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Companies are missing opportunities to mine big data to reduce fraud risk and improve anti-bribery compliance

March 28, 2014 Comments off

Companies are missing opportunities to mine big data to reduce fraud risk and improve anti-bribery compliance
Source: Ernst & Young

EY’s 2014 global forensic data analytics survey, Big risks require big data thinking, highlights that 63% of senior executives surveyed at leading companies around the world, agree that they need to do more to improve their anti-fraud and anti-bribery procedures, including the use of forensic data analytics (FDA). The survey polled over 450 executives in 11 countries, including finance professionals, heads of internal audit, compliance and legal, about their use of FDA in anti-fraud and anti-bribery compliance programs.

The survey also finds that 87% of respondents indicate that regulatory requirements, including anti-corruption laws and recent enforcement trends, are a driving force behind the design and use of FDA, with almost half indicating that these regulatory developments are a top five factor. Bribery and corruption is reported as the top perceived risk at 65%, which aligns well with the finding that 74% report using FDA to combat bribery and corruption. Other perceived significant fraud risk areas, such as asset misappropriation and financial misstatement, are also priority areas for FDA attention.

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Crime and Mental Wellbeing

March 27, 2014 Comments off

Crime and Mental Wellbeing (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

We provide empirical evidence of crime’s impact on the mental wellbeing of both victims and non-victims. We differentiate between the direct impact to victims and the indirect impact to society due to the fear of crime. The results show a decrease in mental wellbeing after violent crime victimization and that the violent crime rate has a negative impact on mental wellbeing of non-victims. Property crime victimization and property crime rates show no such comparable impact. Finally, we estimate that society-wide compensation due to increasing the crime rate by one victim is about 80 times more than the direct impact on the victim.

Juvenile Arrests 2011

March 25, 2014 Comments off

Juvenile Arrests 2011
Source: office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

As has been the case in general for the past decade, juvenile arrest data for 2011 provide reasons for encouragement. Overall, arrests in 2011 were down 11 percent from 2010 and down 31 percent since 2002.

Although juvenile arrest rates for many crimes are at their lowest levels in more than 30 years, many states and communities are instituting legislative, policy, and practice changes to reduce juvenile arrests even further. As a growing body of evidence underscores the corrosive effects that system involvement and confinement can have on healthy adolescent emotional, mental, behavioral, and social development, many jurisdictions are examining and developing ways to divert nonserious offenders from entering the system. With time, the cumulative effects of these and other reform efforts, such as trauma, mental health, and substance abuse screening and assessment for youth upon intake, should result in a system where arrests are rare, all youth are treated fairly, and when a youth enters the system, he or she receives much-needed treatment and services. Such changes would undoubtedly provide positive and healthy outcomes for youth, families, and communities.

100 Best Practices in Child Protection

March 25, 2014 Comments off

100 Best Practices in Child Protection (PDF)
Source: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (The Protection Project) and International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children

Children are among our most vulnerable populations. The injustices many children suffer are unspeakable and occur in all corners of the globe, in all walks of life. The term “child protection” is very broad and can encompass a wide range of issues. Custody and support, child abuse and neglect, violence against children, child prostitution, child pornography, sex tourism, child labor, and trafficking in children are just some of the issues that arise when discussing child protection. Civil society organizations and government agencies are actively working around the world to address many of these problems and to better provide broad protections for children.

The Protection Project at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children encourage the dissemination of information on child protection best practices. This guide is intended to offer examples of some successful initiatives undertaken by civil society organizations as well as individuals and government agencies concerned with protecting children around the world.

