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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 04-02-2012 14:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Bogus cancer therapist Reginald Gill and wife guilty of sex assault
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-16877006

Reginald and Leila Gill were exposed on the BBC Wales X-Ray programme

A bogus therapist and his wife who told women they could diagnose and treat cancer have been found guilty of sexual assault and fraud.

Reginald and Leila Gill claimed to offer therapies for women at their home in Cwmduad, Carmarthenshire, despite not being medically trained.

Mr Gill, 77, was found guilty of nine sexual offences and two fraud charges at Swansea Crown Court.

His wife, 35, was found guilty of one count of sexual assault and fraud.

They have been bailed for sentence at a later date.

The pair, who were first exposed on the BBC Wales consumer programme X-Ray, had pleaded not guilty.

The jury took an hour and a half to reach a unanimous verdict.

Electric shocks
The court heard that Mr Gill sexually assaulted two women and told them they had cancer, then told them he could treat the disease.

Later tests by qualified doctors showed that neither woman had ever had signs of having cancer.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

The victims have displayed extreme courage in reporting this matter and by giving evidence in court ”

Det Insp Steve Cockwell
Dyfed-Powys Police
During the trial, the jury heard video evidence from a woman who said she had been sexually assaulted by Mr Gill minutes after he had told her she had cancer.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had gone to the Gills' house with a friend who was seeking treatment for arthritis.

The victim, who had experience of and was interested in alternative therapies, told the court that Mr Gill had examined her internally before telling her she had cancer and that he could "get rid of most of it today".

He then inserted an instrument inside her which gave her electric shocks.

The court was told that after 20 minutes Mr Gill removed the machine and he and Mrs Gill rubbed oil on her chest before using another machine on the same area.

Initially the victim had told police that she didn't think Mr Gill was getting any sexual gratification but she later said his heavy breathing suggested he was.

After the guilty verdicts, the court was told that Mr Gill had previous convictions under the Consumer Protection Act from 2004, in Bournemouth, when he told a cancer patient to cease conventional treatment and be treated by him instead.

'Exposed by programme'
The couple's lies had been exposed by the BBC Wales consumer programme X-Ray, with evidence gathered given to police who later arrested the Gills.

Last March, a member of the programme team telephoned the couple's clinic at their home and told Mr Gill she was concerned she may have bowel cancer.

He told her that cancer was "easily dealt with" and urged her not to have a biopsy because it would spread the disease, saying "you'll probably end up with ovarian cancer as well. Don't do it, come and see me".

He said that if she spent three days with him she would be both educated and "treated".

X-Ray sent two members of the production team to gather undercover footage of his fraudulent claims that he could diagnose and treat cancer.

Mr Gill used an unlicensed ozone therapy machine, known as an IFAS machine, on one of the researchers - the same one used on the victims in the recent trial.

He told the researcher that because the device lit up, she did have cancer - which was untrue.

Despite his claims to have been an army doctor, Mr Gill was in fact in the catering corps and has no medical qualifications.

He was committing an offence under the Cancer Act 1939, which makes it illegal for an unqualified person to offer to treat any person for cancer.

Following the broadcast of X-Ray's report in March 2011, evidence was submitted to Dyfed-Powys Police.

Two of Gill's female 'patients' were then interviewed by police and subsequently, Reginald and Leila Gill were arrested at their home.

'Rare case'

Dyfed-Powys Police officers who investigated the claims welcomed the verdict following the court case.

"Mr and Mrs Gill falsely claimed that they could diagnose and treat cancer," said Det Insp Steve Cockwell.

"They used this to sexually assault the two victims and for financial gain.

"The victims have displayed extreme courage in reporting this matter and by giving evidence in court and have exposed Mr and Mrs Gill as fraudulent practitioners of alternative medicine.

"Thankfully a case like this is extremely rare in Dyfed Powys, but any claims of sexual assault are taken extremely seriously by the force and investigated fully."

A new X-Ray report on the bogus cancer treatments will be broadcast on Monday, 13 February, BBC One Wales, 19:30 GMT.
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 27-02-2012 14:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Bristol anti-gun woman misled Labour conference
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-17154829

Narraser Gordon claimed that eight of her family members had been killed in Bristol

An anti-gun and knife-crime campaigner misled a national conference when she said her family members had been murdered.

