Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Charlie Shrem and Robert Faiella of Bitcoin Accused of Money Laundering

Charlie Shrem, Robert Faiella, Bitcoin, Money Laundering

Charlie Shrem, Robert Faiella, Bitcoin, Money Laundering

US authorities have arrested both Charlie Shrem and Robert Faiella of Bitcoin and they were charged with money laundering.

Charlie Shrem 24, is the CEO of New York base company BitInstant, while Robert Faiella 52, is a virtual currency trader known as BTCKing. US Authorities alleges that the two conspired to sell over $1 million Bitcoins (£603,000) to users of black market website Silk Road. Silk Road was closed down by FBI last year because they were charged of using the site to buy drugs anonymously.

Charlie Shrem was at JFK International Airport in New York on Sunday morning, and Faiella, was

Shrem, 24, was arrested on Sunday morning at New York's JFK International Airport. Faiella, 52, was seized on Monday in his Florida home.

They were accused of conspiring to commit money laundering, and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Shrem is also accused of failing to report Faiella's illegal transactions, violating the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires financial institutions to alert authorities of suspicions of money laundering.

US Attorney for Manhattan Preet Bharara said in a statement: "As alleged, Robert Faiella and Charlie Shrem schemed to sell over $1 million in Bitcoins to criminals bent on trafficking narcotics on the Dark Web drug site, Silk Road.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Asian Stocks Dipped After China GDP Data; Nintendo Shares Tumbles

Asian stocks went down after China’s economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter as gains in factory output and investment spending slowed.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., dropped 2.1% in Hong Kong. Nintendo Co. fell by 6.2% in Tokyo, after the maker of Wii video-game consoles forecast a disappointing full-year loss. Ssangyong Motor Co. is up 1.4% after controlling shareholder Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. announced plans to invest US$939 million in the South Korean carmaker.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.2% to 139.22 as of 8:32 p.m. in Tokyo, with six of the gauge’s 10 industry groups falling. The measure finished last week within 2 points of its closing level for 2013 as investors weighed signs of a stronger global economy against concern about equity valuations.

China’s economy expanded 7.7% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said today. That compares with 7.8% growth in the previous three months.

Industrial production rose 9.7% in December from a year earlier, data showed, down from a 10% gain in November. Retail sales last month rose 13.6% from a year earlier, slowing from 13.7% in November.

Fixed-asset investment in China excluding rural households increased 19.6% in the January-to-December period from a year earlier, when it expanded 20.6%.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.7%. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies traded in Hong Kong slid 1.3%, while the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped 0.9 %.

New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index lost 0.1%. A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the country’s North Island today, shaking capital city Wellington and sending the nation’s currency lower.

Thailand’s SET Index dropped 0.4%. The risk of the country defaulting on its debt rose to the highest level since August after two explosions rocked a protest site where demonstrators are pushing for the removal of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Japan’s Topix (TPX) index lost 0.3%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index decreased 0.2% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.6 %. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.5 % and Taiwan’s Taiex index rose 0.3 %.

India’s S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.7% as the nation’s 10-year sovereign bond yield fell to the lowest level since October after the central bank said it will buy debt this week. The rupee weakened.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell less than 0.1%. The measure slid 0.4 % on Jan. 17 as earnings at companies from General Electric Co. to Intel Corp. disappointed investors. U.S. equity markets are closed for a holiday today.

The Asia-Pacific stocks gauge traded at 13.1 times estimated earnings as of Jan. 17, compared with 15.6 for the S&P 500 and 14.1 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Chinese lenders declined in Hong Kong. ICBC slipped 2.1 % to HK$4.78. China Construction Bank Corp. (939), the nation’s second-largest lender by market value, lost 1.8 % to HK$5.39. Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. dropped 1.7 % to HK$3.39.

Nintendo sank 6.2 % to 13,745 yen at the close in Tokyo, the biggest decline since September, after falling as much as 19 %. The company is under pressure to consider exiting production of video-game machines after reporting disappointing sales of its Wii U console and forecasting a surprise loss, said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

Glorious Property Holdings Ltd. went down 27 % to HK$1.25, its biggest drop on record, after shareholders rejected Chinese billionaire Zhang Zhirong’s offer to take the property developer private.

Among shares that rose, Ssangyong Motor added 1.4 % to 8,060 won in Seoul. Mahindra & Mahindra, an Indian carmaker, is planning to invest 1 trillion won in its South Korean unit to develop new models and hire more workers, South Korean President Park Geun Hye said in India on Jan. 18.

Zhongsheng Group Holdings Ltd., a distributor of Volkswagen AG’s Porsches and Audis and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz cars in China, surged 8.9 percent to HK$12.54 in Hong Kong after the company said it is raising as much as HK$5.6 billion ($722 million) by issuing shares and selling convertible bonds to Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

How to Protect yourself from Target's Security Breach

Target's Security Breach, Target fraud, target credit card information

The Breach on Target may have affected more than 60 million customers and it may include you. Target Corp. said last month that they have a security breach that happened between November 27 and December 15, 2013. According to a report, the criminals stole personal information like names, phone numbers, email, and mailing addresses from Target's customers.

The criminals infiltrated Target's main information hub using a malware and then they were able to access the store point-of-sale systems. Once the malware was in the POS systems, it could collect credit and debit card numbers as the cards that were swiped.

Here's what you need to do to take precaution if believe that your information has been stolen:

- Consumers are not responsible for fraudulent credit card charges, and credit card companies are often able to flag the charges before they go through and shut down your card. But if they failed to flag the charges, the credit card companies will take out the charges that you claim are fraudulent. You will need to get a new credit card.

The problem is debit cards since they don't offer the same protections as credit cards. It will be harder to get your money back because the fraud is on the part of Target, they will be the one responsible for paying your back. 

- There's no way to know if your identity have been stolen, since the criminals also stole email address they may send customers with malware using phishing emails to steal more information. It is important to be extra careful in opening emails and clicking links.

- To protect yourself, you should check and monitor your credit card statements carefully for potentially fraudulent charges. Experts say in cases like this when a huge amount of information is stolen, the thieves often sell it on the black market to the highest bidder. As a result, it could be a while before someone tries to use the information for nefarious purposes.

If you see suspicious charges, report the activity to your credit card companies and call Target at 866-852-8680. You can report cases of identity theft to law enforcement or the Federal Trade Commission.

Consumers can get more information about identity theft on the FTC's website at, or by calling the FTC, at 877- IDTHEFT (438-4338).