Tag Archives: FBI

Big East’s Big Scandal: How the Hall is Clearing Their Name

Posted by Hailey Arteaga.

One of the biggest businesses in America is college sports.  Men’s Basketball is the second highest grossing sport of colleges across the nation.  According to Business Insider, a Division 1 Men’s Basketball teams alone drive-in an average yearly revenue of $7,880,290 (Gaines).  With this much money being streamed to a school each year for a single sport, some critics of the NCAA believe that Division 1 players should receive a salary.  However, some schools took this idea to the next level.  In a recent scandal, the FBI uncovered around 25 D1 colleges committing acts of bribery and corruption in the sport of basketball in an article written by the New York Post (Masisak).  One college under fire for violating the NCAA rule is Seton Hall University.  Recently though, the University has argued that they “have nothing to hide” (Braziller).  So, who is in the wrong?  This post serves as an analyzation of Seton Hall’s past and the basketball allegations that might hurt the business of the athletics department.

The NCAA defines an “eligible” athlete as one that does not accept outside payments because of their athletic status.  This extends to a professional agent bribing players with food, rent, cash, etc.  (Athnet).  Seton Hall was named as one of the schools by the FBI. They reported that the university was paying now New York Nets player, Isaiah Whitehead, extra money to play for the Pirates.  Agents discovered a spreadsheet with players past and present from multiple universities indicating the amounts of money they were being paid to attend and play basketball at their schools.  The spreadsheet revealed that Whitehead in particular received $26,136 his freshman year and was “setting up a payment plan” (Braziller).  This would go against the NCAA rules of amateurism as stated previously.  In more recent news however, The Hall came out and stated that they will be bringing in New York City law firm, Jackson Lewis P.C. to disprove the corruption scandal (Braziller).  Kevin Willard noted regarding the development that “I have a lot of confidence in my staff and ourselves in what we’ve done in the past.  I’m glad the school moved quickly on this so we can move on from it.”  With such a strong assurance of the team’s actions, Willard and the university should be expected to move on from the situation unscathed.

If Seton Hall were to be found guilty of the corruption, it would greatly affect the basketball team and success of the athletic department.  It could potentially risk the Hall’s ability to compete in the NCAA tournament.  The payout for the 2017 NCAA tournament that Seton Hall earned for the Big East Conference last year was $1,711,784 (Kesselring).  This means that not only would an inability to compete in the tournament affect the university itself, but also it would affect the entire Big East Conference.  Some even argue that Seton Hall could risk their 2016 Tournament Champion Title or even Kevin Willard’s position as head coach.  In the end, Seton Hall is risking a lot putting their name in the forefront of one of the biggest, recent scandals to rock college basketball.  If found that they have been giving players money under the table, the university will immediately face heavy financial cuts due to their disobedience of NCAA rules, hurting other sports, other schools, and the entire conference.

Hailey is a student at the Stillman School of Business, Class of 2020.







FBI Legally Searched Hedge Fund Offices

Posted by Dan Lytle.

David Ganek, the former owner of a hedge fund in Greenwich, Connecticut, had lost his business in 2013, three months after an FBI investigation took place for alleged insider trading. Two years later, in 2015, Ganek attempted to sue the FBI for $400 million, citing “lost income and lost business reputation.” The reason Ganek went through with the lawsuit is because he did not believe it was fair to investigate his office when he was not involved with insider trading. However, the Second Circuit panel disagreed, saying, “there was at least a fair probability to think that his office was a place where evidence of an insider trading scheme would be found.” While some evidence was found to hold against Ganek, he was not ultimately charged for anything. Ganek still does not believe this was right to do, since it cost him his business. He said of the situation, “’this is a dangerous day for private citizens and a great day for ambitious, attention-seeking prosecutors who are now being rewarded with total immunity even when they lie and leak.’” Just recently, it was announced that Ganek had lost this case against the FBI.

In my opinion, the FBI was acting both legally and morally in searching the office of David Ganek for insider trading evidence. From a legal perspective, the FBI searched the office because they had reason to believe there was evidence present in order to uncover a larger insider trading scheme. Furthermore, morally, the FBI acted correctly, as their search aimed to crack down on insider trading. While I do believe that it is not right that FBI agents can be rewarded with immunity when investigating businesses, this is an exception, as the investigation of this “hedge fun and others sent shockwaves through Wall Street’ and led to the indictment of investment bankers and traders.” Therefore, while Ganek was not necessarily guilty of insider trading, the FBI was able to use information found throughout the raid of his hedge fund that led to the arrests of others, which is a crucial factor as to why Ganek lost this lawsuit.