Narraser Gordon, 24, claimed at the Labour Party's conference in September that eight of her family members had been killed in Bristol.

After a standing ovation from politicians, local newspapers picked up on the Labour youth officer's speech.

BBC Inside Out has found most of the people she said were dead are alive.

Ms Gordon told the conference: "I'm here to talk about why the young people are dying before they can even see the age of 21.

"This is an issue causing a problem in all the cities in the UK, including... my own area of Bristol, with eight of my family members being murdered here."

'Do regret this'
The BBC was making a documentary about the work of Ms Gordon, who is regularly invited into schools to help young people with anti-violence projects.


Ms Gordon is regularly invited into schools to help young people with anti-violence projects
She gave the names of the people she claimed had been murdered, but a search of the register of deaths found the majority of the people she listed were not there.

Ms Gordon was also found to be conversing on Facebook with some of the people she said had been killed.

When questioned by the BBC, Ms Gordon admitted that the majority of the people on the list had not been murdered.

But she then contradicted this in an email where she said: "I have lost three family members and five very close friends who I consider as family.

"I realise I may have used words which could be seen as misleading and I do regret this."

Her speech has now been removed from the website of the Bristol West Labour Party, who declined to comment.

Ms Gordon is now working on a campaign calling for the government to give more money to community activists who tackle gun and knife crime.

Inside Out is broadcast on BBC One in the West region at 19:30 GMT on Monday.
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 06-03-2012 12:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Fake barrister David Evans wore gown and wig at court
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-17268631

David Evans had worn a solicitor's gown with a barrister's wig

A 57-year-old man who pretended to be a qualified barrister at crown court was found out after admitting he had no legal qualifications.

David Sydney Evans, of Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, walked into the advocates' room at Plymouth Crown Court wearing a gown and wig, and went to the cells to visit a friend he was representing.

But the judge picked up on a series of wrongly made legal points.

Evans was found guilty at Bristol Crown Court and will be sentenced this month.

The jury was told he had previous convictions for a similar offence.

He had held consultations with patients at a Carmarthenshire hospital pretending to be a clinical psychologist.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

At no time did Judge Wildblood know that Mr Evans was unqualified, he only found out after persistently asking Mr Evans to tell him about his qualifications”

Kenneth Bell
Prosecuting
Evans was serving a sentence for obtaining money by deception when he met cannabis producer Terry Moss, who was "desperate" for someone to help him after sacking his legal teams.

The court head that Evans, who had no legal training, claimed he was trying to help his friend by representing him as "lay counsel" during a complex proceeds of crime case.

But Evans sent a number of headed letters to Truro and Plymouth crown courts while he was still in prison stating he was a "senior advocate", the jury was told.

He also made legal applications, asked for time extensions and adjournments, and sent a skeleton legal argument to the prosecution.

The court heard he asked Moss's sister to buy him a solicitor's gown and barrister's wig before appearing in front of Judge Stephen Wildblood QC in Plymouth on 17 August 2010.

'Barrister wig'
Kenneth Bell, prosecuting, said Evans was "not naive" and had repeatedly pretended to the court that he was a trained barrister.

"He knew perfectly well that he was not entitled to go to court, put on a solicitor's gown, put the collar and the bands on, put the wig on and stand in court to represent Mr Moss, but he did so," Mr Bell said.

"At no time did Judge Wildblood know that Mr Evans was unqualified, he only found out after persistently asking Mr Evans to tell him about his qualifications."

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

I believed Mr Evans to be a member of the Bar so to come in to see someone in a solicitor's gown and a barrister wig struck as a surprise”

Judge Stephen Wildblood
Giving evidence in Bristol, Judge Wildblood told the court Evans had made a series of legal assertions which were "wrong in an elementary way".

Judge Wildblood also said Evans's appearance had struck him "immediately as strange".

"I believed Mr Evans to be a member of the Bar so to come in to see someone in a solicitor's gown and a barrister wig struck as a surprise," he said.

The judge made inquiries but found no record of Evans.

When he asked him what his legal qualifications were, Evans admitted he had none.

Evans had been caught out, but was allowed to remain in court as somebody who could assist a defendant in representing themselves in court.

Moss had already been jailed for four-and-a-half years after admitting growing cannabis at his home in Cornwall and was facing a proceeds of crime hearing.

The jury was told the Plymouth hearing was adjourned until October 2010, when Moss had £70,000 removed from his assets.

