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Fraud Artists More Skillful

A new FBI report on financial crime trends finds that in healthcare, more frauds involve medical professionals harming patients in furtherance of their schemes. For example, frauds now involve unnecessary surgeries, weakened cancer drugs, and bogus lab tests.

The report, Financial Crimes Report to the Public, also examines crime trends in corporations, mortgages, identity theft, insurance, telemarketing, and asset forfeiture/money laundering.

In mortgage fraud, the trends include equity skimming and more sophisticated property flipping. Property flipping involves purchasing property, fraudulently appraising it at a higher value, then quickly selling it to an associate, who may sell it to another associate, and so on. When no payments are made, the unsuspecting lender forecloses on the property, only to find that it is hugely overvalued and must be sold at a cost well below the amount of the loan, leaving the lender with a loss. Property flipping is a long-time scam, according to the report, but it is becoming more sophisticated, with criminals incorporating identity theft, straw borrowers, and shell companies into their schemes. Find the report at SM Online.