The document is divided into seven parts—Part I focuses on child protection principles and definitions; Part II highlights several child protection measures and services; Part III presents initiatives focused on the protection of children in the family and community; Part IV looks at programs aimed at the protection of children from sexual exploitation; Part V includes examples of projects focused on the protection of children from economic exploitation; Part VI looks at the protection of children in situations of emergency, including armed conflict; and Part VII features the protection of children in the justice system. This division of issues follows the topics addressed by the “Child Protection Model Law – Best Practices: Protection of Children from Neglect, Abuse, Maltreatment, and Exploitation” another publication based on a joint research inititative of The Protection Project and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

Use of Social Media Networks and Mobile Phone Applications for Reporting Suspicious and Criminal Activities on Mass Transit

March 24, 2014 Comments off

Use of Social Media Networks and Mobile Phone Applications for Reporting Suspicious and Criminal Activities on Mass Transit
Source: Naval Postgraduate School

From the thesis abstract: “The threat of terrorism remains in the forefront daily, and public transportation systems remain a preferred target for terrorist attacks. Mass transit customers have long served as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the public transportation environment. In support of the Department of Homeland Security’s See It Say It campaign, mass transit customers contribute to this effort by reporting suspicious and criminal activities on subways and buses. The use of social media networks and mobile phone applications by mass transit law enforcement is slowly evolving as a tool for reporting suspicious and criminal activities on subways and buses. By reviewing the data and current use of social media networks and smartphone applications such as by mass transit law enforcement agencies, this thesis demonstrates that citizens want to play a role in assisting law enforcement in solving crimes. Mass transit law enforcement agencies can leverage community involvement and reduce crime by providing customers with an anonymous means for reporting suspicious and criminal activities. However, whether the use of social media networks and smartphone applications have resulted in an increase in reporting suspicious and criminal activities and a reduction in crime is unresolved, warranting future study in this area.”

Cybersecurity in the Golden State: How California Businesses Can Protect Against and Respond to Malware, Data Breaches and Other Cyberincidents

March 24, 2014 Comments off

Cybersecurity in the Golden State: How California Businesses Can Protect Against and Respond to Malware, Data Breaches and Other Cyberincidents
Source: California Department of Justice
From press release:

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued recommendations to California businesses to help protect against and respond to the increasing threat of malware, data breaches and other cyber risks.

The guide, Cybersecurity in the Golden State, provides recommendations focused on small to mid-sized businesses, which are particularly vulnerable to cybercrime and often lack the resources to hire cybersecurity personnel. In 2012, 50% of all cyber attacks were aimed at businesses with fewer than 2,500 employees and 31% were aimed at those with less than 250 employees.

New Digital Economy Task Force Report Addresses Digital Economy, Illicit Activity

March 21, 2014 Comments off

New Digital Economy Task Force Report Addresses Digital Economy, Illicit Activity
Source: Thomson Reuters and the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children

The Digital Economy Task Force (DETF) sponsored by Thomson Reuters and the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) today released its report on the emerging digital economy and recommendations for policy makers, financial institutions, law enforcement and others to encourage its growth while preventing the sexual exploitation of children and other criminal activity.

The digital economy and anonymizing technology hold great promise and societal value, from offering financial tools to the world’s unbanked, to protecting dissidents and journalists from unjust government reprisal, said Rubley. But these benefits are clouded by those who use and exploit the digital economy to commit illegal acts. While these are all complicated issues, we believe that a regulatory framework can grow the digital economy and confront those who seek to exploit it for illicit purposes.

The recommendations offered by the DETF include: private and public sector efforts to continue research into the digital economy and illegal activities; invest in law enforcement training; rethink investigative techniques; foster cooperation between agencies; promote a national and global dialogue on policy; and more.

The central challenge is Internet anonymity. There is an emerging “dark web” that enables users to pay for their illegal transactions using digital currencies,” said Allen. “There is a difference between privacy and anonymity. We simply cannot create an environment in which traffickers and child exploiters can operate on the Internet with no risk of being identified unless they make a mistake.”

Clergy as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect

March 20, 2014 Comments off

Clergy as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

This factsheet discusses laws that require members of the clergy to report cases of suspected child abuse and neglect. The issue of whether a member of the clergy can claim privileged communications as a reason for not reporting also is discussed. Full-text excerpts of laws for all States and U.S. territories are included.

