank account owned by an estate being probated in Washington County. McMahon carried out the scheme by obtaining unauthorized access to the estate account. He then made hundreds of transfers from the estate’s bank account using PayPal, an online money transfer system, in order to convert the funds to his own use.

Former Financial Controller Sentenced to Prison for Embezzling Almost Half a Million Dollars from Family-Owned San Diego Business

Derick Jonathan Cameron of Vancouver, Washington, was sentenced in federal court today to 20 months in prison for embezzling more than $400,000 when he was employed as the Financial Controller for San Diego-based RAL Investment Corporation.

Cameron previously pleaded guilty, admitting that he abused his access to the company’s accounting software by issuing more than 200 unauthorized checks to himself using the electronic signature of the company’s CFO and depositing them into his personal bank account. He then concealed the payments by manipulating the company’s accounting records to make it appear that each check was issued to a legitimate third-party vendor for a business expense.  The company discovered Cameron’s fraudulent activity in April 2018, fired Cameron, and reported the conduct to law enforcement when Cameron was unable to make his promised repayments on schedule.

Rochester Man who Bilked at Least 1000 Victims Out of More Than 100-Million in a Nationwide Multi-Million Dollar Ponzi Scheme Going to Prison

Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who handled the case, stated that between January 2008 and June 2018, Perry Santillo conspired with Christopher Parris and others, to obtain money through an investment fraud commonly known as a Ponzi scheme. In 2007, Santillo and Parris, as equal partners, formed a business known as Lucian Development in Rochester, which raised millions of dollars from investors in Rochester, and elsewhere, by soliciting investments for City Capital Corporation, a business operated by Ephren Taylor. In July 2007, Santillo and C.P. were advised by Ephren Taylor that their investors’ money had been lost. In response, in August 2007, Santillo and Parris agreed to acquire the assets and debts of City Capital Corporation. The acquisition proved financially ruinous, with the amount of the acquired debt far exceeding the value of the acquired assets. Taylor was later prosecuted and convicted of operating a Ponzi scheme.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 21st, 2022 at 10:44 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.