Skip to main content
White Collar Crime and Fraud Podcast

White Collar Crime and Fraud Podcast

By Gene Tausk
An exploration of fraud and white collar crime. Your host is Gene P. Tausk of The Tausk Law Firm in Houston, TX. We will discuss various aspects of fraud and white collar crime involving fraud including: legal, historical, the personalities involved, law enforcement responses and the victims of fraud. Inquiries for future podcast subjects always welcome.

Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Listen on
Where to listen
Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo

RadioPublic

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Season 2 - Episode 8: Great Con Men of History - Part 2 of 2. Pass the Loot!
PTL - People that Love!  PTL - Praise the Lord!   Or -PTL - Pass the Loot.  If you were alive in 1980s' in the US, you would hear the words of Jim and Tammy Bakker on the PTL network.  According to Jim Bakker - PTL stood for People that Love or Praise the Lord.  But as investigations into the financial improprieties of the PTL network learned, much of the monies that were intended for use for religious matters were diverted to the pocketbooks of Jim and Tammy Bakker - the leaders of PTL.  Finally, in 1987, it was disclosed that Jim Bakker paid $279,000.00 to a church secretary as hush money for sexual improprieties.  The televangelist world of high-profile churches would never be the same.  
43:13
May 15, 2022
Season 2 Episode 7 - Great Con Men of History. Gregorij Efimovich Rasputin (Part 1 of a 2 part Series)
Ra-Ra Rasputin, Lover of the Russian Queen!  There was a cat that really was gone!  Ra-Ra Rasputin, Russia's greatest love machine!  It was a shame how he carried on!  (song by Boney M - Ra-Ra Rasputin!)      Gregorij Efimovich, known to history as Rasputin, indirectly caused the fall of a 300 year old Imperial dynasty and the rise of the USSR.  How did a peasant born in a nowhere village in the Russian Empire, the largest country on Earth at the time, rise to become a confidant of the Imperial Family?  Rasputin is one of the strangest characters in all of history.  In this first part of a two-part episode, we examine Rasputin through the lens of a person working a con.  Rasputin is often called the "mad monk."  But Rasputin was never an ordained monk.  He could, however, be called one of history's greatest con artists.   Opening and Closing Music: Penguin music - ModernChillout - Background Music [NCS Release]
42:55
May 02, 2022
Season 2 Episode 6 - Fraud in the Dune Universe
In 1965, Frank Herbert, already a well-known science-fiction writer, published Dune.  Dune quickly became a best-seller in the realm of science-fiction and is now considered a classic of the genre.  Herbert followed up Dune with five other novels set in his Dune universe.  A 1984 film directed by David Lynch received mixed reviews but the 2021 version by director Dennis Villanueve is an Oscar winner with universally strong reviews.   Even in the science-fiction world of Dune, however, human nature has not changed.  One of the underlying motivations of the main character, Vladimir Harkonnen, is to commit fraud against the ruling Emperor and in doing so, become very wealthy.  In the Dune universe, where the most important and valuable substance in the galaxy is found only one one planet, and a planet with an insanely harsh climate and hostile indigenous lifeforms at that, fraud can still be found. Let's take a break from the 21st century on planet Earth and visit a far future where computers are outlawed but human potential powers the galaxy.  The spice must flow! Opening and Closing Music: Penguin music - ModernChillout - Background Music [NCS Release]
41:40
April 17, 2022
Season 2 Episode 5 - "Sir" Robert Allen Stanford
Unfortunately, Enron is not the only major financial scandal to be part of the history of Houston.  Robert Allen Standford, once knighted and known as "Sir" Allen Stanford, perpetuated one of the largest Ponzi schemes and financial fraud in the history of the United States - second only to Bernie Madoff.  Stanford was convicted for his crimes and is now serving a 110 year sentence.  We examine Allen Stanford's unique Ponzi scheme using an offshore bank that he himself owned.   Opening and Closing Music: Penguin music - ModernChillout - Background Music [NCS Release]
31:40
April 04, 2022
Season 2 Episode 4 - Corruption and the Russian Army
In late February, the Russian Armed Forces invaded the Ukraine, an independent nation since 1992.  It was expected that the Russian armed forces would easily defeat the Ukrainians and the entire operation would be over in a matter of days.  As of this podcast, two weeks into the invasion, the Russians are facing severe resistance and are far from their goals of conquering the Ukraine.  It is now clear that one of the reasons for the abject failure of the Russian Armed Forces is corruption in Russia itself in which individuals have stolen monies intended for the Armed Forces and instead used these monies for personal gain.  Corruption can affect and even destroy entire nations.  What is occurring now with Russia is a stark example. I apologize for the break in the podcast where I am interrupted.  Once again, I am still learning this new equipment. Opening and Closing Music: Penguin music - ModernChillout - Background Music [NCS Release]
30:58
March 14, 2022
Season 2 Episode 3 - Hawala - An ancient form of money transfer
Hawala is a form of money transfer that dates back to at least the 8th century CE.  It is a method for long-distance money transfer which was developed during the days of the Silk Road so merchants could avoid having their money stolen by bandits and robbers.  Hawala is an extremely efficient system which exists to this day.  But in the age of terrorism and narco-trafficking, it can be illegal.  We discuss Hawala in this podcast.   Opening and Closing Music: Penguin music - ModernChillout - Background Music [NCS Release]
27:32
February 28, 2022
The continuing saga of the strange case of Michael Avenatti.