Evans was found guilty of carrying out a reserved legal activity when not entitled and wilfully pretending to be a person with a right of audience.

Clinical psychologist

He was released on bail to reappear at Bristol Crown Court on 26 March for sentencing.

Evans had befriended Moss in Dartmoor prison while serving time for various offences of obtaining money by deception.

He dishonestly obtained services from Werndale Hospital, near Carmarthen, where he held eight consultations with four different patients pretending to be a clinical psychologist.

He had previously submitted a CV to the hospital stating he had nine GCSEs, a masters degree in psychology and previous employment with North Devon District Council.
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 24-03-2012 10:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beware of trying to outwit the Ponzi schemes, even if you have online tools.

Quote:
Investors cash in on web-based scams
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17428613
By Mark Ward
Technology correspondent, BBC News

Ponzi schemes are scams that always have a limited life.

Related Stories

Man jailed for biggest Ponzi scam
Stanford convicted of $7bn fraud
Madoff couple 'attempted suicide'

Some people are putting money into online scams even though they know they are fraudulent, suggests research.

One of the first significant studies of cons known as High Yield Investment Programs (HYIPs) reveals that a small number of people are trying to use them as regular investment vehicles.

The research suggests that the investors use website tools to help them spot when best to cash out.

Authorities warn that such schemes can backfire with no hope of compensation.

HYIPs are an example of what are known as Ponzi schemes which claim to offer huge returns for those that invest some cash in them. They depend on more and more people being enrolled in the scam, with funds from those who invest late in the scheme being used to reward early entrants.

While the instigator of the fraud makes money, most participants spend a lot of time recruiting more members to prop up their ever dwindling returns.

"It's our belief that there may well be some people making money here," said Dr Richard Clayton, one of the computer security experts behind the study.

"But running one of these scams is certainly far more lucrative than investing in one."

Tracker sites
The researchers estimate that about $6m (£4m) a month passed through the 1600 HYIP schemes they tracked for nine months while gathering data.

"It's not a trivial amount of money," said Dr Clayton.

The schemes offered very different rates of return. The highest return claimed was an interest rate of 440% in 10 minutes, but many others said investors would receive the more modest figure of 1-2% a day.

Dr Clayton said the study uncovered aggregator or "tracker" sites that monitored the Ponzi schemes, some of which lasted for months. The trackers detail the returns the different schemes were paying out.


The first Ponzi schemes were set up by Boston fraudster Charles Ponzi in the 1920s
Using these sites investors spot when they start to crumble and make efforts to recover their initial investment.

"Their only purpose is to help people choose where they can put their money," said Dr Clayton, though he was cautious of drawing any strong conclusions given the lack of corroborating evidence.

"If we believe that what we see on the net is true, then some people get money back and some get more back than they invested," he said.

As with all Ponzi schemes, early investors rely on the naivete of late entrants who may not be aware that they are joining a financial scam that is likely to cost them dear.

"People who come across these sites not understanding them at all could well be misled into thinking this is a good investment," Dr Clayton told the BBC.

Choking off supply
A spokesman for the UK's Financial Services Authority cautioned against getting involved in a Ponzi scheme, even at the early stages.

"Consumers should be wary of any investment offering amazing returns," he said. "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

He added, because the investment scams were by definition unauthorised, consumers would have no protection or means to recover their money when they collapsed.

The research, carried out with computer scientists Jie Han and Tyler Moore from the Wellesley College in the US, also proposed some ways that regulators and governments could take action to stop their growth.

Regulators could apply pressure to the firms that operated the digital currencies that the scams used and choke off the supply of cash, said Dr Clayton.

Another useful target would be the trackers or aggregators, he suggested, as shuttering the domains they used could restrict access to information about how specific scams operated.

In addition, he said, education could help people spot such schemes.

"This is an area where the more people who know about it the less successful it will be to run one. People will be able to say 'Aha! This is a Ponzi scheme'," he said.

"You need the basic knowledge that 1% a day just cannot work."


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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 22-04-2012 07:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Police warning after shopkeepers hit by telephone fraud
7:40am Sunday 22nd April 2012 in News

Devon and Cornwall police are issuing a warning for shop keepers and staff of a suspected scam involving PayPoint machines.
Police have received reports from store managers who have PayPoint cash payment machine in their premises after they have been contacted by bogus callers, claiming to be acting on behalf of the PayPoint company.