Delays in Youth Justice

March 18, 2014 Comments off

Delays in Youth Justice (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

Historically, the American juvenile justice system has sought to take an individualized approach to each case, focusing more on solving problems than on punishing offenders. But solving problems related to human behavior takes time and can collide with the principles of swift and certain intervention. Delays in the processing of youth through the justice system can have negative results not only for the youth themselves but also for their families and communities.

Improving the timeliness of the justice process is far more than a technical matter for managers and judges; it is a critical part of policy and practice in ensuring the juvenile justice system fulfills its basic mission.

This bulletin reviews a research effort in juvenile case processing that looked at two information sources, a nationwide sample of counties and an indepth investigation of three Midwestern courts…

See also: Young Offenders: What Happens and What Should Happen (PDF)

Audit of the Department of Justice’s Efforts to Address Mortgage Fraud

March 18, 2014 Comments off

Audit of the Department of Justice’s Efforts to Address Mortgage Fraud (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General

DOJ and its components have repeatedly stated publicly that mortgage fraud is a high priority and during this audit we found some examples of DOJ-led efforts that supported those claims. Two such examples are the Criminal Division’s leadership of its mortgage fraud working group and the FBI and USAOs’ participation on more than 90 local task forces and working groups. However, we also determined during this audit that DOJ did not uniformly ensure that mortgage fraud was prioritized at a level commensurate with its public statements. For example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal Investigative Division ranked mortgage fraud as the lowest ranked criminal threat in its lowest crime category.1 Additionally, we found mortgage fraud to be a low priority, or not listed as a priority, for the FBI Field Offices we visited, including Baltimore, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. We also found that while the FBI received $196 million in appropriated funding to investigate mortgage fraud activities from fiscal years 2009 through 2011, in FY 2011 the number of FBI agents investigating mortgage fraud as well as the number of pending investigations decreased.

Profiling parental child sex abuse

March 18, 2014 Comments off

Profiling parental child sex abuse (PDF)
Source: Australian Institute of Criminology

Public policy initiatives to redress parental child sexual offenders have been hindered by the absence of an offending profile that characterises this core group of intrafamilial offenders. Drawing on data from a sample of 213 offenders, this study augments knowledge about sex offender typologies by identifying ten key descriptive features of parental offenders.

The findings revealed that parental sex offenders have a distinctive profile unlike that of other child sexual offenders and are more criminally versatile than presupposed. This may provide useful information to support clinical practice and preventive interventions aimed at increasing offender desistance and reducing threats to the safety and welfare of young children and their families.

UK — Cyber security skills: a guide for business

March 17, 2014 Comments off

Cyber security skills: a guide for business
Source: Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, Cabinet Office and Government Communications Headquarters

This guidance sets out a range of government and industry-supported cyber security skills activities and initiatives. It details how individual businesses can find out more, and participate and benefit from the initiatives.

Violence against women: an EU-wide survey

March 14, 2014 Comments off

Violence against women: an EU-wide survey (PDF)
Source: European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
From Summary Report:

Violence against women undermines women’s core fundamental rights such as dignity, access to justice and gender equality. For example, one in three women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15; one in five women has experienced stalking; every second woman has been confronted with one or more forms of sexual harassment.

What emerges is a picture of extensive abuse that affects many women’s lives but is systematically underreported to the authorities. The scale of violence against women is therefore not reflected by official data.

This FRA survey is the first of its kind on violence against women across the 28 Member States of the European Union. It is based on interviews with 42,000 women across the EU, who were asked about their experiences of physical, sexual and psychological violence, including incidents of intimate partner violence (‘domestic violence’). The survey also included questions on stalking, sexual harassment, and the role played by new technologies in women’s experiences of abuse. In addition, it asked about their experiences of violence in childhood. Based on the detailed findings, FRA suggests courses of action in different areas that are touched by violence against women and go beyond the narrow confines of criminal law, ranging from employment and health to the medium of new technologies.

