fergregory/123RF Covid-19 is creating new challenges — and opportunities — for white-collar criminals, according to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).In a special bulletin on pandemic-related fraud and money laundering trends, the agency said that, while it’s too early to determine precisely how the pandemic will alter the money-laundering landscape, “the Covid-19 crisis has important implications for organized crime by creating significant new or expanded opportunities for the perpetration of fraud.” FINTRAC noted that criminals may have lost access to some of their traditional money-laundering methods — particularly schemes that rely on funnelling illicit cash through cash-intensive businesses — due to lockdowns and physical distancing requirements.For instance, FINTRAC noted that, while the pandemic has not had a significant impact on the overall volume of suspicious transaction reports, casino disbursement reports and large cash transaction reports have dropped significantly since March.As a result, criminals may be seeking alternative ways to bring illicit money into the legitimate financial system, FINTRAC said.At the same time, the unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic have altered traditional transaction patterns, creating cover for criminal activity.“While many atypical patterns may reflect legitimate needs to access financial services during this challenging time, some individuals may attempt to profit from the current situation to undertake or facilitate money laundering,” FINTRAC said.FINTRAC also said that its analysis of Covid-19–related transaction reporting and fraud reporting from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) found that the pandemic “has created new opportunities for criminals in the virtual currency space in Canada and internationally.”Additionally, the increased use of online services during the pandemic has heightened the risk of cybercrime, such as phishing and blackmail scams.“As the pandemic continues, the CAFC expects that it is likely that the financial hardship faced by Canadian citizens and businesses will result in more victimization,” the bulletin said.“Loan scams, debt consolidation frauds, and investment fraud will likely increase,” FINTRAC noted. “Additionally, cyber dependent frauds such as spear phishing, ransomware and phishing campaigns that are taking advantage of the increased online activities of Canadians, are also likely to increase.” Related news Regulators aim to root out pandemic-driven liquidity issues James Langton Fed keeps key rate near zero, sees inflation as ‘transitory’ Singapore’s financial regulator invests in innovation Keywords Coronavirus, Pandemics, Money launderingCompanies FINTRAC Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitter
Talk about a “sweet” accomplishment.Krispy Kreme is opening its 1,000th location in the world Tuesday morning. To celebrate, Krispy Kreme will be giving away one free glazed donut to the first 1,000 customers in each of its stores starting at 6 a.m. The newest store is located in Kansas City, Kansas, and some people have been camping out for more than 24 hours to be among the first to set foot in the new location. In 1937, Vernon Rudolph started making donuts in his Winston-Salem, North Carolina, neighborhood.And, true to legend, they turned a lot of heads.“People smelled the donuts when they walked by begged him to sell it, and he cut a hole in the wall and essentially that was the first Krispy Kreme store selling donuts out of a hole he cut in the wall,” Krispy Kreme spokeswoman Lafeea Watson says.An audio version of this story.0:55Krispy Kreme stores are located in 24 countries, and there are roughly 260 of them in the U.S.Two dozen are located in Georgia, including 14 in metro Atlanta. Related Stories For Whom The Bell Rings Share 0:55 | Play story Add to My ListIn My List ‘It’s Fractured’: Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan On Healing Republican Party Legal Advocate Discusses Medical Abuse At Shut Down Georgia ICE Facility
Ben Simmons (25) dribbles on the perimeter during the McDonalds High School All American Game at the United Center.BATON ROUGE – Apparently, the no-interview rule for freshmen football players at LSU has been punted for basketball.“I think we’ll win the national championship,” LSU freshman guard Antonio Blakeney of Orlando, Florida, said Wednesday during a press gathering for some of the Tigers’ new players.Blakeney said the above when asked how far he thought LSU could go in the 2015-16 season with the likes of freshman forward Ben Simmons — the consensus No. 1 high school player in America out of Montverde, Florida — and Blakeney himself, the No. 13 overall prospect in the nation by Rivals.com.LSU’s versatile Ben Simmons has a natural position: StarWhen asked if what he meant was that LSU would be in the national championship “mix,” this season, Blakeney would have none of it. He was not going to qualify his statement.