The managers have been telephoned by suspects and asked to carry out ‘diagnostic checks’ on the machines.
This involves being asked to carry out transactions using the Paypoint machine – which is, in fact, transferring money onto online cash vouchers, which is then quickly spent.

PayPoint states that it never contacts its shopkeepers by telephone to carry out any function on the machine.
Peter Brooker of PayPoint said: “We have 375 shops with PayPoint terminals in Devon and Cornwall and we never call them to do upgrades, tests, diagnostic checks, installation of new services or anything else to the terminal. The unbreakable rule is that transactions must never be processed over the phone, even if the caller claims to be from PayPoint.
"If they receive a call asking them to do anything on the PayPoint terminal, however urgent it sounds, the shopkeeper should tell the caller they are going to check with PayPoint and then call us immediately.”

A total of six crimes have been committed in areas across the Force including Plymouth, Newquay, Helston, Penzance and Camelford with cash stolen in the £1,000s.
Anyone who thinks that they may have been a victim of this fraud is asked to please contact the police on the new non emergency number 101 and quote master crime number EL/12/1800.

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/9662203.Police__warning_after_shopkeepers_hit_by_telephone_fraud/?ref=la
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 22-04-2012 08:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
US charges British twins over $1.2m 'stock robot' fraud
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17794272

The twins allegedly claimed Marl could pick stocks on the verge of soaring in value by up to 400%

Related Stories

How mathematicians rule the markets
Twin brothers from England face US civil charges for allegedly defrauding investors out of $1.2m (£745,000) through a bogus stock-picking robot.

Alexander and Thomas Hunter, of Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, were aged 16 when, in 2007, they devised the scheme of the robot, dubbed Marl, say US officials.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said the stocks "picked" were actually firms that paid the twins hefty fees.

The Hunters allegedly snared about 75,000 investors, mostly in the US.

In November, Newcastle Crown Court ordered Alexander Hunter to pay back nearly $1m after he admitted providing unregulated financial advice. He was given a suspended 12-month prison sentence.

'Goldman Sachs algorithm'
According to an affadavit filed in a New York federal court on Friday, investors paid $47 for newsletters listing Marl's stock picks and $97 for a "home version" of the software.

"The longer Marl is allowed to run on a computer... The More Advanced He Becomes!" one of the brothers' websites said.

The home version was simply a program that grabbed ticker symbols fed in by the Hunters, who reportedly live with their parents in Whitley Bay.

The twins collected an additional $1.9m from companies that paid to appear in the newsletters and in the software program, according to the US court document.

In one example given by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Marl picked stock in 2008 for a music publishing company called UOMO Media, doubling its share price to 69 cents, and then again a year later, driving it to $1.06. UOMO has not traded above a penny since September 2010.

The twins claimed Marl had a track record of detecting cheap stocks whose prices were on the verge of soaring by 200-400%.

Marl was a supposed combination of the names of its phoney creators, Michael Cohen and Carl Williamson. The Hunters claimed that "Michael Cohen" had developed a Goldman Sachs trading algorithm that reaped billions in profits.

Officials are asking the court to block the Hunters, now 20 or 21, from the securities industry and return money to investors. They are also seeking further financial penalties.

Eric Bruce, a lawyer for the Hunters, did not respond to requests for comment on Friday, reports Reuters news agency.
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PostPosted: 29-05-2012 07:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

How Elvis CD trapped man who faked his own death for £850,000
A father of four who faked his own death to claim more than £850,000 in insurance was caught when a friend attempted to use his HMV staff discount card to buy an Elvis CD, a court heard.
By Rowena Mason, and Martin Evans
10:00PM BST 28 May 2012

Hugo Jose Sanchez, 57, who worked as a web designer for the music retailer, orchestrated an elaborate plot involving his wife Sophie to embezzle a fortune and start a new life in Central America.
After taking out life insurance policies and building up large credit card debts, his wife contacted his employers telling them he had suffered a fatal heart attack while on holiday in his native Ecuador.

He then planned to set up his own animation company in Costa Rica, where his wife and children would eventually join him.
The plan unravelled when a friend used Sanchez’s staff discount card to buy an Elvis CD, triggering an inquiry involving HMV, insurers and the police.
When his wife presented his death certificate as proof of his demise, investigators discovered that it bore Sanchez’s fingerprints. Shocked

The couple fled to Australia on false papers and might have escaped justice had Mrs Sanchez, 41, not returned to Britain to attend her sister’s wedding. She was arrested at Heathrow and jailed for two years in 2010.
Following her conviction, the authorities began extradition proceedings to bring Sanchez back to Britain and he was jailed for five years.

Oxford Crown Court heard that Sanchez was working as a web designer for HMV and living in Farnham, Surrey, when he came up with his plan in 2003.
Over the following year he took out seven separate credit cards and built up large debts, before applying for a £500,000 life insurance policy.
He also had loans with payment protection that would be paid in full in the event of his death.

In August 2004 he and the family rented out their home and moved to Costa Rica, but a series of investments failed and the following year they were forced to return to Britain.

Sanchez took out another series of loans before flying to Ecuador alone. In 2005 his wife informed the authorities that her husband had died and his remains had been cremated. On production of his death certificate she collected large sums from the insurers before returning to Central America. She also received a death benefit payment of £112,000 from HMV and began to receive pension payments.

The couple then moved to Sydney, but the authorities had already uncovered their plot due to an attempt by a friend of Sanchez, Malcolm Jackson, to use the HMV staff discount card. Simon Heptonstall, prosecuting said: “This scheme began to unravel with a simple CD purchase. Mr Sanchez had given his staff discount card to a good friend, having said it had been approved by HMV.”
Mr Jackson was arrested and tried to ring his friend from the police station. Sanchez hung up but inquiries uncovered the fraud.

Sanchez was extradited from Australia in March following a request from Thames Valley Police’s economic crime unit.
Dc Jacqui Bartlett, of the unit, said: “Today’s result is the culmination of a five-year investigation in order to bring Mr Sanchez to justice.
“Mr Sanchez and his wife orchestrated a fraud in a bid to obtain a large amount of money and believed they had got away with it. Mr Sanchez then started a new life in Australia, which was known to both his and his wife’s families, unaware his crimes would eventually catch up with him.”

Sanchez admitted 12 fraud offences at a previous hearing and, sentencing him, Judge Gordon Risius said: “I sentenced Sophie Sanchez to two years in prison having given her credit for pleading guilty, for her previous good character and because the fraud had clearly been masterminded by you.
“More importantly, she had been swept into it by misguided loyalty to you as a husband and the father of her four children.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9296268/How-Elvis-CD-trapped-man-who-faked-his-own-death-for-850000.html
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PostPosted: 16-06-2012 21:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
South Yorkshire 'iPad' scam: Police issue warning
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-18471157

Police in South Yorkshire have issued a warning after a man bought what he believed to be an iPad only later to discover it was a container of water.

The man was approached by two males in Haymarket, Sheffield, at about 17:00 BST on Friday offering what they claimed were genuine iPhones and iPads.

He was originally shown authentic items but they were switched before the sale was made, said South Yorkshire Police.

Purchases should only be made from reputable sellers, police said.

Anyone with information about the incident is being asked to contact police.
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PostPosted: 03-07-2012 12:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Romanian panel calls prime minister a plagiarist
But committee is dissolved during the course of its meeting.
http://www.nature.com/news/romanian-panel-calls-prime-minister-a-plagiarist-1.10926

Quirin Schiermeier
02 July 2012

A Romanian academic committee has said that the country's prime minister, Victor Ponta, plagiarized parts of his PhD thesis, an allegation that was reported last month by Nature1. But the committee officially ceased to exist before the end of its meeting on Friday 29 June in Bucharest.

At the meeting, 13 members of Romania’s National Council for the Attestation of University Titles (CNATDCU) unanimously concluded that Ponta had copied and pasted large parts — about 85 out of 307 pages (excluding appendices) — of his 2003 thesis on the International Criminal Court2, though that judgment did not consider more subtle plagiarism such as passages where some words have been replaced by synonyms. However, acting education minister Liviu Pop interrupted the meeting to tell its members that their mandate had been withdrawn. He declared that by ministerial order the council’s by-laws had been rendered null and void, after it had failed to deliver a report of its activities and performance that he says he had requested on 21 June. CNATDCU members reject this reasoning.


Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta has been accused of plagiarizing around one-quarter of his PhD thesis.
D. MIHAILESCU/AFP/GETTY
“It is plainly obvious that the government’s sole motivation was to put pressure on us and, ultimately, stop our work,” says Marius Andruh, a chemist at the University of Bucharest, who presided over the council. “We did receive — but actually no sooner than 25 June — a fax requesting a sweeping report of our activities. Needless to say, there was no way of producing this in three days.”

Romania’s academic community is outraged by the move, which many fear will further damage the reputation of the country's science and higher-education system. Over the weekend, more than 800 scientists and scholars signed a petition in which the CNATDCU complained of “shameless trampling of all human and professional dignity, while ignoring the most elementary principles of academic freedom”.

In an open letter sent to European Union heads of state last week, 16 Romanian authors and intellectuals, including Andrei Ple?u, rector of the New Europe College in Bucharest and former Romanian minister of foreign affairs, expressed concerns that the affair might damage the reputation of Romanian society at large.

Hasty change
Related stories
Romanian prime minister accused of plagiarism
Plagiarism charge for Romanian minister
Romania's high hopes for science
At Friday's meeting, the CNATDCU had concluded that “a significant portion“ of Ponta's thesis is “composed of texts extracted from works of other authors and copied verbatim, without mentioning this fact and without including references to the original sources”.

But because the panel was disbanded before it delivered its conclusion, the ruling has no legal value, and its recommendation to the ministry of education that Ponta’s PhD be withdrawn will probably go unheeded.

The government has turned the case over to the national research-ethics council, which now has 90 days to investigate the allegations. Ponta replaced the members of this body earlier this year, following allegations of plagiarism against his former science and education minister, Ioan Mang (see 'Plagiarism charge for Romanian minister').

The opposition Democrat-Liberal Party has called on Ponta to step down. But the prime minister, leader of the Social Democratic Party, holds that his only mistake was to list the sources in his thesis unconventionally, and has described the allegations of misconduct as part of a political campaign against him.

Ponta’s thesis supervisor, Romanian law scholar and former prime minister Adrian N?stase, last week began a two-year prison sentence for corruption. The authors of the books from which Ponta is said to have plagiarized, including the Romanian law scholars Dumitru Diaconu and Vasile Cre?u, indicated that they have no interest whatsoever in the case and its outcome, says Andruh. Another scholar Ponta is accused of plagiarizing, Ion Diaconu, has forcefully denied that the prime minister improperly duplicated his work.

Andruh says that he will no longer be involved in research committees of any kind in Romania. “I’m sick and tired of it,” he says. “I tried my best but I just cannot support mediocrity.”

Nature doi:10.1038/nature.2012.10926

References
Schiermeier, Q. Nature 486, 305 (2012).
ArticlePubMedChemPort
Show context
Ponta, V. Curtea Penal? Interna?ionala. PhD thesis, Univ. Bucharest (2003).
Show context

Related stories and links
From nature.com
Romanian prime minister accused of plagiarism
18 June 2012
Plagiarism charge for Romanian minister
15 May 2012
Romania's high hopes for science
12 January 2011
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PostPosted: 10-07-2012 21:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Wood Evil scam: Police warning over Fort Augustus film extras offer
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-18784092

Zombie look-alikes will not be needed in Fort Augustus

Related Stories

Scams hit worried LinkedIn users
'Spam capital' India arrests six
Google backs net safety campaign

Police in the Highlands have issued a warning about a scam which attempts to recruit extras for a horror film which does not exist.

People were asked for £60 to work on Wood Evil which, it was claimed, would be filmed near Fort Augustus.

Northern Constabulary and the Highland Film Commission said they had no record of any such project.

They also said production companies would not ask for money from potential extras.

The alarm was raised after people who had been emailed about the film contacted VisitScotland for information.

The email claimed they had been chosen as extras for the filming in Inchnacardoch Forest, near the southern end of Loch Ness.

They were told that to take up the work, they would have to pay a £60 deposit.

VisitScotland had no knowledge of the filming project and contacted police.

Northern Constabulary advised people receiving the email not to pay any money, and to contact the force with information.
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PostPosted: 20-08-2012 16:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

Manchester shop worker jailed for £1m lottery fraud

A Manchester shop worker has been jailed after fraudulently trying to claim the £1m lottery winnings of an elderly woman.
Farrakh Nizzar, 30, of Woodlands Road, Crumpsall, Greater Manchester, told Maureen Holt, 78, she had won nothing when he scanned her ticket.
He later tried to claim the EuroMillions jackpot himself.