FTC Announces Top National Consumer Complaints for 2013

March 14, 2014 Comments off

FTC Announces Top National Consumer Complaints for 2013
Source: Federal Trade Commission

Identity theft continues to top the Federal Trade Commission’s national ranking of consumer complaints, and American consumers reported losing over $1.6 billion to fraud overall in 2013, according to the FTC’s annual report on consumer complaints released today.

The Commission received more than two million complaints overall, as reported in the agency’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2013, of which 290,056, or 14 percent, were identity theft related. Thirty percent of these incidents were tax- or wage-related, which continues to be the largest category within identity theft complaints.

The highest reported age group for identity theft is 20-29, with 20 percent of complaints. Rich says that educating consumers on this topic is a top priority for the agency. Some of the FTC resources include Signs of Identity Theft, Immediate Steps to Repair Identity Theft, and How to Keep Your Personal Information Secure.

Of the more than 1.1 million fraud complaints (classified separately from identity theft) the Commission received, 61 percent of consumers reported an amount of money they had paid, which collectively added up to more than $1.6 billion.

Bipartisan Policy Center’s Experts Publish Recommendations to Improve Preparedness for a Cyber Attack on the North American Electricity Grid

March 12, 2014 Comments off

Bipartisan Policy Center’s Experts Publish Recommendations to Improve Preparedness for a Cyber Attack on the North American Electricity Grid
Source: Bipartisan Policy Center

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) today published a new report through its Electric Grid Cybersecurity Initiative with recommendations on how to better prepare for cyber attacks against the electric grid. The report is authored by the initiative’s co-chairs General (Ret.) Michael Hayden, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency; Curt Hébert, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and former executive vice president of Entergy Corporation; and Susan Tierney, former assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Energy.

Cyber attacks on key energy infrastructure, including the electricity system, are increasing in terms of frequency and sophistication. Electric grid failures are costly and have the potential to profoundly disrupt delivery of essential services, including communications, food, water, health care and emergency response. In light of these developments, BPC convened the Electric Grid Cybersecurity Initiative – a hybrid project of BPC’s Energy and Homeland Security Projects – to tackle these challenges.

Caught In The Scammer’s Net: Risk Factors That May Lead to Becoming an Internet Fraud Victim, AARP Survey of American Adults Age 18 and Older

March 12, 2014 Comments off

Caught In The Scammer’s Net: Risk Factors That May Lead to Becoming an Internet Fraud Victim, AARP Survey of American Adults Age 18 and Older
Source: AARP Research

The present study surveyed some 11,271 individuals age 18 and older nationally and in 12 state oversamples. The survey sought to answer the following questions:

1. Are there behaviors and life experiences that may increase a person’s risk of becoming a victim of online fraud?
2. What proportion of individuals nationally, and in particular target states may be at risk of being victimized by online fraud?
3. How concerned are Americans about online fraud and what if any steps are they taking to protect themselves?

Data from this national and multi-state survey of over 11,000 online users also shows that Americans are very concerned about online fraud, yet many avoid taking basic precautions to protect themselves.

Medicaid Fraud Control Units Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Report

March 11, 2014 Comments off

Medicaid Fraud Control Units Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Report
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General

WHY WE DID THIS STUDY
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) OIG is the designated Federal agency that oversees State Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCU or Unit). This MFCU Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Annual Report highlights statistical achievements from the investigations and prosecutions conducted by the 50 MFCUs nationwide. The report also explores relevant policy issues that affect Medicaid fraud work and describes oversight activities undertaken by OIG. This report represents a new effort by OIG to compile in one document information about MFCU activities and results, and we anticipate issuing annual reports for future years.

HOW WE DID THIS STUDY
We based the information in this report on an analysis of data from six sources: (1) Quarterly Statistical Reports submitted by Units; (2) supplemental data collected from Units for this FY 2013 MFCU Annual Report; (3) HHS OIG exclusion data; (4) information gathered through onsite reviews; (5) MFCUs’ Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with their State Medicaid agencies; and (6) the annual reports of individual MFCUs. All statistical information is current as of January 31, 2014, except where otherwise noted.