“I think we’re going to win the national championship,” he said.After discussing the blossoming talent of the 6-foot-10 Simmons, who is projected as the No. 1 NBA Draft pick next summer, along with LSU’s other newcomers as well as several key returnees from an NCAA Tournament team last season, Blakeney asked, “Why would I not say we’re going to win the national championship?” Practicing against pros Blakeney and Simmons, who is not expected to play more than one season at LSU, were the only incoming freshmen in the land invited to the inaugural Nike Basketball Academy in Santa Monica, California, where they played against the likes of NBA stars LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Kobe Bryant and New Orleans Pelican Anthony Davis, whom Simmons held his own against. Some of the top veteran college players were also there, including guard Kris Dunn of Providence and forward Georges Niang of Iowa State.“It was great,” Simmons said of the Nike Academy. “We got to go against NBA guys, so it was a great experience.”Simmons did not make as bold a statement as Blakeney, but he was not bashful.“I always feel like I can play against anybody. It doesn’t matter who it is — LeBron, Kobe,” he said. “I feel like personally I’m always going to give it my best.”He is not concerned about any “adjustment” to the college game either. “No, I’ve been to the Nike camp, and I’ve seen all the other college guys,” he said. “So, I think I’m going to fit in well. I don’t think there’s going to be a really big adjustment. I showed at the Nike camp that I could guard the five man (Davis) down low. I think physically, I’m strong enough to guard anybody.”He said the best player he faced at the Nike Academy was LeBron James, and two of his favorite former players are Scottie Pippen and Magic Johnson. But neither are models for his game.“I never really modeled my game after anybody,” he said. “I take little parts of everybody’s game and try to put it into mine.”LSU hoops season not anticipated like this in decadesSimmons, who grew up in Melbourne, Australia, takes a lot of his game from the pass-heavy European style. He is at LSU because of his father Dave Simmons’ friendship with LSU assistant coach David Patrick. Both the elder Simmons and Patrick played professional basketball in Australia and have remained friends. LSU will tour Simmons’ homeland of Australia next month playing a series of exhibition games.Simmons, who averaged 28 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 2.6 steals a game for Montverde Academy last season while shooting 70.7 percent with 24 double-doubles, also does not fit his game to one position. Simmons a point forward “I see myself as a point forward,” he said. “That’s if I get a rebound, I take it down the court, run a play or facilitate the other guys. I’m more of a point guard. Because of my height, it doesn’t look like it. So I guess I kind of have to show everybody I can bring it up. I don’t have one set position. I’m one through five. Me being 6-1, I’m just a player. I don’t try and put myself in one position because that limits yourself. I really don’t have a spot where I play. I play anywhere.”And LSU coach Johnny Jones is fine with that.“If he was a point forward, position-less guy who handled the ball and was trying to create opportunities for himself all the time, then you have a problem,” he said. “But he’s not like that. He has a high basketball IQ, and so the last thing you want to do is try to put too many limitations on a guy who doesn’t need it. The last thing you want to do is handcuff a player who can do so many things.”Selfish play is not one of the things Simmons does on the court. Previous coaches have had to tell him to stop passing the ball.“That’s just not me,” he said. “It’s just the way I was raised. I play a European style of play. I like to pass (pronounced “poss”) the ball around and see guys score. So Antonio being able to be a shooter on the perimeter and everyone having to guard him out there, as soon as I drive, somebody has to help. So it’s easy for me to dish out there.”Simmons was asked the same question as Blakeney concerning how far the Tigers can go in the 2015-16 season, but he basically passed off.“We’re trying to make a future here, and now it’s our time and hopefully we can do that,” he said. “We have a lot of experienced guys, and they’re going to teach the freshmen a lot. I think we all have got to buy in and chip in, and we’ll be fine.” LSU LOSES TRELOAR Former Phoenix Suns director of player personnel John Treloar will not be coming to LSU as an assistant coach after all, LSU head coach Johnny Jones said Wednesday. Treloar, who was an LSU assistant on the Tigers’ Final Four team in 2006 under then-coach John Brady, had agreed to come to LSU as an assistant coach last April after the NBA Draft with the Suns. But he has since changed his mind and is interested in another NBA job.
