June 19, 2018

Hear How Malaysian Money Illegally Financed a Hollywood Movie at the ACFE Global Fraud Conference

global fraud conference

Clare Rewcastle Brown was in Malaysia investigating deforestation when she uncovered a corruption scandal that would lead her to Hollywood, the U.S. government, Las Vegas, diamond jewelry, rare art, and more..

1MDB, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, was set up to stimulate the country’s economy. Instead, it became a personal bank account for the country’s elite. Investigators say at least $4.5B was misappropriated from the fund.

Following the money trail led Brown and other investigators to $30 million spent on jewelry for a Malaysian politician’s wife, $250 million for a 300-ft yacht, a $30 million penthouse once owned by Beyoncé and Jay-Z, $25 million in gambling accounts at Las Vegas casinos, $8 million in jewelry that wound up in the hands of Australian model Miranda Kerr, and $100 million in art.

The Wolf of Hollywood

That’s where the story starts to get interesting. $3.2 million was spent on a Picasso, which was given to actor Leonardo DiCaprio as a birthday present. But the connection to Hollywood and DiCaprio doesn’t end there. $100 million was sent to Red Granite Pictures, which financed the DiCaprio-led and Oscar®-nominated The Wolf of Wall Street.

Red Granite recently reached an undisclosed settlement with the U.S. government. Kerr and DiCaprio have both returned their gifts.

There are a lot more juicy details to this story, but why read about them here when you can get them from the source? You can hear Brown’s full story and more at the upcoming 29th Annual Association of Fraud Examiners Global Fraud Conference.


Learn more or register now >


Power up your fraud network, skills, and career

The ACFE Global Fraud Conference will be held from June 17-22 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

In addition to Clare Rewcastle Brown, the keynote speakers are:

  • Bryan Fogel, Academy Award® winner, director and writer of ICARUS
  • Martin Ford, futurist, artificial intelligence expert, and author of New York Times bestseller, Rise of Robots
  • Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol

Why else should I attend?

Attending the conference will earn you up to 40 CPE credits.

You’ll boost your fraud-fighting skills by choosing from 100+ educational sessions led by experts from the world’s top organizations. Hear their stories, learn practical skills, and return to the office with strategies you can use in your organization.

And you can plug into a network of 3,000+ attendees. Having a strong network can be a valuable asset in the fight against fraud.

98% of last year’s attendees said they would recommend the conference to a colleague and that the information they learned will help in their daily job responsibilities. So unless you’re part of the 2% of people who never like anything, you’ll probably enjoy yourself and gain some useful skills.

Ready to go?

Does the conference sound like something that interests or could benefit you? Click the link below to learn more about it or register now.

Power up at the ACFE Global Fraud Conference >>

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Give It Up Tax Protesters, You’re Just Screwing Yourselves

Of the adherents of strange and puzzling belief systems – 9/11 Truthers, Fed groupies, Cubs fans – few work so hard to screw themselves as tax protesters.

By their own account, twww.rothcpa.com/archives/000480.php”>spend “thousands of hours” reading their arcane tracts, expanding on theories of why the 16th Amendment is a figment of our imagination, or why a gold-fringed flag means you’re in an admiralty court, which somehow undoes the income tax.


Or why the federal tax law only covers the District of Columbia and federal forts, or why Section 861 says U.S. source income isn’t taxable. The result? They still owe the taxes, penalties, and maybe $25,000 idiot fees from the tax court – and that’s if things go well. If they go badly, they go very badly.

Every year the IRS updates its handy debunking of tax protester arguments. It does little good. You can spend hours trying to talk tax protesters out of their ideas, but they move effortlessly from one gold-fringed bad idea to another, and they can almost sound like they make sense, until you get outside and get some fresh air. But there is one common problem in all of these “Tax Honesty” arguments: they don’t work.

No matter how convinced you are that Irwin Schiff’s theories of the income tax are true, that there is no income tax, all of the federal judges think there is one. So does the IRS, the Federal Marshals Service, and pretty much everyone in the Bureau of Prisons. What they say trumps what Irwin says, which is why the poor man is likely to die in jail.

But what about the glorious courtroom triumphs of Lloyd Long, Vernice Kuglin and Tom Cryer? They were acquitted by juries! Yes, these guys beat criminal charges. Why the juries voted the way they did, we’ll never really know. Maybe they were nullifiers, striking a blow against the income tax. Maybe they decided that the defendants really believed their schtick, so they didn’t “willfully” fail to pay their taxes. But these acquittals debunk the income tax only if the O.J. acquittal debunks California’s murder statute. Even though these guys didn’t go to jail (unlike many, including their pied piper, Irwin Schiff), they still have to pay their taxes.

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking “Of course he says that. He does taxes for a living. He’s in on the conspiracy!” If so, come on. If this stuff actually worked, I wouldn’t grind my way through every tax season pretending there is an income tax. If it worked, I would just talk to a few of my wealthiest clients, work out a deal to take 5% of their income for the next 10 years in return for making their taxes go away, wave my wand, and spend March in Mesa.

But here I am, grinding out those returns. That no more makes me “pro-tax” than believing in germ theory makes a doctor “pro-bacteria.” Still, if you really want to ruin your financial life, you’re welcome to choose your poison. But first ask yourself: are all of these big companies and rich guys who pay taxes crazy or stupid? Or is it just you?