Our friend Michael Avenatti is in the news again and as such makes a second appearance on this podcast.  On February 4, 2022, Avenatti was convicted of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in relation to his representation of his former client, Stormy Daniels.  We discuss the crimes for which Avenatti was found guilty.  We further discuss how Avenatti violated one of the codes of professional responsibility for an attorney - the requirement to keep a client's funds and an attorney's funds separate.  The State Bar of Texas requires the separation of client and attorney funds as do most (if not all) State Bars.  By violating this principle, Avenatti committed professional misconduct.   Two notes: 1. I apologize for the two-minutes of dead time at the end.  I am still getting used to this new equipment. 2.  Next episode will feature my first guest.  Stay tuned.   Opening and Closing Music: Penguin music - ModernChillout - Background Music [NCS Release]
35:36
February 06, 2022
Notario Publico - Notary Public. What's the difference?
Season 2.  Episode 1.  Notario Publico, Notary Public?  What's the difference?      Welcome to 2022.  In this first episode of the new year, I discuss the difference between a Notario Publico and a Notary Public.  It is a very important distinction because there exist cases of Notary Publics preying on the confusion and linguistic muddy translation between  Notario Publico - a very respected and high-level position in Mexico and other Central American countries - and a Notary Public, a person who performs a vastly different role in the American legal system.  Some unscrupulous Notary Publics hold themselves out as "Immigration Advisors" and are practicing law without a license.  These "advisors" do a great deal of harm to an unsuspecting public.  I end the episode by offering some advice to Notary Publics on how to avoid issues with their licenses. NOTE  - I mistakenly refer to 2022 as "2002" several times in this episode.   Opening and Closing Music:  Penguin music - ModernChillout - Background Music [NCS Release]
31:08
January 11, 2022
Episode 19 - 2021 in Review and a look back at ENRON
This is my final podcast for 2021.  I want to thank everyone who has listened to this podcast.  When I first started, I had no idea if anyone was interested or would be listening.  Your support has been overwhelming and I am grateful to all my listeners. We wind up 2021 with a review of some of the items that were new and interesting in the world of fraud.  Also, a retrospective on ENRON - it was 20 years ago this month that ENRON declared bankruptcy and changed our world. 2022 will bring some new updates and surprises so I hope everyone stays tuned.  Have a great New Year.   Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
29:27
December 29, 2021
Episode 18 - Multi-Level-Marketing
Avon.  Herbalife.  Mary Kay.  Tupperware.  We have all heard these names but many of us have not given it much thought.  These companies, however, are examples of Multi-Level-Marketing.  Multi-Level-Marketing (MLM) has been around for decades.  MLM has been advertised as a way for a person to start his own business and succeed.  But MLM is surrounded by controversy.  Is it really way to make good money or is it a waste of time?  We take a cursory look at MLM in this podcast.   Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
29:30
December 07, 2021
Episode 17 - Is your company suffering from embezzlement?
Embezzlement is the misappropriation of funds.  Embezzlement can take many forms but one of the more common types is when funds are taken by an employee who works for a company.  There are several warning signs of embezzlement.  In this episode, we will examine some of the more common signs.   Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
25:39
November 16, 2021
The Halloween Episode
Fraud takes many forms.   Considering this is the Halloween season, this podcast focuses on fraud involving rather unusual forms of fraud involving.............mummification and people who claim they have "psychic" powers, among others.  As I said, fraud takes many forms.  Also - a correction to a statement I made in the podcast - abuse of a corpse, which can include mummification - is a crime in many areas.   Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
24:40
October 22, 2021
Episode 15 - The Strange Case of Michael Avenatti
In 2017 and 2018, anywhere you looked the picture of Michael Avenatti seemed to be there.  Michael Avenatti graduated the top of his class from George Washington School of Law and went on to have a meteoric rise as a legal eagle.  He earned millions from his legal abilities and was known as a powerhouse in the courtroom.  In 2016 Donald Trump was elected President and Avenatti began representing Stormy Daniels, a porn star, claiming that the non-disclosure agreement Daniels signed with Trump for alleged sexual activity should be nullified.  He was even considered as a Presidential candidate for the Democrat party to take on Trump.  Then, in 2019, it all came crashing down. Avenatti was charged with and convicted of attempted extortion against Nike and was given 30 months in prison.  Other criminal actions and lawsuits are pending.  When does "effectively representing your client" become "extortion?" Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
29:02
October 03, 2021
Episode 14 - An Overview of Immigration Fraud pt 2
We conclude our overview of Immigration Fraud with this week's podcase.  We discuss document fraud, passport fraud, fraud involving the Visa Lottery, and penalties and punishments for Immigration related crimes.  We will explore more of Immigration fraud in future episodes. Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
27:56
September 06, 2021
An overview of Immigration Fraud - part 1
NOTE!!!!  By mistake the previous episode on the Albanian Pyramid Scheme was uploaded into this episode.  This was corrected.  THIS episode focuses on an overview of Immigration Fraud.  We cover the basics of the American Immigration system and discuss Immigration marriage fraud.   Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
