Daily Archives: November 13, 2015

Hired-gun hacking played key role in JPMorgan, Fidelity breaches

When U.S. prosecutors this week charged two Israelis and an American fugitive with raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in one of the largest and most complex cases of cyber fraud ever exposed, they also provided an unusual look into the burgeoning industry of criminal hackers for hire.

The trio, who are accused of orchestrating massive computer breaches at JPMorgan Chase & Co (>> JPMorgan Chase & Co.) and other financial firms, as well as a series of other major offences, did little if any hacking themselves, the federal indictments and a previous civil case brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission indicate.

Rather, they constructed a criminal conglomerate with activities ranging from pump-and-dump stock fraud to Internet casino break-ins and unlicensed Bitcoin trading. And just like many legitimate corporations, they outsourced much of their technology needs.

“They clearly had to recruit co-conspirators and have that type of hacker-for-hire,” said Austin Berglas, former assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s New York cyber division, who worked the JPMorgan case before he left the agency in May. “This is the first case where it’s that clear of a connection.” Berglas, who now heads cyber investigations for private firm K2 Intelligence, said additional major cases of freelance hacking will come to light, especially as more people become familiar with online tools such as Tor that seek to conceal a user’s identity and location.

Read on.

In Duel With Valeant, Ackman; Is Judge David Carter The “New Jed Rakoff?”

Via NewYorkShockExchange.com,

The U.S. is the most incarcerated country in the world. According to Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted The Great Recession And The Pain Ahead, at 2011 the U.S. had 743 prisoners per 100,000 members of the population; Rwanda (595) and Russia (568) were next. Remarkably, there was a dearth of white collar crimes after the financial crisis of 2008. In his rejection of an SEC settlement with Citigroup, Judge Jed Rakoff vowed to “see that the truth emerges.” After presiding over the most high-profile insider trading cases since the crisis — including Raj Rajaratnam and Rajit Gupta — Judge Rakoff has come to symbolize the mantra that “nobody is above the law.” In determining that Valeant and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman must face insider trading charges for their failed takeover of Allergan, U.S. District Judge David Carter may be the “new Rakoff.”

Wednesday Judge Carter in Santa Ana, California, said Valeant and Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman must face a lawsuit accusing them of insider trading in botox maker Allergan prior to Valeant’s unsuccessful takeover bid:

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of investors who sold Allergan shares in the two months before the defendants on April 22, 2014 announced an unsolicited $51 billion bid for Allergan.

Pershing had by then quietly amassed a 9.7 percent stake in Allergan, which soared in value after the bid was announced. Investors said Pershing bought those shares knowing that Valeant was preparing a bid that could, and later did, become hostile … the judge, without ruling on the merits, found “serious questions” as to whether “substantial steps” had been taken toward a possible hostile bid, which would have required Valeant to disclose more or Ackman to stop his buying.

UK Authorities Charge 10 In Euribor Rate-Rigging Scheme

Law360, New York (November 13, 2015, 2:29 PM ET) — The United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office on Friday charged 10 former Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays PLC employees in connection with manipulation of the Euro Interbank Offered Rate, or Euribor — the first criminal proceedings initiated against anyone involved in the rate-fixing scheme.

Six of those charged once worked at Deutsche Bank and four at Barclays, the SFO said, noting that criminal proceedings against others involved in the scheme will be coming as the investigation continues. All 10 — Christian Bittar, Achim Kraemer, Andreas Hauschild, Joerg…

Source: Law360

Hausfeld Announces $120 Million Settlement With Barclays in LIBOR Litigation

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hausfeld, a global claimants’ law firm dedicated to handling complex litigation, announced today that the Over-The-Counter (“OTC”) Plaintiffs in In re LIBOR-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation, 11-md-2262 (S.D.N.Y.) have reached a $120 million settlement with Barclays Bank plc. In addition to the substantial monetary compensation, Barclays has agreed to cooperate with the OTC Plaintiffs in their continued litigation against the other bank defendants.

The LIBOR litigation stretches back to 2011, when the City of Baltimore and other purchasers filed lawsuits against Barclays and other international banks alleging that they conspired to artificially suppress the U.S. Dollar LIBOR rate during the financial crisis. In June 2012, Barclays admitted to manipulating LIBOR in settlements with U.S. and U.K. regulators. The settlement with the OTC Plaintiffs was achieved shortly before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on whether the plaintiffs’ antitrust claims should be reinstated after they were dismissed by the trial court.

Read on.

FTC Shuts Down 12 ‘Rogue’ Debt Collectors

Debt collectors allegedly told a consumer’s 84-year-old mother they had a warrant for her daughter’s arrest in one case. They told another she wouldn’t be able to see her children. A different collector allegedly kept harassing consumers over outstanding payday loans it had acquired, even after it was told by the seller the debts were invalid.

All the firms who allegedly took part in those practices are out of or temporarily banned from the debt collection business, the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday. As part of its Operation Collection Protection, the agency announced a crackdown involving 30 new law enforcement actions by federal, state and local authorities.

“Being in debt is stressful enough for manyAmericans without also being subjected to intimidation and false threats,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a prepared statement. “Debtors have certain rights and rogue collectors that step outside the law will face the consequences of illegal behavior.”

One of the cases involves a KIP LLC, run by a married couple in Aurora, Ill. The FTC says Charles and Chantelle Dickey threatened and intimidated consumers to pay payday loan debts they either did not owe, or did not owe to the defendants.

Read on.

89-year-old veteran and wife could be evicted after abrupt foreclosure

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) – An 89-year-old World War II U.S. Navy veteran and his wife are in danger of losing their home after attorneys say their mortgage company foreclosed their home and sold it without their knowledge.

From the old world touches to the heirloom furnishings, the Conway’s condo in Bloomfield Hills is a home decorated with love – one that Raymond Conway and his wife of 61 years, Mary Jane, planned to grow old in, not one they ever imagined they would be fighting to keep.

But that’s the tough reality the couple is facing now, after their mortgage company abruptly told them the condo is no longer theirs.

“I used to care about the fact that I might run out of money before I run out of breath. There’s some truth to that,” Raymond Conway said.

Attorney Richard Klamka said the Conways sought help a few months ago, when they fell behind on payments.

“We took action immediately, I mean immediately, as soon as we found out, ‘Whoa, there may be a problem here. We’re starting to get foreclosure notices,'” Klamka said.

Read on.

Jamie Dimon makes his case for keeping big banks big

Sounds like Jamie was not happy of the former Citigroup CEO’s recent op-ed that the big banks are too big to fail…

J.P. Morgan Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon wants to convince Americans that big banks are good for the country.

“You need [big banks]. If you break them up, somebody else is going to do it and it will be [the] Chinese and if you think that’s going to be good for the future of America, I beg to differ,” Dimon recently told CNNMoney.

In a wide ranging interview that covered several topics from economic growth to income inequality, Dimon emphasized the importance that banks like his play in the nation’s economy.

J.P. Morgan’s $2 trillion in assets makes it one of the few banks that can raise huge sums of money for clients around the world — a service that Dimon suggests wields power for the U.S. “You need to be a big global bank to do that,” said Dimon.

Read on.