Nizzar, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced at Manchester Minshull Street Court to 30 months in prison.
Passing sentence, Recorder Philip Cattan told Nizzar: "This goes to the heart of public confidence in the National Lottery.
"The courts must demonstrate to you and to others that this type of fraud will be met by significant custody."

Mrs Holt and her husband Fred, 80, who knew Nizzar by his nickname Lucky, told him to bin the worthless ticket.
After they left the shop, Nizzar called the lottery hotline and tried to claim the jackpot for himself, saying he had bought the ticket at the Best One store in Watersheddings Street, Oldham, where he worked.

The scam was unravelled when checks were made by lottery operator Camelot which showed the winning ticket was not bought at the store.
It was bought at Tesco Extra in Oldham where Mr Holt had used his Clubcard while paying for the couple's weekly groceries and Mrs Holt was seen on CCTV footage
.

Mr and Mrs Holt had been on holiday when the draw which matched their numbers was made on 22 June.

They were presented with their cheque from Camelot on 2 August.
The couple said in a statement: "We are glad justice has been done and that this matter is now behind us. We can now look forward to enjoying our lottery win and spending some time with our family and friends.
"We understand the defendant has written a letter to us and we look forward to reading this."

Camelot said in a statement the company has "stringent operations in place to detect fraud and to monitor suspicious activity".
"The success of The National Lottery is built on player trust - and the sentence handed down to Mr Nizzar provides clear evidence Camelot will not allow that trust to be undermined in any way."

Det Con Kate Carnally said: "Nizzar's actions were at best foolish, and at worst, extremely cruel.
"He knew this woman had a winning ticket and chose to lie to her, deliberately duping her out of a life-changing sum of money that would have meant financial security for her and her husband in their retirement.
"To cheat an elderly woman and try and claim the money for himself was both callous and underhand, but thankfully he did not get away with his scam."

She added: "Because of that, Nizzar has been brought to justice and just as importantly, the genuine owner of the ticket has been paid out what was always rightfully hers."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-19318742
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 01-09-2012 07:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

rynner2 wrote:
Seems a government crackdown is the reason we're getting more "Andy Pipkin" stories:

Government saves £100m in benefit fraud crackdown

http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_commons/newsid_9647000/9647611.stm

And here's another one:

Bristol couple sentenced for helping hula dancing benefit cheat

A mother and son who helped a benefit cheat fraudulently claim almost £100,000 have been sentenced.
Jacqueline Taylor, 65, and Jason Gubb, 47, both from Bristol, were employed as care workers of Abdul Esfandmozd.
Taylor was jailed for four months while her son received a suspended sentence at Portsmouth Crown Court.

Esfandmozd, of Portsmouth, pretended to use a wheelchair but was filmed hula dancing and diving into a swimming pool while on holiday.
He was jailed for four years earlier this month
For 10 years he claimed he was severely disabled and incapable of standing or walking except with crutches and reliant on a motorised wheelchair for mobility.
He obtained the direct payments from Portsmouth City Council on top of other benefits from the Department for Work and Pension (DWP), which totalled more than £140,000.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard he employed Taylor and Gubb as his care workers between 2000 and 2002.
Over that time Esfandmozd bought two properties and premium bonds with the help of Taylor and Gubb and their accounts.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that when Taylor was arrested she had £70,000 of Esfandmozd's money in her possession.

Both Taylor and Gubb pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Gubb said after his sentencing that he thought Esfandmozd was disabled, despite footage shown of them on holiday wrestling and rugby tackling each other to the ground.
He said: "Yes, I did think he was disabled. I still say that now, I thought he was disabled but obviously he wasn't. Rolling Eyes
"I say this now and I'll say it again - I'll will never ever do this again."

Throughout his trial, heard earlier in the summer, Esfandmozd remained in his wheelchair and continued to claim he was severely disabled.
But the jury saw six hours of his home videos filmed on trips abroad which showed him walking long distances, swimming, dancing and carrying a woman in his arms with no apparent physical difficulty.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-19441130
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 03-09-2012 12:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

Versatile chap.

