For those who think using old-fashioned checks is the way to avoid Internet scamsters, an enterprising group of criminals has found a high-tech way to steal from them, too.An unknown band of thieves believed to be based in Russia hacked into several websites for businesses that store check images online. The accurate information they obtained—including names, account numbers and signature images—combined with easy-to-acquire software and printers enabled them to submit for payment checks seemed legitimate, the Associated Press reports. Not only do the banks have little reason to suspect the checks, the vicitms themselves do not know their accounts were ever compromised. So the odds of the bad checks going through are high, and the scam continues to add new victims to the $9 million or so in fake checks already written.“Check counterfeiting is kind of old school, but these guys have figured out how to make it highly automated,” says Joe Stewart of SecureWorks, … [Read more...] about Hackers Find a Way to Steal Some $9M from Writers of Paper Checks
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As I always tell my clients, knowledge is power. Although getting a divorce can be devastating, frightening, and unsettling, there are ways you can take control to put yourself in a better position. Here are a few things you should keep in mind as you begin to plan for your divorce: Know Your AssetsMany times couples divide their duties and responsibilities, and one party is left in charge of the finances, while the other doesn’t pay much attention to the status of the accounts. If you are anticipating a divorce, make copies of statements for all bank accounts, investment accounts, and retirement accounts. It doesn’t matter whether the accounts are in joint names or individual names. If they were accumulated during the marriage, they will be subject to equitable distribution, and it is important that you know where all assets are, as well as account numbers and balances.Of less importance are deeds to real estate and car titles, although these documents will be necessary … [Read more...] about How to Prepare for Divorce Financially
In the wake of divorce, many families find themselves emotionally and financially devastated. If you're in the heat of a legal battle, it's easy to go too far and create acrimony with your ex-spouse which can poison any chance at a cordial future relationship–and drain both sides' bank accounts to pay for attorney fees. But what if if didn't have to be that way? Podcast TranscriptStephanie Francis Ward: Family lawyers aren’t cheap. Many people can’t afford them, and those who can sometimes spend much more than they anticipated, particularly when emotions take over. Are there ways to cut costs while still helping people resolve their legal issues fairly and ethically? I’m Stephanie Francis Ward, and on today’s Asked and Answered podcast, we’re discussing an initiative in Colorado which aims to do exactly that.Joining me are two guests, Rebecca Love Kourlis, a retired Colorado Supreme Court justice who now is Director of the Institute for the … [Read more...] about How these law students help costs and acrimony for divorcing couples (podcast with transcript)
The documents necessary for the I-829 petitions differ depending on the “inputs” for the economic report that was attached to the I-526 petition. The I-829 filing must document the foundation facts that were contained in the economic report. Depending upon the economic methodology used, the investor may need to prove some or all of the following:ExpendituresRevenuesDirect employeesOccupancy ratesSquare footageNumber of tenantsOther facts depending upon the bases of the economist’s projectionsThe below list is intended to give guidance on what documents should be collected based on the particular “input” used in typical economic reports. We suggest that this information be compiled or reviewed at least quarterly.ExpendituresInvoices for expenditures (construction, renovations, etc.) with copies of corresponding wire transfers or cancelled checks to show payment of costsAuditor’s report on expenditures (if available)Detailed spreadsheets of … [Read more...] about How Do You Prove Job Creation at the I-829 Stage?
