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Swindle

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NEWS
March 4, 1986 | By DAVE RACHER, Daily News Staff Writer
Three former city supervisors and six businessmen pleaded guilty yesterday to taking part in an extensive swindle at a city-owned truck-parts warehouse that cost taxpayers about $300,000. An investigating grand jury dubbed the swindle "Operation Candy Store. " The DA's office previously had said the scheme began as small-scale pilfering and eventually grew to a complex swindle to cover up bribes paid by parts suppliers for favored treatment. Costs of free merchandise given to city employees were then charged to the city through phony vouchers, with as much as a 50 percent markup, the DA's office said.
NEWS
November 3, 1999 | by Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
Roberta Burgess says she was alone in her car when it accidentally struck the rear of another auto in 1997. Her insurance company paid $1,200 to cover the collision. Later, when her insurance bill was increased, she wanted to know why. She was shocked to learn the reason. Burgess found out that her son, Craig, 43, had quietly filed a claim of his own with her insurance company, stating that he had been a passenger in her car and had been injured during the accident at 46th and Market streets.
NEWS
January 16, 1986 | By RON AVERY, Daily News Staff Writer
An 82-year-old South Jersey man purchased thousands of dollars worth of bulbs from a smooth-talking "charity" agent over a four-year period but he never saw the light. When the Haddonfield resident had spent $48,495 - most of his savings - on light bulbs and dust cloths that piled up in his basement, relatives finally went to police. Not only did the elderly man have no use for such large amounts of household items, but he had paid many times their real value. A typical order showed him buying large quantities of 100-watt bulbs at $10.95 each; 75-watt bulbs for $9.95; and dust cloths at $7.95 each.
NEWS
September 2, 2012 | By Michael Rubinkam, Associated Press
A Pennsylvania ex-con who once contended that he could cure AIDS by pumping ozone and oxygen into patients' posteriors, came up with another audacious swindle, federal prosecutors say: He told investors he controlled more than $1 billion worth of Texas oil. Richard J. Harley, of Shawnee-on-Delaware in the Pocono Mountains, contended he owned 10 million barrels of oil in Brown County, Texas, said he needed to borrow money to pump it out of the...
NEWS
June 30, 2012
A Bucks County man has been indicted in a scheme that bilked Medicare of more than $5.4 million. William V. Hlushmanuk, 35, of Churchville, was charged in a 23-count health-care-fraud indictment that was unsealed Friday by the U.S. Attorney's Office. Hlushmanuk allegedly started the Starcare Ambulance Co. in 2006 to transport kidney dialysis patients. Because Hlushmanuk had a criminal record that included convictions for burglary, assault, and firearms violations, he was ineligible to operate the company under his own name, so he used a straw owner identified in documents only as B.R. Starcare employees allegedly instructed patients who could walk to climb onto stretchers for their three-times-a-week trips to dialysis clinics.
NEWS
February 25, 1999 | by Jim Smith, Daily News Staff Writer
It's checkmate for Reggie "Amin" Green, the local rap concert promoter who may have set a Philly record by passing more than $6 million worth of bogus checks. On the eve of his trial, after watching his once-trusted lieutenants cut deals to become government witnesses against him, Green, 38, yesterday pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges. It was his last chance to cut his losses. In jail since his arrest nearly six months ago, Greene will be sentenced in July by U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell.
NEWS
May 24, 2011 | By STEPHANIE FARR, farrs@phillynews.com 215-854-4225
Two phenomena of the Internet age - bad online dating and Nigerian money schemes - came together for one Montgomery County man who was swindled out of $24,000 and was almost taken for $46,000 more, police said. James Thelning, 64, of Hatfield, met someone who called herself "Mary Douglas" through an online dating site, police said. "Mary" sent Thelning what she said were pictures of herself but were found to be of women from different websites, including pornographic ones, police said.
NEWS
September 27, 2012 | By Sam Wood, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The former CEO of a hedge fund set up for the "little guys" and "moms and pops" admitted today that he conspired with others to swindle those same "little guys" of more than $4 million. Michael J. Spak, 44, of Burlington County, ran the Osiris Fund which convinced 75 people to invest $12 million from June 2009 through November 2011, according to court documents. Though Spak and his associates had promised to take no more than 3 percent fee, they spent $300,000 to buy the "Fintastic," a luxury sportfishing boat, and fraudulently diverted another $4 million, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.
NEWS
March 10, 2011
Montgomery County authorities arrested a Bala Cynwyd man on charges that he cheated eight people out of $3.32 million from 2007 through 2010. Ira Pressman operated PJI Distribution Corp., which specialized in buying and quickly reselling closeout items, such as bedsheets, flags and furniture. The purchase money came from investors, who were promised a share of the profits. However, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman alleged, Pressman used the money for personal expenses and to pay off previous investors.
