Rapid City Man Indicted for Theft of Federal Funds
Rapid City, South Dakota (September 27, 2017) Kevin S. Lewis, age 55, was charged on September 19, 2017. The charges relate to Lewis, while employed as the managing attorney for Dakota Plains Legal Services, taking money rightfully belonging to Dakota Plains Legal Services.
Box ElderWoman Sentenced for Theft of Government Property
United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Box Elder, South Dakota, woman convicted of Theft of Government Property was sentenced by Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken, U.S. District Court.
Preventing Checking Account Fraud through Bank Reconciliations and Positive Pay
As part of its Fraud Corner Series, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is providing Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Grantees with the following information on “best practices” to potentially aid grantees in identifying or preventing fraudulent activity. The purpose of this article is to remind grantees of check and bank frauds that impact LSC funds and to update previously recommended steps to counteract such attempted frauds with information regarding available technology.
Former Director of Information Technology at Legal Aid Society of Orange County Indicted for Theft
On May 22, 2018, Christoffer Denney, former Director of Information Technology (IT) at the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, Inc. (LASOC), was indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. The indictment charged Denney with theft related to his use of a LASOC credit card to purchase sports trading cards (sports memorabilia).
Payroll and Direct Deposit Phishing Schemes
In recent weeks, two cybercrimes involving “phishing” emails targeting LSC program online payroll accounts were reported to the OIG; in these instances, the perpetrators were able to redirect direct deposits from employee payroll accounts to the perpetrator’s account. Thieves continue to implement new tactics to trick accounting and human resource officials to update employee direct deposit information, which could lead to the theft of the employee’s payroll check. Malicious actors may impersonate a trusted person or a person of authority to entice an employee to perform certain payroll related actions. Once the employee makes a direct deposit change based upon a fictitious email request, the thief has access to the employee’s payroll disbursement. Employees who use a self-service portal to update their personal information, such as bank routing and account numbers, are particularly vulnerable to this type of scam.
Spoofing Calls – Use of LSC’s Main Number to Defraud Consumers
The Legal Services Corporation (LSC), Office of Inspector General (OIG), has been made aware that LSC’s main number telephone was compromised in a spoofing scam. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB)1, spoofing scams are committed by individuals who use technology to modify caller ID information to trick individuals into believing that an incoming call is local, or from someone they know. The scammers engage the individuals in conversation attempting to gain personal identifying information and/or elicit money. This scheme is known as “spoofing” or “spoof calling.”
Rapid City Man Sentenced for Theft of Federal Funds
United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Rapid City, South Dakota, man convicted of Theft from Program Receiving Federal Funds was sentenced by Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken, U.S. District Court.
Unauthorized Outside Practice of Law(Fraud Alert)
Travel Reimbursement Fraud
An OIG investigation led to a former employee of an LSC Grantee agreeing to plead guilty to two counts of theft from a program receiving Federal funds. The former employee was a Program Manager overseeing a grant that utilized the services of volunteers and interns. The investigation found that the Program Manager submitted false travel claims for the volunteers and interns and then deposited the reimbursement checks into the Program Manager’s personal bank account. The individuals to whom the reimbursement checks were written had no knowledge that the travel claim had been filed in their name or that the reimbursement checks had been cashed and the funds retained by the Program Manager.