Quacks, Thieves, Scam Artists and Hucksters

Rare, major CBS News "Sixty Minutes" investigation of stem cell hucksters abroad who claim to help those with illnesses for which there is no known cure. The program used hidden cameras and telecom to investigate.

Media History

The reporting was intended for these media types: Magazine, Newspaper, Book, Television

"The River Thieves" - Julius Chambers - New York Tribune

THEIR HISTORY AND EXPLOITS THE JUNKMEN AND THEIR ALLIES--THE STORY OF A RIVER THIEF--A NIGHT'S WORK AND ITS FRUITS--THE HAUNTS AND WAYS OF THE "PIRATES." ... IN THE HARBOR--PROMINENT CASES THE HARBOR POLICE FOUR CLASSES OP RIVER PIRATES THE RIVER THIEVES A RIVER THIEF'S CONFESSION HIDING PLACES FOR THE NIGHT HOW SAILORS ARE MANIPULATED YARIED SUCCESS--TRACKS OF TRADE CAPTURE AND CONSEQUENCES NORTH RIVER--THE COFFEE GAME

1871-06-09

"A TRIBUNE reporter, thoroughly disguised, visited the haunts of these men [river pirates], and, after a long series of introductions, extending over considerable time, succeeded in gaining the confidence of one of the most notorious and desperate thieves on the East River. After some encouragement on the part of a private detective, and at the request of several of his friends, the thief gave the following outline of a night's work, not long since. It is needless to say that it is reproduced from memory, without pretense of exactness as to the words employed, as the taking of notes would have been very [illegible word] business . . . "

"Towing Woes" - Dave Savini - IRE Journal

Vehicles Donated to Charity Wind Up in Hands of Crooks

2006-07-01

". . .Towing companies act as middlemen for charities. In some cases, charities directly hire tow operators. In other cases, when a charity recieves a call that someone wants to donate a car, it passes that information to an organization that handles car donation programs. That company in turn hires towing companies to pick up the car and either sell or scrap it. A portion of the proceeds are supposed to go to the charity. But officials say that was not always the case with two towing operators: O'Hare Kars and Royal Auto and Towing. . ."

"Stem Cell Fraud: A Sixty Minutes Investigation" - Scott Pelly - CBS News Sixty Minutes

2012-01-08

"Councillors for Hire Who Give Firms Planning Advice" - Holly Watt, Claire Newell and Ben Bryant - The Telegraph

Telegraph Investigation: Councillors across England are offering themselves for hire to property developers who are hoping to take advantage of relaxed planning laws which come into effect within weeks.

2013-03-10

". . .Despite apparently creating the potential for a conflict of interest, it is not illegal for councillors to work as paid consultants. Councils are expected to face an increase in applications for building when new planning laws take effect at the end of this month. . ."

"Cruel Fraud" - Pia Malbran, Lamont L. Belton, Jeff Glor - CBS News

Jamaican lottery scam target elderly Americans

2013-03-12

"MP Patrick Mercer quits Tory whip Over Panorama lobbying inquiry" - Unsigned - BBC News

2013-05-31

". . .A clip of Mr Mercer being filmed undercover has been released by Panorama. It shows the MP meeting with an undercover reporter, who was posing as a representative of the fake company.Mr Mercer can be heard saying: "I do not charge a great deal of money for these things. I would normally come out at £500 per half day, so £1,000 a day." The undercover reporter replies: "Ok fine." Panorama said it had paid Mr Mercer £4,000 for working two days a month at a rate of £2,000 per month, but that the money had yet to be declared to the parliamentary authorities. . ."

"Caught on Video: Can Herbalife Cure a Brain Tumor?" - Brian Ross, Matthew Mosk, Rym Momtaz and William Gallego - ABC News

2014-04-23

"Nearly 600 independent distributors of the diet and nutrition sales brand Herbalife were disciplined last year for making medical claims when selling the company’s weight-loss shakes and supplements, despite company policies aimed at preventing such tactics.  "Herbalife revealed the internal figures after an ABC News undercover investigation found numerous examples of distributors boasting to potential customers that the company’s products helped treat maladies ranging from diabetes to heart disease."