NEWS
October 15, 1992 | by Jim Smith, Daily News Staff Writer
To the more than 27,000 people worldwide, including about 1,000 in the Philadelphia area, it seemed like a good bet at the time. Pay an annual subscription fee of $125 for four issues of a magazine called the Washington Power Digest, and get in line for a $50,000 payout. Problem was, the promoters never intended to pay $50,000 or anything close to that amount. The most a subscriber got was maybe $1,500, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Holston. It was a rip-off, a common "pyramid" or Ponzi scheme from the start, authorities contend - one that took in more than $3.4 million in eight quick months, but paid out maybe about $1 million, the prosecutor said.
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NEWS
July 3, 2015 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Bucks County man was charged Wednesday with swindling six people out of more than $1.8 million through an investment scheme that promised unusually high rates of return, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia said. Malcolm Segal, 69, of Langhorne, worked as a financial adviser for Aegis Capital in New York and often sold certificates of deposit, low-risk investments that yield interest rates slightly higher than those of a savings account. Segal claimed to his victims that he was selling CDs that paid up to a 12 percent annual interest rate for a two-year investment of $100,000, according to the federal indictment.
NEWS
September 27, 2012 | By Sam Wood, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The former CEO of a hedge fund set up for the "little guys" and "moms and pops" admitted today that he conspired with others to swindle those same "little guys" of more than $4 million. Michael J. Spak, 44, of Burlington County, ran the Osiris Fund which convinced 75 people to invest $12 million from June 2009 through November 2011, according to court documents. Though Spak and his associates had promised to take no more than 3 percent fee, they spent $300,000 to buy the "Fintastic," a luxury sportfishing boat, and fraudulently diverted another $4 million, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.
NEWS
September 14, 2012
D EAR HARRY: My mother has dementia, and her doctor says she needs to have someone there 24 hours a day. My teenage son lives with her now. My brother has taken my mother to her bank and had her withdraw all her money ($35,000) and deposit it at another bank with him having power-of-attorney. She has no idea that she did this. As of the end of June, that account was down to $6,000. I have no idea where the money went. I have just discovered that my brother took my mother to a notary to get signatures to have him appointed as her guardian.
NEWS
September 2, 2012 | By Michael Rubinkam, Associated Press
A Pennsylvania ex-con who once contended that he could cure AIDS by pumping ozone and oxygen into patients' posteriors, came up with another audacious swindle, federal prosecutors say: He told investors he controlled more than $1 billion worth of Texas oil. Richard J. Harley, of Shawnee-on-Delaware in the Pocono Mountains, contended he owned 10 million barrels of oil in Brown County, Texas, said he needed to borrow money to pump it out of the...
ENTERTAINMENT
November 4, 2011 | BY GARY THOMPSON, thompsg@phillynews.com 215-854-5992
HOLLYWOOD'S long-overdue pimp-slap of loathsome pension-swindler Bernie Madoff has finally arrived, and it's surprisingly good. I say surprisingly because while we still have plutocrats and swindlers and a really bad economy as we did back in the 1930s and 1940s, we don't have Preston Sturges or Frank Capra. We have Bret Ratner, whose recent contributions to populist socioeconomic commentary include "X: Men: The Last Stand" and "Rush Hour 3. " And let's not single out Mr. Ratner.
NEWS
July 19, 2011 | By CATHERINE LUCEY, luceyc@phillynews.com
A technology contractor allegedly bilked the city out of more than $1 million by submitting phony time sheets, the city inspector general and the U.S. Attorney's Office announced yesterday. Barry Jones, owner of Mara Management Services Inc. and Management and Technology Services Inc. in Haddonfield, fraudulently billed the city for work that was never done, according to the U.S. attorney. The fake billing ran from 2004 through 2008, when Jones had contracts to provide information-technology support to the city Revenue Department and Water Department, and the city-affiliated nonprofit Community Behavioral Health.
NEWS
May 24, 2011 | By STEPHANIE FARR, farrs@phillynews.com 215-854-4225
Two phenomena of the Internet age - bad online dating and Nigerian money schemes - came together for one Montgomery County man who was swindled out of $24,000 and was almost taken for $46,000 more, police said. James Thelning, 64, of Hatfield, met someone who called herself "Mary Douglas" through an online dating site, police said. "Mary" sent Thelning what she said were pictures of herself but were found to be of women from different websites, including pornographic ones, police said.
NEWS
May 20, 2011
City officials on Thursday announced the arrest of a church pastor and another man in an alleged scheme to swindle $10,000 from a Germantown property owner on the pretext of licensing-and-zoning violations. They said that Brian K. Davis, 33, of Philadelphia, posed as an inspector for the Department of Licenses and Inspections in collecting the money from the owner of a property in the 5300 block of Wayne Avenue. Officials said the Rev. Richard Cobb, 57, of Brookhaven, a pastor at St. Mark's Baptist Church in South Philadelphia, directed the alleged scheme and shared in the take.
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