Latest News

Cyber Victims Psychology: It’s Not Just Ones and Zeros

Georgia State University Chair of Criminal Justice Richard Wright notes in his recent TEDTalk that there’s a dramatic crime shift from street crime to digital crime. Accordingly, we have a whole new class of victims. In fact, frauds on the Internet are increasing exponentially. In one scam alone, the FBI estimates that victims paying ransoms for their data hijacked via encryption increased from... READ MORE»

Cyber Hackers Psychology: It’s Not Just Ones and Zeros

Two international computer hackers (Aleksandr Andreevich Panin, a/k/a Gribodermon, of Russia, and Hamza Bendelladj, a/k/a Bx1, of Algeria) were recently sentenced in Federal Court in Atlanta to a combined 24 years, six months in prison for their roles in developing and distributing the prolific malware known as SpyEye. The sentences reflect the grave harm these hackers caused worldwide. The... READ MORE»

Corporate Cooperation: Fact or Fiction?

Americans’ perception that bankers and Wall Street fat cats escaped accountability for their role in the recent financial crisis has not gone unnoticed by the Department of Justice (DOJ).  The difficulties in prosecuting these executives has left the Department of Justice defending its record. In an attempt to address the issue of individual accountability for their conduct inside a... READ MORE»

How To Explain the Mortgage Fraud Crisis: A Nash Equilibrium or a Nash Conspiracy?

The recent passing of Princeton University Nobel Laureate in Economics, Professor John Forbes Nash, Jr., more popularly known as the paranoid-schizophrenic genius featured in the 2001 movie A Beautiful Mind (inspired by Sylvia Nasar’s biography and starring Russell Crowe), is an appropriate time to admire Nash’s work and consider its applicability to the field of Behavioral... READ MORE»

The Atlanta Public Schools Cheating Scandal – A Crop of Corrupt Educators

The Atlanta Public Schools (APS) cheating scandal will go down as the worst public schools governance failure in United States history.  The cheating involved administrators and teachers systemically altering the test results of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) given to Georgia students in grades first through eighth. What Happened? The story began to unravel in 2008 when the... READ MORE»

S&P Settles With DOJ: One of Many Market Participants

This article taken is taken from my blog at and was titled “Bad Apples, Bushels, and Crops.  What About a Bad Farmer’s Market?”  This bizarre title is inspired from the thesis of the book A.B.C.’s of Behavioral Forensics (John Wiley & Sones, 2013).  The ABC Book very adeptly describes how a bad corporate culture can can engulf the entire... READ MORE»

Attorney-Client Privilege in Internal Investigations Reaffirmed

Analysis:  In re:  Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., No. 14-5055 (D.C. Cir. June 27, 2014) The attorney-client privilege in internal investigations appears to be as strong as it was 33 years ago when the United States Supreme Court affirmed its existence in Upjohn Co. v. United State, 449 U.S. 383 (1981).  This is good news for companies and their in-house and outside counsel that represent... READ MORE»

Chinese Military Officials Indicted for Hacking U.S. Companies

For the first time ever, a United States grand jury indicted five Chinese military officials for hacking American companies.  The charges include economic espionage, theft of trade secrets, computer fraud, accessing a protected computer, transmitting code with intent to damage a computer, and aggravated identity theft.  Do not expect the accused to be tried anytime soon – – China is... READ MORE»

Judge is Alleged to have Conspired to Plant Methamphetamine on an Innocent Citizen

Former Murray County Chief Magistrate Judge Bryant Cochran was charged in a six count federal indictment on May 13, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia with offenses that included planting methamphetamine on an innocent citizen according to facts revealed in both the indictment and the prosecutor’s press release.  If true, corruption that makes it way to the Georgia judiciary is very disturbing.... READ MORE»

Does the SEC’s practice of extracting a civil fine from a corporate defendant only to return the money to shareholders make economic sense?

Emory School of Law Assistant Professor Urska Velikonja attempts to answer this question in an article titled “Public Compensation for Private Harm:  Evidence from the SEC’s Fair Fund Distribution.” The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 expanded the SEC’s ability to compensate investors by allowing the agency to distribute collected civil fines through a program known as the “Fair Fund.” ... READ MORE»

Should Stockbrokers Disclose Their Exam Failures?

A recent study by the Wall Street Journal shows a correlation between the number of times a broker fails the examination to become licensed by a state (Series 63 exam) and the number of red flags.  For example, those who failed the test more than twice, 77% were more likely to report a felony or financial-related misdemeanor and 55% more likely to have been terminated.  Further, the Journal’s... READ MORE»

Bankruptcy Filing by Stockbrokers May be Red Flag

Do you want to know if your stockbroker has filed for bankruptcy?  The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) does, and apparently for good reason.  A recent study by the Wall Street Journal shows that stockbrokers that did not report their bankruptcy to FINRA were more likely to have three or more red flags on their records.  Brokers that do not report their bankruptcies per FINRA... READ MORE»

Burrell Ellis Secretly Recorded

Burrell Ellis, the removed CEO of DeKalb County, has been secretly recorded by  DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James’ Office using two law enforcement methods, a wiretap and audio-videotape by an informant.  Both of the these techniques are being contested by Mr. Ellis.  A wire tap court order, which can be obtained from a DeKalb County Superior Court Judge, is presumptively... READ MORE»

FCPA Violation

The CEO of PetroTiger Ltd. pleaded guilty on February 18, 2014 to a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  According to the charges, the CEO and other defendants bribed a Colombian official to secure an oil services contract.  In an separate scheme, defendants were charged with attempting to secure kickback payments from an acquisition target.  You can read more at... READ MORE»