Tag Archives: Fraud

Republicans Set Up Fake Websites for Democratic Candidates

Fake Democratic Websites

If you can’t win, cheat! The National Republican Congressional Committee appears to have set up at least 16 websites made to look like official campaign sites for Democratic candidates.

The National Republican Congressional Committee bought up hundreds of URLs ahead of the 2014 election cycle to trick democratic donors into donating to the wrong party. At first glance, the websites appear fairly legit – until you read the fine print. The websites feature photos of the candidates with logos and slogans in the candidate’s typical design and colour scheme as well as donation forms that accept credit cards and encourage viewers to contribute up to $500. Except instead of the donations going to the Democratic candidates, it goes to the NRCC.

For viewers who read the text, it quickly becomes apparent that this is not the candidate’s official website, but rather a smear campaign. The websites display disclaimers that they are funded by the NRCC at the bottom – and while they’re not technically considered fine print, they’re certainly a lot smaller than the big donate button that users can click to send money to the NRCC.

The NRCC believes the well-thought out, well-planned program is pure genius.

“The idea is people who are looking for information on the candidate, one of the places we all go now is online and so this is a way for folks to find out more about the candidates and information they may not find on the candidate’s own site,” said Daniel Scarpinato, the NRCC’s press secretary.

”Well, we are very proud of this program.”

And it seems to be working too. Some “low information” voters have been tricked into donating to the wrong party. One retired Florida man decided that he wanted to make a donation in a local congressional race so googled the Democratic candidate’s name, “Alex Sink.” The search result he clicked on happened to be the NRCC’s mock website. After entering his financial information, he saw read the smaller text and realized he’d made a terrible mistake.

But what else are the Republicans going to do besides resort to dishonesty and fraud? Run on their record? I don’t think so.

Via: Los Angeles Times

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There’s No Fraud Like EPA Fraud

Beale EPA Fraud

A former high-ranking U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official who pretended to be a CIA agent to avoid work was sentenced to 32 months in prison on Wednesday.

John Beale, 65, began his EPA trickery back in 2000 when he started telling people he needed to take off one workday a week for CIA missions. The former EPA senior policy adviser continued to take enjoy his paid one day vacations until 2008, when he decided he needed a bit more time. So he took off for about six months, telling managers and employees he was working on the research project or working for “Langley,” where the CIA is based.

When asked what he was doing when he claimed he was working for the CIA, Beale said, “I spent time exercising. I spent a lot of time working on my house.” Huh. That sounds like the opposite of exciting, top secret CIA missions.

But taking time off work wasn’t Beale’s only fraud-related activity. He also made the EPA pay for first class plane fare every time he travelled because of a “back injury” – including five trips to Los Angeles for purely personal reasons.  The court documents revealed that one flight to London cost taxpayers $14,000, when a coach ticket would have cost just $1,000.

Beale also received a special handicap parking space at the EPA, worth $8,000 over three years, by claiming he contracted malaria while in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. Note: Beale never served in Vietnam and has never had malaria.

Beale decided to retire in 2011, telling his EPA coworkers that the CIA needed him. However, he kept drawing his large paycheck for another eighteen months. By the time he “officially retired” in April after learning the feds were on to him, Beale was earning a salary and bonuses of $206,000 a year, making him the highest paid official at the EPA. But eventually, after 12 years of “secret CIA missions” and indulgent expense reports, Beale got caught.

In September, Beale pleaded guilty to defrauding the U.S. government out of nearly $900,000 and this week he was ordered to pay back the money and also agreed to forfeit about $507,000 more. In addition, he received a sentence of 32 months in prison for stealing government property.

 “Why did I do this? Greed – simple greed – and I’m ashamed of that greed,” Beale told the court.

Well, at least he’s being honest. Now….

Via: NBC News

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