Nigerians Arrested In One Of The Largest Cases Of Fraud In US History

The scammers have scammed Americans to the tune of $1.1bn between Jan-July this year alone.

Here is a video of the press release by FBI on Nigerian internet scam syndicate.

LOS ANGELES: The United States Attorney’s office says Thursday most of the defendants are Nigerian citizens.

After search warrants were executed at multiple locations across L.A. County on Thursday morning, federal prosecutors declared a 252-count indictment that accuses eighty individuals within the U.S. and Federal Republic of Nigeria of taking part in a very "massive conspiracy to steal several million dollars through a range of fraud schemes."


Press Conference 
The defendants allegedly laundered the funds through a Los Angeles-based concealing network. Eleven of them were arrested Today in Southern California, while three others were taken into custody elsewhere in the U.S., according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.



Two were already in federal custody on different charges, and one was arrested earlier this week. The remaining defendants that are believed to be abroad, most of them in Nigeria, authorities confirmed.

According to the indictment, the suspect used business email compromise frauds, romance scams and schemes targeting the aged people to scam victims out of millions of dollars.

The co-conspirators allegedly contacted Valentine Iro, 31, of Carson, and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, of Gardena, both Nigerian citizen, for bank and money-service accounts that can receive funds fraudulently obtained from victims.

Scammers

"These victims are used primarily as money mules, by allowing their bank accounts to be used to transfer stolen funds," said FBI Assistant Director in Charge Paul Delacourt.

The criminal complaint says Iro and Igbokwe, that were among the suspects arrested today, conducted schemes that resulted in the transfer of a minimum of $6 million in fraudulently obtained funds.

"The overall conspiracy was responsible for the attempted theft of at least $40 million," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Trump on rape accuser: 'She's not my type'


The US President Donald Trump on Monday yet again smartly denied allegations by a magazine advice editorialist that he sexually molested her in the Nineties in a new york retail store

dressing room, adding: "She's not my type."


Trump created the comment in an interview with the Hill, a political news outlet, that touched on the allegations from E.


Jean Carroll, who says in her new book that the alleged rape occurred in the mid-1990s.

"I'll say it with great respect: number one, she's not my type.

Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?


" Trump aforesaid in the interview, which was conducted in the Oval Office.

The president further added that Carroll was "totally lying" when she made her claims.

"I know nothing about this woman. I know nothing about her," he said.


Carroll's account, revealed last week in an excerpt of her new book that was published by New York magazine, makes her at least the 16th woman to have accused Trump of sexual misconduct before he became president.


She said that in a chance encounter at the Bergdorf Goodman store in Manhattan, Trump -- then a real estate developer -- asked her for advice on buying lingerie for an unnamed woman.

Then jokingly, they each suggested that the other should try it on.


"The moment the dressing-room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and puts his mouth against my lips," wrote Carroll,

who works for Elle magazine.


Pinning her against the wall, Carroll says, Trump proceeded to drag down her tights, unfasten his pants and penetrate her -- all whereas himself totally dressed -- till she finally

managed to push him out and run from the room.


On Monday, Carroll told CNN that he "just went at it" when he trapped her.

"It was a fight," she said.


"With all the fifteen ladies or sixteen who have stepped forward, it is the same.

He denies it. He turns it around. He attacks. And he threatens."


Carroll never visited the police because, she said, she was fearful of repercussions.

US capital sues Facebook over Cambridge Analytica data breach accusations



The attorney-general for Washington, DC, said on Wednesday the US capital city had sued Facebook Inc for allegedly misleading users about how it safeguarded their personal data, in the latest fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The case joins several legal and regulatory proceedings that threaten to hit Facebook with significant penalties and increase its operating costs.

Authorities and consumer advocates have questioned whether Facebook’s efforts on security, content moderation and cultural diversity have kept pace with the social responsibility it should have for its services, including WhatsApp and Instagram, which are essential communication tools for more than 2 billion people each month.

The world’s largest social media company has drawn global scrutiny since disclosing earlier this year that a third-party personality quiz distributed on Facebook gathered profile information on 87 million users worldwide and sold the data to British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

Washington, DC, attorney-general Karl Racine said Facebook misled users because it had known about the incident for two years before disclosing it. The company had told users it vetted third-party apps, yet made few checks, Racine said.

“This continues a year of bad publicity and significant issues for [Facebook], making it more likely that the US government will take action to penalize and/or regulate” it, said financial analyst Scott Kessler of CFRA Research. “Yet, we still see its fundamentals as healthy and valuation as attractive.”

Facebook shares suffered their biggest drop since July 26, closing down more than 7 percent at US$133.24 on Wednesday, extending a roughly five-month stretch since the company warned that profit margins would erode in coming years because of consumer and government pressure to better guard data and suppress objectionable content.


“Facebook could have prevented third parties from misusing its consumers’ data had it implemented and maintained reasonable oversight of third-party applications,” according to the lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of Washington, DC, on Wednesday.

Facebook said in a statement, “We’re reviewing the complaint and look forward to continuing our discussions with attorneys general in D.C. and elsewhere.”

The court could award unspecified damages and impose a civil penalty of up to US$5,000 per violation of the district’s consumer protection law, or potentially close to US$1.7 billion, if penalized for each consumer affected as is typical. The lawsuit alleges the quiz software had data on 340,000 DC residents, though just 852 users had directly engaged with it.

‘Confusing settings’

Facebook offered separate privacy settings around 2013 to control what friends on the network could see and what data could be accessed by apps, enabling the quiz and other services to collect details about their users’ Facebook friends without many of them realising it, according to the lawsuit.

It further alleges Facebook misled users by allowing several partners, including mobile software maker BlackBerry, “to override Facebook consumers’ privacy settings and access their information without their knowledge or consent.”

The New York Times reported new details on Tuesday about the user data that remained available to such partners years after they had shut down the features that required them. Facebook acknowledged the lapse, but said that it has not found evidence of wrongdoing by those partners.

Racine criticized Facebook’s “lax oversight and confusing privacy settings,” telling reporters that Facebook had tried to settle the case before he filed suit, as is common during investigations of large companies.

He said that a lawsuit was necessary “to expedite change” at the Silicon Valley company.

Britain’s data protection authority in July fined Facebook 500,000 pounds for the breaches of data in the Cambridge Analytica incident.

Since then, Facebook has disclosed a pair of security breaches involving profile data and posts of up to 29 million users and 6.8 million users, respectively.

At least six US states have ongoing investigations into Facebook, according to state officials.

In March, a bipartisan coalition of 37 state attorneys wrote to the company, demanding to know more about the Cambridge Analytica data and its possible links to US President Donald Trump’s election campaign.

At the same time, the Federal Trade Commission took the unusual step of announcing an investigation into whether Facebook had violated a 2011 consent decree, exposing the company to a multi-billion dollar fine.
State attorneys general have found some success taking on technology companies over data privacy. Uber Technologies Inc in September agreed to pay US$148 million as part of a settlement with 50 US states and Washington, D.C., which investigated a data breach that exposed personal data from 57 million Uber accounts.

Agnieszka McPeak, a professor at Duquesne University School of Law, said states will likely make claims similar to those of DC, pressuring Facebook into a settlement that involves both a monetary fine and modified business practices.

“If a company faces 51 separate actions around the country for deceptive practices, that can have a real impact,” McPeak said.




CRED

Miss Universe 2018 - Philippines' Catriona Gray wins

Miss Universe 2018 - Philippines' Catriona Gray 

MANILA, Philippines - Christmas came early to the Philippines as Catriona Gray bested 93 other aspirants for the 2018 Miss Universe crown in ceremonies staged at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday morning to becoming the fourth Filipino woman to win the crown.

She received her crown from last year's winner Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa.

Nel-Peters' compatriot Tamaryn Green failed to score a back-to-back victory for their country and settled for second place. Venezuela's Sthefany Gutierrez came in third.

The representatives from Vietnam and Puerto Rico, both strong and popular contenders, cracked the Top 5.

Philippines' Catriona Gray crown Miss Universe 2018

The 94-candidate haul this year is the biggest in the pageant's 66-year-history.

During the final round of questioning, the final three were asked about the most important lesson they learned in their lives.

Gray shared her experience working in the slums of Tondo, Manila, and looking at the "silver lining" through the smiles of the children there.

She hopes to inspire a feeling of being grateful "where negativity will not foster, and the children will have smiles."

This year, the global tilt had its first all-female panel of judges.

The esteemed group of women includes two Filipinos - US-based international fashion designer Monique Lhuillier, and Richelle Singson-Michael, daughter of former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis "Chavit" Singson, who organised the 65th Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines.

They were joined by former Miss Universe winners Porntip Nakhirunkanok of Thailand (who now goes by the name Bui Simon) and Michelle McLean of Namibia who won her crown in Bangkok in 1992.

Miss Philippines with performer Ne-Yo

Also in the panel were entrepreneurs Liliana Gil Valetta, Iman Obou, and Janaye Ingram.

As in the previous year, the Miss Universe pageant selected semifinalists based on geographical regions. Five delegates were chosen each from the Americas, Europe, and Africa and Asia-Pacific. Five more "wildcard" aspirants were included, regardless of the continent from where their countries are located.

The pageant also paid tribute to Spain's Angela Ponce for breaking barriers by being the first transgender woman to reach its global stage.

"I don't need to win Miss Universe, I just need to be here," Ponce said in Spanish in a pre-taped segment shown live during the telecast. She received a standing ovation from the judges and the audience.

The other Filipino Miss Universe winners were Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran (1973) and Pia Wurtzbach (2015).

Steve Harvey hosted the ceremonies for the third straight year, with Grammy-winning RnB artist Ne-Yo performing.



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Johnson & Johnson shares plunge after the report on asbestos in baby powder

US pharmaceutical and cosmetics group Johnson & Johnson

The controversy has long dogged the company, which has been facing a wave of several thousand court cases claiming the baby powder is causing cancer

NEW YORK: US pharmaceutical and cosmetics group Johnson & Johnson saw its shares plunge Friday after a media report alleged the group had deliberately concealed for decades that its baby powder sometimes contained asbestos.

A lengthy investigation by the Reuters news agency, which reviewed thousands of company documents, showed the company marketed talc-based products that, at least between 1971 and the beginning in the 2000s, sometimes contained asbestos.

The company’s executives, researchers, doctors and lawyers were aware but deliberately chose not to disclose this information and not to refer it to the authorities, according to the report.
Johnson & Johnson strenuously rejected the claims made in the article, calling it “one-sided, false and inflammatory.”

“Simply put, the Reuters story is an absurd conspiracy theory,” the company said in a statement. “Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is safe and asbestos-free.”
J&J stock closed down more than 10 per cent at $133 on the New York Stock Exchange, its worst one-day fall in 16 years.

The controversy has long dogged the company, which has been facing a wave of several thousand court cases claiming the baby powder is causing cancer.

In July, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $4.7 billion in damages to a group of 22 women claiming to have developed ovarian cancer following the use of the powder.
The company said Friday there were rigorous tests showing the talc did not contain the cancer-causing mineral.

In addition, “J&J has cooperated fully and openly with the US FDA and other global regulators, providing them with all the information they requested over decades.”

According to Reuters, the company also tried, unsuccessfully, to block regulations that lower the maximum level of asbestos allowed in talc-based cosmetics.



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