28:34
August 22, 2021
Episode 12 - Pyramid Schemes and the collapse of Albania
In the 1991, the nation of Albania was liberated from 50 years of hard-line Communism led by Enver Hoxha.  Even by Soviet and Eastern European standards, the system of Communism imposed on Albania in 1944 was cruel and rigid.  From 1944 until 1991, Albania was, in many ways, completely closed off from the rest of the world.  When Communism fell, the country opened up to market reforms.  Unfortunately, this also led to a proliferation of criminal gangs who took advantage of the confusion to set up "investment funds" that were nothing more than Pyramid or Ponzi schemes.  Thousands of people lost money in these schemes which led to the collapse of the government and a brief civil war.  We explore in this episode how pyramid schemes led to the collapse of an entire government.   Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
27:54
August 09, 2021
Episode 11 - The History of Enron pt. 2
We conclude our history of Enron with this podcast.  Although there is a great deal more to tell regarding the Enron story, a basic history and overview (which concludes in this second of two podcasts) is a good foundation.   Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
28:19
July 19, 2021
The History of Enron Part 1
As I mentioned in several previous podcasts, Enron is a type of "centerpiece" when discussing white-collar crime and fraud for me because I live in Houston and have personal connections to the Enron story.  In this first of two episodes, we will be reviewing the history of Enron - from its beginnings as a provider of natural gas to its ultimate downfall as one of the largest examples of White Collar Crime in U.S. History.   In later episodes, we will be examining the Enron scandal in more detail, but the history of the company is a logical place to start.  Enjoy! Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
26:24
June 28, 2021
Episode 9 - Steps to avoid being a victim of identity theft
Prevention is, of course, the best way to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft.  We review some of the most common steps to take so you are not a victim and also offer a few other insights.  We live in a digital age and just like we protect our homes from home invasion, we must also take steps to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.  Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
25:05
June 14, 2021
Episode 8 - What to do if you are a victim of a fraud or white collar crime?
In this episode, we discuss the steps that should be taken if you are the victim of a fraud or white collar crime.  These steps will not only help to minimize any losses that you may suffer, but also to develop good financial protection habits that are useful in today's world.   Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
23:40
May 26, 2021
Episode 7 - I am ALMOST the victim of a scam!
Fake check scams are nothing new.  But they are more prevalent than ever and with the imaging technology that is available to anyone, a fraudulent check can easily appear to be the "real thing."  In the space of four weeks, I was approached twice by prospective "clients" that wished to retain the services of my Firm.  In reality, however, these were fraudsters that were attempting to perpetuate the fake check scam on me.  Had I fallen for it, I would have been out hundreds of thousands of dollars.  This episode is especially important for attorneys.   Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
28:20
May 02, 2021
Episode 6 - The end of the con
We wrap up our examination of Dr. Maria Konnikova's excellent book "The Confidence Game" by exploring what happens as the con continues and the mark is confronted with evidence that he or she is being scammed.  We conclude with examining why it is so hard to stop being the victim of a con. Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
27:45
April 14, 2021
Episode 5 - The Story
The story is the heart of every con.  For a confidence scheme to work, the con artist has to make his mark believe the story that he is telling.  Stories are the heart of what makes us human.  We explore how a story works for the con artist.  Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
28:31
March 28, 2021
Episode 4 - A review of some common White Collar Crimes
We take a break from analyzing Dr. Konnikova's excellent book to review some of the more popular - and infamous - types of white collar crimes that exist.  Money laundering, pyramid schemes, Ponzi schemes - such types of crimes have existed for centuries but with the internet and instant global communication are more of a threat than ever.  This episode reviews these crimes.   Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
26:36
March 15, 2021
Episode 3 - How does a Con Man choose his target?
How does a con man choose his target?  Is there something special or extraordinary in how a con man works his way into a person's life?  We examine two of the most basic techniques used by con artists to find a target's weakness and how they can exploit it.  Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
27:04
February 28, 2021
Episode 2 - The Fraudster and his Target
We explore the basics of a fraudster/white collar criminal.  Are such people born or are they made?  Why do fraudsters engage in this behavior?  What makes a person the target of a fraudster?  Is there something special about people who are target by fraudsters?  We examine these basic, but important, questions.  Introduction and exit music: Dark Hallway (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
27:56
February 14, 2021
White Collar Crime and Fraud Podcast 1 - Introduction
Hi - my name is Gene Tausk.  I am an attorney and Certified Fraud Examiner who works with White-Collar Criminal Defense cases.  This podcast is an introduction to me and the topics of my podcast - White Collar Crime and Fraud
25:05
February 04, 2021