Magazine article The CPA Journal

Website of the Month: Financial Fraud Law

Magazine article The CPA Journal

Website of the Month: Financial Fraud Law

Article excerpt

The Financial Fraud Law website, at www.financialfraudlaw.com, is a useful destination for current events and resources relating to financial fraud issues. Because it is a commercial web-site supported by a financial services industry publisher, some of the materials can only be accessed by paid subscribers. Public users, however, will find the site's free resources interesting, up to date, and worthwhile.

The homepage is organized around the site's main resources. Public users can access certain articles and a law blog; subscribers can access articles and reports prepared by the website's board of expert contributors. The public access law blog and articles are highlighted on the homepage, and stories are marked as most recent and most read, as well as marked with popular tags. General users can also view brief abstracts of the subscriber materials and access a complete sample issue of the Financial Fraud Law Report.

Free Resources

The law blog offers about four new articles per day on current events in the financial fraud arena, dating back to June 2009. Some of these blog articles offer summaries of subscriber-only reports. The articles can be scanned by date or by an index of 60 keyword tags, such as accounting fraud, embezzlement, financial regulatory reform, money laundering, SEC, and tax fraud. Readers may want to check out the Top 10 category, which links to the site's interesting and probably controversial list of the most notable 10 people in financial fraud law in 2010.

The financial fraud tag contains more than 200 entries, such as "CFO and Son Linked to Ponzi Scheme Plead Guilty," which covers the activities of father-and-son accountants in defrauding investors in a fictitious wholesale grocery distribution business. One report by a mobile communications industry group indicates that 70% of mobile phone spam is financial fraud and categorizes spam attacks as phishing, social engineering, or premium rate fraud. A recent posting summarizes five key factors in the 2008 financial and economic crisis, such as widespread failures in financial regulation and a breakdown in corporate governance.

Tax fraud is another topic covered extensively on the blog, with over 70 articles. For example, "'Dirty Dozen' Tax Scams of 2011" reports on the top offenses identified by the IRS, including offshore accounts, identity theft, tax preparer fraud, and false tax return filings. In addition, it contains contact information for the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit. Another article reports on the arrest of five tax preparers in New York for filing false tax returns, as the result of investigations and undercover work by the Nassau County District Attorney's office and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. "DOJ Aims at Fraudulent Claims for the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit" covers 19 specific cases in which tax preparers filed false claims for the credit, with one preparer filing as many as 180 fraudulent returns.

An excellent collection of two dozen financial fraud-related websites can be found on the "resources for subscribers" page, which public users may miss. The links include such sites as the Center for Internet Security, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and the National Security Agency. The Financial Fraud Law "resources" page also connects directly to specific information, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) "Financial Crimes Report to the Public" and the U. …

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