With eight starters returning, Airline head coach Bo Meeks figured he would have a very good defense this season.So far, the Vikings have proven him right. Through the first six games, the first-team defense has allowed just three touchdowns.Airline improved to 5-1 with an 44-0 non-district victory over Mansfield last week. The Vikings return to District 1-5A action against parish rival Haughton (4-2) on Friday night at home.The Mansfield game was Airline’s third straight shutout.“I think that everything we hoped they would do they’ve done,” Meeks said.Meeks gives much of the credit to his defensive coaching staff led by coordinator Seth Stowell and including Bryan Taylor (safeties), Schirra Fields (cornerbacks) and Chris Knotts (line).“Coach Stowell has done an unbelievable job of tweaking the system to fit our personnel and just coming and coaching it hard every day and getting those guys to buy in and play with passion and energy,” Meeks said.Senior inside linebacker Josh James, a three-year starter, said Stowell’s guidance has been key.“Coach Stowell has really put the pressure on the defense this year — just the way we practice, the intensity of it and how physical it is and his gameplans.”Meeks said the Vikings have several leaders on defense, but James stands out.“Josh is a great player and he’s really figuring out how to play in this defense,” he said. “He’s making a lot of tackles and a lot of plays, but the thing about Josh that’s even better than that is the leader he is for us. We’ve got some pretty good leaders over there, but he’s the guy that’s going to get everybody straight and ready to play on Friday night.”James calls the defense a “band of brothers” who are close off the field. Airline doesn’t have tremendous size, but the Vikings make up for it with speed and quickness.Airline rotates several players on the line. Drew Brewster has been a playmaker there for two years, Meeks said. Courtney Turner, Jordan Cowthorn, Josh Smith, Steven Rainey and Anthony Durgin have also excelled.The outside linebackers are Zylon Newson, Darrell Evans and Davaria Glover. The secondary includes Jaylyn Thomas, Harvey Calhoun, Phillip Lee, Bryson Vance and D’Kameron White.“All those guys are playing hard,” Meeks said. “There are no weak links over there and I’m really proud of the job they’re doing each week.”James comes from a football family.His older brother Jacob was a successful quarterback at Airline who came close to leading the Vikings to an upset of Brandon Harris-led Parkway his junior season. Jacob, now a walk-on at ULM, sat out his senior football season and focused on baseball after suffering a fully torn labrum late in the 2013 season.His father, Justin, was a longtime coach at Greenacres and coached both both Jacob and Josh there.The youngest James, Eli, is a two-way starter for the seventh-grade Cope Cougars.Justin James is in his first year as an an assistant principal at Parkway. Before the season, Josh joked that there is now “an enemy” in the house.He credits both Jacob and father for the player he has become.“I get most of the physical side of myself from my older brother,” Josh said. “No matter what we did, if it was seeing who could get the food first or going to get the ball that my dad threw, if it was wrestling or a video game, we went at it in everything we did.”Most nights Josh and his dad review video on Hudl.“Every night we’re on Hudl for 30 minutes, if it’s watching practice or the next opponent,” Josh said. “He’s always helping me out.”Airline had a solid defense last season, but James believes the Vikings are playing at a higher level now.“I would just say that we have a different mindset,” he said. “We were good last year. But this year I think all the guys just really bought it. If it’s the film (work) that we do Sunday or the film we do at 6:50 in the morning we’re just bonding and ready to get after it.”— Russell Hedges, [email protected] Expat InsuranceExpat Living in Hong Kong without Health Insurance?Top Expat Insurance|SponsoredSponsoredUndoTheTopFiveVPNThe Secret Netflix Doesn’t Want You To Know To Unblock RestrictionsTheTopFiveVPN|SponsoredSponsoredUndoCelebsland.com9 Celebrity Before-And-After Plastic Surgery DisastersCelebsland.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndoPerfect-Dating.comAre You Ready to Meet Cool Guys in Tung Chung?Perfect-Dating.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndoTheTopFiveVPNThe Trick Netflix Doesn’t Want You To Know To Unlock RestrictionsTheTopFiveVPN|SponsoredSponsoredUndoAspireAbove.comRemember Abby from NCIS? Take A Deep Breath Before You See How She Looks NowAspireAbove.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndo