by Douglas Sughrue, Esq. Douglas Sughrue, Esq. No Comments

Payroll processing company ADP targeted by alleged scam

Some Pennsylvania residents may have been victims of identity theft in the weeks leading up to the 2015 tax return deadline. Stealing a taxpayer’s personal information in order to collect a refund in their name has become a popular scam. Scammers looking for tax refund money have now targeted payroll information belonging to companies like Seagate and Snapchat.

White-collar crimes involving tax refunds usually require payroll data, and scammers have now found a way to access an immense collection of payroll data. A payroll processing company called ADP has been targeted, and an unknown number of false tax returns may have already been filed using some of the company’s payroll data. ADP prints paychecks for 610,000 companies.

One of the companies that hires ADP to print its payroll checks is U.S. Bancorp, which has about 64,000 employees. Some of the employees at U.S. Bancorp were victims of security breaches when scammers set up fake accounts through an ADP portal. To create a false tax return, the scammers would have to have a U.S. Bancorp employee’s personal information including their birth date, full name and Social Security number.

Much of the fraud that goes on today happens over the Internet, and it can be difficult for investigators to identify the person responsible for a specific alleged scam. A criminal defense attorney representing a person who has been accused of stealing personal identifying information to commit acts of fraud may choose to combat the charges by challenging the way that the prosecution obtained its alleged evidence.

Source: Consumerist, “New Payroll Fraud Variation: Scammers Gain Access To Corporate ADP Accounts,” Laura Northrup, May 3, 2016

by Douglas Sughrue, Esq. Douglas Sughrue, Esq. No Comments

Money laundering charges

Pennsylvania residents or companies may be charged with the federal crime of money laundering if they conceal or disguise funds that were obtained through criminal activities. It is rarely the only charge, as money laundering accompanies other crimes. Without financial proceeds from criminal activities, there can’t be money laundering.

Because it involves hidden or disguised money, the crimes that are combined with money laundering are typically financial crimes. Bank fraud, health care fraud and Ponzi schemes are some of the crimes that often accompany money laundering. A person who is accused of trafficking drugs or participating in organized crime may also be accused of money laundering. Some of the federal statutes that address money laundering concern international bulk cash smuggling, financing of terrorism and unlicensed money transmitting businesses.

There are many different ways that a person or organization could launder money. An individual may conceal funds that were obtained through criminal activities by hiding cash or purchasing a lot of valuable goods. A company could use fraud to disguise funds that were obtained through criminal activities to look like profits earned from a legitimate business. International bank accounts or international transfers are sometimes used to hide money that was obtained through criminal activities.

A person charged with money laundering could argue for dismissal if there is little proof that the money in question was obtained illegally. White collar crimes typically require an extensive investigation that may begin before charges can be filed. People who are being investigated for these types of financial crimes may want to have representation from a criminal defense attorney as soon as they are made aware that they are a target.