Speaking legally, the FBI was protected under Amendment IV of the Constitution, which protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures. However, in this case, the FBI had probable cause to search Ganek’s hedge fund, as they believed that Ganek’s hedge fund was involved with an insider trading scheme. While the Fourth Amendment states that nobody can be unreasonably searched, it also mentions that “upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, persons or things [can] be seized.” In short, while Ganek did not agree with the ruling because he believed the FBI was granted “immunity” for searching his office and causing his hedge fund to fall apart, the reality is that the FBI acted legally according to Amendment IV.

Dan is a marketing major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2020.





The Three Stooges of Bucks County

Posted by Brennan Smith.

A judge, a deputy constable, and a supervisor of all police, fire, and emergency operations walk into a bar…

Although a common play on the setup of a hysterical joke, the indictment of John I. Waltman, Robert P. Hoopes, and Bernard T. Rafferty is not something the members of Bucks County and Lower Southampton Township are laughing about. The three men named are the judge, supervisor, and deputy constable—respectively—referenced above, who just got indicted for money laundering.

Here’s what happened: “The trio conspired to launder about $400,000 in funds represented by investigators to be the proceeds of health care fraud, illegal drug trafficking and bank fraud, according to a federal court indictment unsealed Friday morning, a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The men allegedly took laundering fees of $80,000,” (theintell.com). In order to launder the money, the trio went through a series of processes. One source of revenue, and by far the most prominent one, was through Raff’s Consulting LLC—a company with which Rafferty had full control—with which the three used “bogus documents” in order to turn a profit.

To understand how they did this, the facts of the case must be examined. Per the research done by theintell.com, Robert P. Hoopes would arrive to an office building in an unmarked Lower Southampton Township Police car, exchange the false documents for $100,000 cash, and bring the money back to the car (where John I. Waltman and Bernard T. Rafferty would be waiting). From there, Waltman and Rafferty would go to the Philadelphia Credit Union to deposit the money—after paying Hoopes and pocketing their own cuts—into the Raff’s Consulting LLC accounts. The operation lasted from June 2015 to November of 2016 with the trio laundering $400,000 between June and August of 2016—earning $80,000 in laundering fees (Philadelphia.cbslocal.com).

Because of their crimes, the FBI was forced to get involved and finally caught them in an undercover sting. The three will each face one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and three counts of money laundering. District Judge John I. Waltman has been suspended without pay, with the other two removed from their positions.

Brennan is a sports management and marketing major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2019.






CPAs: Criminal-Pursuing Agents

Posted by Michael Del Piano.

When people hear the word CPA, they think of an accountant that is normally behind a desk working on some taxes. However, this was not the case for Ronald L. Durkin. Durkin was not your ordinary accountant. Instead, he was an FBI agent that was working undercover to establish a business relationship between a crime ring and Durkin’s fake accounting firm. Durkin came into the face of danger early on in his investigation. When he was undercover eating dinner with some of the criminals, he accidentally pulled out his personal credit card to pay the bill. Luckily for him, he was able to get out of it by yelling at the waiter and accusing him of incorrectly charging them. This would not be the last time that Durkin would find himself in danger. On another occasion, Durkin was on SWAT duty and engaged in a fire-fight. After a great carrier, Durkin left the FBI to work in the private sector. Durkin worked for Arthur Andersen and then later was the partner in charge of fraud and misconduct for investigation for KPMG.

Another individual that did not follow the traditional path of traditional accountant was Letha Sparks. Sparks is well-known for her work of investigating a $100 million fraud involving life insurance policies. A&O Resource Managements Ltd.’s owners did not pay the premiums on the life insurance policies. Instead, they used the money to buy fancy cars and multimillion dollar homes.

Generally, people do not see accountants as crime fighters. However, forensic accounting has been widely used to catch white collar criminals. Accounting is one of the five “FBI Special Agent Entry Programs” that qualify an individual for possible employment. In fact, the FBI employs around 700 CPAs as special agents. They even have 600 forensic accountants employed. Another interesting fact is that not all of these forensic accountants that work for the FBI are CPA’s.

CPA’s and accountants greatly help the FBI catch criminals. I personally believe that it is important to let other people know the different kinds of roles that accountants can play. You do not always have to follow the traditional path of accountants and sit behind a desk doing taxes. There are other options available and the world needs forensic accountants to help catch criminals.

Michael is a graduate student in accounting with a certification in forensic accounting at the Feliciano School of Business, Montclair State University, Class of 2017.

United States V. Vania Lee Allen

Posted by Ismail Surakat.

This is a case between Southern District of Georgia and Vania Lee Allen, a native of Jamaica, who committed a fraud and falsely impersonating a United Sates FBI special agent in connection with an international lottery fraud arrangement based in Jamaica. According to the indictment, 30-year-old Vania Lee Allen was charged for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and also, impersonating United States employee. Allen and her co-conspirator from Jamaica illegitimately enriched themselves through fraudulent lottery plan, targeting elderly residents of Evans, Georgia.

According to this case, Allen traveled from Jamaica to United States in May 2015 and presented herself as an FBI special agent in order to convince her victim. Though, before getting to this stage, Allen had made some movement such as informing the victim by phone that they had won money in a lottery game and instructed them to make some certain payments to her co-conspirator in Jamaica for them to collect their lump sum winnings. She also discussed with a co-conspirator in Jamaica on how to impersonate an FBI using a fake law enforcement badge with the “FBI” logo and the words, “Federal Bureau of Investigation.” Upon arrival at the victim’s place, Allen presented as an FBI special agent and asked the victim to speak on-line with her co-conspirator in Jamaica. All of this was made to look real; no doubt elderly citizens can fall victim to this type of  fraudulent act.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Columbia County Georgia Sherriff’s Office, and is being prosecuted as well by Trial Attorney Clint Narver of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch and Assistant U.S.  Attorney Troy Clark of the Southern District of Georgia.

If Allen is eventually convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison for the wire fraud, five years for the conspiracy count, as well as, up to three years for the false impersonation count.

Ismail Surakat is a pre business major at Seton Hall University, Class of 2019.

Apple v. FBI

Posted by Renaldo Nel.

Judge, Sheri Pym, of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, recently ordered Apple to assist the FBI in an investigation involving the San Bernardino terror attacks. The Apple iPhone belonging to one of the shooters, Syed Farook, was recovered by the FBI. The FBI wants to gain access to the iPhone, but faces security software that will wipe the iPhone’s memory after 10 incorrect password attempts. As a result, the FBI wants Apple to provide them with software that will enable them to unlock Farook’s iPhone, as they believe there is possible evidence on the phone.

Apple has appealed the decision made by Judge Pym stating “writing code is like speech, and so the request is a violation of Apple’s First Amendment rights.” Apple also argues that the government should not have the power to order a private company to alter its product. Apple wants to protect their consumers as they believe that creating a backdoor in the software compromises the security of all iPhone’s, including, iPhone users’ personal information, such as bank accounts and medical records.

The Department of Justice’s argument is that “it a single request for a single phone, and doesn’t not create a back door for bad actors, but rather a front door for law enforcement only when it has a warrant.” The Department of Justice is basing its argument on the All Writs Act of 1789. Apple believes that this law can simply not be applied in modern times and is long overdue for amendment.

Many tech companies such as Microsoft, Facebook and Google have stated that they support Apple. I am also in support of Apple. Firstly, it is known fact that the FBI has been hacked in the past and the probability that the software that the FBI is asking for will be leaked is huge. It would be catastrophic if hackers could get their hands on personal information such as credit cards in the Apple Pay function. Secondly, one should also take into account that people place faith in Apple to protect their personal data and if Apple is forced to provide this “unlocking software” they could suffer huge financial losses. Furthermore, if Appel loses this case it sets precedent in the tech industry and companies would in future be forced “to modify their products, on spec, for the FBI in ways that are contrary to their core values.”

I understand that the FBI wants to solve the case and protect the country, however their proposal opens the door for many other evils.

Renaldo is an economics major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2019.





Keeping Our Country Safe – Cooperation in Business

Posted by Michael DeCandia.

The people support our government. The FBI is trying to keep our country safe from the terrorists that surround the world.  The FBI was trying to work with Apple to get the shooters phone so that the FBI would be able to access the password/information they needed to find where the shooter might be going next or where his next target might be. In the article, Why Apple vs. FBI Might be the Worst Cybersecurity Dilemma Ever states, “Apple argues that the FBI is imposing unfair burden on the company and is violating its right to freedom of speech.” In Apple’s eyes it may be an unfair burden, but the FBI is irritated that Apple will not work with them to stop an event from happening against the United States. Silicon Valley was scared that the FBI would over rule the tech industry and companies would not be able to protect their future products.