Quote:
Double deceit? AIDS cure scammer accused of billion-dollar oil hustle
http://rt.com/usa/news/oil-hustle-aids-scam-099/
Published: 01 September, 2012, 05:24

A Pennsylvania man is facing 23 charges of fraud after allegedly swindling investors by telling them he owned $10 billion worth of Texan oil. It’s is not his first run-in with the law, as he has already served time in jail for an AIDS cure scam.

For more than a decade, Richard J. Harley claimed he owned 10 million barrels of oil on a land patch in Texas. He promised investors stellar profits if they could just spare some cash for him to pump out the crude.

Harley also claimed that his enterprise, RJH and Co. Inc., was a “vertically held integrated privately held holding company owning, controlling, leasing, developing, and administering assets in commercial and residential real estate, petroleum products, and commodities,” court documents state. RJH and Co. Inc. was claimed to have “unrestricted bond power” over Federal Reserve Bank instruments worth more than $700 billion.

Prosecutors say the black gold was bogus, and that the cash Harley took from investors went straight into his pocket.

And Harley, as it turns out, is a scammer with experience. In the 1990s he and his wife ran a hoax AIDS clinic that claimed it could rid patients of the deadly disease by pumping oxygen and ozone into their rectum. The couple made over $300,000 by tricking investors and patients, but were eventually caught. Harley was sentenced to five years in prison.

But soon after his release, Harley started RJH, the company prosecutors say was simply a new front for swindling cash from unsuspecting victims.

This time around, Harley was able to avoid the attention of the authorities for almost ten years. In 2009, after an investor won a $1.1 million judgment for a failed promise of $1 million in return for a loan of $239,500 to Harley and his wife, the FBI started paying close attention to the Pennsylvanian swindler.

Harley later tried to file three bankruptcy petitions loaded with false information about his assets and liabilities in an effort to cover up his schemes. He also attempted to secure a loan by depositing two $500 million checks that he claimed were issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, court papers say.

Harley now faces 15 counts of wire fraud, two counts of bankruptcy fraud, five counts of making false statements on bankruptcy schedules and one count of bank fraud. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 365 years.
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 25-09-2012 13:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heres a cracker: descended from the Habsburgs and had been a "hostage of the freemasons".

Quote:
French family hid in chateau 'under guru's spell'
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19711022

Jean Marchand (left) was one of the 11 allegedly conned by Mr Tilly

A French court is examining the case of a man who allegedly kept a wealthy family secluded in their chateau and then in England, after warning them that freemasons could kill them.

Thierry Tilly, 48, denied the accusations when he went on trial in the south-western city of Bordeaux.

It is alleged that he tricked 11 members of the aristocratic De Vedrines family for nearly a decade, to rob them of some 4.5m euros (£3.6m; $5.8m).

Mr Tilly claimed to be protecting them.

One of the family's lawyers, Benoit Ducos-Ader, described Mr Tilly as an "unusual guru".

"He's a liar and charlatan," said Ghislaine de Vedrines, who had presented Mr Tilly to her relatives after getting to know him in 1999.

"He kidnapped us, telling each of us different tales and inciting us against each other," the French newspaper Liberation quoted her as saying.

Laughter in court
Mr Tilly drew laughter in court on Monday when he introduced himself. He said he had been descended from the Habsburgs and had been a "hostage of the freemasons".

"At the age of 12 I jumped out of a Transall [plane], after [celebrated French soldier] Gen [Marcel] Bigeard gave me special dispensation," the defendant added.

He was arrested in Switzerland in 2009.

His alleged accomplice, Jacques Gonzalez, is due to appear in court next Monday.

Ten of Mr Tilly's alleged victims faced him in court - the grandmother named Guillemette died in 2010, aged 97.

It is alleged that the family of Protestant nobles lived as recluses in their chateau at Monflanquin, near Bordeaux, after he put them under his "mental spell".

They also spent some time in Oxford, England, still fearing that their lives were in danger, it is alleged.
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JamesWhiteheadOffline
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PostPosted: 25-09-2012 16:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a French tradition of scams which relied on anti-Masonic feeling to generate pity and fear. Usually the victims were aristocratic Catholic families, who were asked to contribute to a fund to rescue the Pope, supposedly held in captivity by the Masons, while an imposter reigned in his stead*.

Strange to find such an old tradition resurfacing with variations and Protestant victims! Shocked

*This scam from the 1890s was the basis for André Gide's novel Les Caves du Vatican, 1914
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