In an attempt to limit the flight of deposits from insured depository institutions resulting from the 2008 fiscal crisis, Section 343 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act provided temporary, unlimited deposit insurance coverage for non-interest bearing transaction accounts (“Transaction Accounts”) at all depository institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for a period of two years starting December 31, 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Deposit Insurance Program”).1 Effective January 1, 2013, the Dodd-Frank Deposit Insurance Program expired and, as a result, deposits in excess of $250,000 in Transaction Accounts maintained by banking customers at FDIC-insured depository institutions will no longer be insured by the FDIC in the event that the insured institution fails.Following the termination of the FDIC’s unlimited deposit insurance program, certain insured depository institutions (smaller or … [Read more...] about The End of Unlimited FDIC Insurance: How Banks Can Retain—and Depositors Can Protect—Their Uninsured Deposits
Promoting stronger cultures at financial industry firms was the theme of a workshop held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York this past week. Also last week, the Inspector General of the Federal Reserve System acknowledged the FRB NY’s own supervisory weaknesses that caused it not to review trading activity early on in the Chief Investment Office at JPMorgan Chase that ultimately led to losses of over US $6 billion by the end of 2012—the so-called London Whale incident.As a result, the following matters are covered in this week’s Bridging the Week:Senior Fed Officials Encourage Financial Industry Firms to Improve Compliance Culture (includes Culture and Ethics);CFTC Proposes More Specific Standards to Bar Accountants From Practicing Before It; Federal Reserve Inspector General Finds Deficiencies in Regulatory Oversight of London Whale Risks;Six Federal Agencies Adopt Final Rules Regarding Skin in the Game for Sponsors of Certain Asset-Backed … [Read more...] about Better Culture; Accountants; London Whale; Asset-Backed Securities; Collusive Activity; Cybersecurity – Bridging the Week: October 20-27, 2014 [VIDEO]
Since the 1990’s the information explosion has drastically increased the ability to share information and also the ability to steal information. Former FBI undercover operative Eric O’Neill is widely credited with bringing down America’s most notorious spy, Robert Phillip Hanssen. At Inside Counsel’s Super Conference, Eric gave the first day’s Keynote address where he outlined how Corporation’s can learn some lessons from the Hanssen case.As an undercover surveillance specialist, O’Neill was trained to watch, profile and follow people. In 2001, O’Neill was approached by his superiors to investigate special agent Robert Hanssen. O’Neill was assigned as a direct report of Hanssen’s and on his first day of work, Hanssen introduced O’Neill to “Hanssen’s Law.” “Hanssen’s law” was that the spy is always where he has access to the information that he knows he can use to … [Read more...] about What Corporate America Can Learn from America’s Greatest Spy. Corporate Data Security Quick Reminders.
On January 26, 2011, the IRS "moved East" in its attack on foreign banks and their U.S. customers with undisclosed offshore accounts. The Department of Justice indicted Vaibhave Dahake, an Indian-American businessman in New Jersey, for conspiring with several bankers at an "International Bank" to maintain undisclosed accounts with the bank's offshore division, and thereby avoid his U.S. tax obligations. Press reports have identified the "International Bank" as global banking giant HSBC, which has substantial operations in India. Many observers have long suspected that Asia (particularly India, Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea) as well as Israel and other places outside Europe were now "where the money is" and the number of accounts/account holders in these places dwarfs even the 52,000 who reportedly had accounts at UBS. IRS is also said to be sifting through the information provided by taxpayers who made voluntary disclosures already to identify other banks to which some UBS accounts … [Read more...] about “Tax Amnesty” Is Still An Option: IRS Offers A “Second Chance” To Taxpayers With Undeclared Foreign Accounts And Holdings
Introduction Empowered by the Reserve Bank of India ( “RBI” ) Act, 1934 and the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, RBI has taken several initiatives in the recent past for ensuring development of technical and institutional infrastructure to meet the electronic payment system and banking needs of the country. With the increasing usage of mobile phones, mobile banking has become the latest banking method. In addition, for e-commerce transactions a gradual shift to cashless and online payments is happening in India. The banking and financial environment in India is changing and moving towards internet banking, online payments and e-banking, thereby compelling the regulatory bodies to react and provide secured environment for such transactions and the regulations to handle legal issues arising out of such electronic or mobile transactions.The electronic payment system in India is burgeoning to match the international banking standards and cope up with the … [Read more...] about Banking System: Catching Up With The New Age Methods
The government has announced that the legal tender character of banknotes in denominations of ₹ 500 and ₹ 1000 stands withdrawn.In consequence thereof, withdrawn old high denomination (OHD) notes cannot be used for transacting business and/or store of value for future usage. The OHD notes can be exchanged for value at any of the 19 offices of the Reserve Bank of India or bank branches or head post office or sub-post office. Since the announcement, many questions are being asked about depositing currency notes in banks. Revenue secretary Dr. Hasmukh Adhia tried to allay fears regarding action by the Income Tax Department with respect to old currency deposited in banks. Here is what he has to say:Q.1 A lot of small businessmen, housewives, artisans, workers may have some cash lying as their savings at home, will the Income Tax department ask questions if the same is deposited in banks?A.1: Such group of people as mentioned in the question need not worry about such … [Read more...] about Q&A On IT Dept’s Action On Old Currency Deposits In Banks