Individual devices and our national security are very important things when helping protect in the United States. The NSA and other organization like the CIA or the FBI are designed to keep the nation safe from any attacks. If this event were to happen in the future with a more serious group of dangerous people how would the people feel about their safety? In the article Why Apple vs. FBI Might be the Worst Cybersecurity Dilemma Ever states, “The US government has helped develop and spread user-friendly encryption technologies for precisely this reason.”

Criminals may feel safer that they will never get caught communicating, but for right now this is the best option for the people. By working together with technology companies the government can stop more criminals lurking on the Internet today. The more the people in our country work together, the more we can accomplish to make our country a safer place.

Michael is a marketing major at the Feliciano School of Business, Montclair State University, Class of 2018.

Tim Cook says the FBI wants Apple to ‘Hack’ Your iPhone

Posted by Andres Garcia.

Following the explicit shooting in San Bernardino, California, the FBI insisted Apple create a software that would aid them in their process of investigation. The proposed software would be inserted into the iPhone device belonging to one of the suspects in the mass shooting. The FBI asked Apple, Inc. after they could not guess the shooter’s password.

Apple, Inc. opposed the request and did not want to search their servers for the correct password. However, on Tuesday February 16, 2016, the court ruled that Apple must assist the FBI by handing out such private and confidential information. The decision enraged Apple CEO, Tim Cook, he stated that the verdict would invade the privacy of Apple customers.

I would definitely agree with Apple CEO, Tim Cook; the government ruling will greatly affect many personal lives. The decision may be unethical. I believe the government was in favor of the FBI. The court only looked at how the decision will positively affect the FBI at the moment. However, there can be harsher repercussion for individuals in our society. By granting the FBI permission to search someone’s data and information, the US government is essentially attacking a person’s privacy and security. The decision will sooner than later lead to more hackers infiltrating our personal devices.

Andres is an accounting major at the Feliciano School of Business, Montclair State University, Class of 2019.

Apple and the Government

Posted by Abul Hasnat Juned.

Apple Inc. and the U.S. government are headed to court because the government is trying to force Apple to hack into the iPhone of the dead San Bernardino attacker, Syed Rizwan Farook. The reason why the government’s wants to access Farook’s phone is that it may contain evidence regarding the San Bernardino shooting in which he killed 14 people.

Investigators are trying to find out what happened and also if there were any other collaborators from ISIS. Last month, Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym ordered Apple to create software to help the FBI disable security features on the phone. Also, the magistrate judge ordered Apple to make software that erases all the information from the phone if a password is wrongly entered more than ten times. If Apple creates such software, the FBI would be able to electronically run possible combinations to open the phone without losing data.

On the other hand, Apple risks losing business if they help the government in unlocking phones, because it would undermine the privacy of its customers. Apple wants to show that they are true to their customers. By taking a stand, they might bring in more consumers. There is also another risk for the Apple Company in unlocking the phone because phones could possibly be accessible to hackers and other countries. Companies, such as, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft are offering their support for Apple and using it as a market strategy to gain respect from the public.

Cindy Cohn, executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said, “It’s too much for the government to conscript a company into writing code that undermines the security of the products they sell.” While the government says that Apple has helped them to extract data from such phones at least 70 times for law enforcement, Apple says the government is trying to force them to create a software that does not exist. Apple is arguing that the government is violating the company’s constitutional rights by threatening the privacy of its customers. Apple is taking a stand not only for their customers’ privacy, but also for the company’s profit because if they help the government to access the phone, their business profits would rapidly drop.

Abul is an accounting major at the Feliciano School of Business, Montclair State University, Class of 2019.

Apple Ordered to Unlock Terrorist’s iPhone

A district court judge has ordered Apple to unlock a cell phone used by one of the shooters in the California massacre. Apple is fighting the order, claiming that doing so could make it easier to for anyone to hack into phones.

Apple has secret keys that can open up the software that it will not give to the FBI. The FBI also wants Apple to create a program that will permit it to hack into phones at anytime. The problem lies with a toggle in “Settings” that will make the phone delete all information on it if someone fails to put in the right passcode more than 10 times. This would make it impossible for the FBI to use a program that can guess random codes.

The case has Fourth Amendment implications for various reasons, including conscripting a private entity to become a government agent.