WHAT WE FOUND
In FY 2013, MFCUs nationwide reported a total of 1,341 criminal convictions in cases involving Medicaid fraud and patient abuse and neglect, and criminal recoveries reached nearly $1 billion. Criminal convictions involved a variety of provider types, most notably home health agencies. MFCUs also obtained 879 civil settlements and judgments in FY 2013, and civil recoveries totaled over $1.5 billion. Civil settlements and judgments involved a variety of provider types, most notably pharmaceutical companies. MFCUs are an important source of referrals to the OIG for purposes of provider exclusions; for over 1,000 Medicaid providers convicted in MFCU cases, OIG took further action to exclude them from all Federal health care programs, including Medicare, in FY 2013.

We found that a lack of fraud referrals to MFCUs from Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) presents challenges; Unit officials expressed concern that some MCOs may not have incentive to refer providers suspected of fraud. We also found that recent provider payment suspension rules enacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) require more coordination between MFCUs and State Medicaid agencies. Finally, in its oversight role during FY 2013, OIG conducted 10 onsite reviews of Units, published 8 reports on onsite reviews, issued regulations to allow data mining by MFCUs, and proposed additional authorities for Units to investigate allegations of patient abuse and neglect.

How Big is the U.S. Market for Illegal Drugs?

March 11, 2014 Comments off

How Big is the U.S. Market for Illegal Drugs?
Source: RAND Corporation

Using data from 2000 to 2010, RAND researchers estimated the number of users, expenditures, and consumption for four illicit drugs: cocaine (including crack), heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine (meth).

See also: What America’s Users Spend on Illegal Drugs 2000–2010

CRS — Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy and Implementation (updated)

March 6, 2014 Comments off

Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy and Implementation (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The nation’s health, wealth, and security rely on the production and distribution of certain goods and services. The array of physical assets, functions, and systems across which these goods and services move are called critical infrastructures (e.g., electricity, the power plants that generate it, and the electric grid upon which it is distributed).

The national security community has been concerned for some time about the vulnerability of critical infrastructure to both physical and cyberattack. In May 1998, President Clinton released Presidential Decision Directive No. 63. The Directive set up groups within the federal government to develop and implement plans that would protect government-operated infrastructures and called for a dialogue between government and the private sector to develop a National Infrastructure Assurance Plan that would protect all of the nation’s critical infrastructures by the year 2003. While the Directive called for both physical and cyber protection from both man-made and natural events, implementation focused on cyber protection against man-made cyber events (i.e., computer hackers). Following the destruction and disruptions caused by the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the nation directed increased attention toward physical protection of critical infrastructures. Over the intervening years, policy, programs, and legislation related to physical security of critical infrastructure have stabilized to a large extent. However, current legislative activity has refocused on cybersecurity of critical infrastructure.

This report discusses in more detail the evolution of a national critical infrastructure policy and the institutional structures established to implement it. The report highlights two primary issues confronting Congress going forward, both in the context of cybersecurity: information sharing and regulation.

Hybrid Targeted Violence: Challenging Conventional “Active Shooter” Response Strategies

March 5, 2014 Comments off

Hybrid Targeted Violence: Challenging Conventional “Active Shooter” Response Strategies
Source: Homeland Security Affairs

Hybrid Targeted Violence (HTV) is defined as an intentional use of force to cause physical injury or death to a specifically identified population using multifaceted conventional weapons and tactics. This article introduces the HTV concept to challenge first responders to prepare for violent “hybrid” multi-threat incidents. These incidents may involve conventional weapons, the use of fire as a weapon, chemical weapons, and/or improvised explosives. Attacks of this nature defy conventional thinking about the role of police, fire, and emergency medical professionals. HTV events demand cooperative strategies to efficiently neutralize complex threats that are beyond the capacity of a single first responder discipline. Recent and historical HTV incidents are identified to reinforce the compelling need for a paradigm shift in thinking that goes beyond conventional “active shooter” scenarios that do not advance “Whole Community” interdependent response strategies.

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