Tomorrow's News: Making Crime Pay

A recent news item compelled our intrepid reporter to look into the future of financial crime.
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Plot to Blow Up Alaska Pipeline FoiledTuesday, Aug. 24, 1999; 8:52 a.m. EDT ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A Canadian man was accused of plotting to bomb the trans-Alaska oil pipeline on New Year's Day, allegedly devising the scheme in order to reap windfall profits when oil prices spiked upward. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said Alfred Heinz Reumayr, 50, intended to buy up oil futures, then detonate 14 bombs and destroy the pipeline. -- Associated Press

UAF Police Say They Have Found Hacker; No Charges Yet

Tuesday, Aug. 31, 1999; 11:26 p.m. EDT

FAIRBANKS, Alaska -- Investigators at the

University of Alaska at Fairbanks

say they have identified an on-campus hacker who is believed to have tried unsuccessfully to crack into the

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

computer system in April, in an attempt to make the eBay site crash.

The student hoped to profit from the crashes by using a complicated stock strategy investigators called "shorting." Police say the student, whose name has not been released, had shorted shares of eBay, as well as those of

E*Trade

(EGRP)

,

Ameritrade

(AMTD) - Get Report

and

Schwab

(SCH)

. Police think the student also may have tried to crack other computer systems without authorization, in hopes of crashing them.

The suspect, a 32-year-old student and computer programmer from Fairbanks, has not been charged or arrested but could face a misdemeanor count of attempted criminal mischief, police said. "We want to send a strong message," said UAF Police Chief Terry Vrabec. "Stay out of things that aren't yours."

Body Blow: Shares of THQ Fall

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 1999; 4:42 p.m. EST

MINNEAPOLIS -- Shares of video game maker

THQ

(THQI)

were sharply off in today's trading session, falling 32% to 41 3/4 on heavy volume. The company said after Friday's close that it had received a subpoena from a federal grand jury investigating possible insider-trading activity by Minnesota governor

Jesse "The Body" Ventura

.

THQ is the maker of popular titles such as

Quest 64, World Championship Wrestling Nitro, Rugrats, World Championship Wresting vs. the World

and the hotly anticipated

Jesse the Body vs. First-Term Governors Running for National Office

.

The grand jury is reportedly investigating an investment Ventura made in shares of THQ just before announcing his upcoming video game on

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

. That announcement led to a surge in THQ's share price.

THQ said it was cooperating with the investigation, and that it had a comprehensive program in place to ensure it complied with insider stock transactions.

Starr Investigates Hillary Clinton's Stock Trades

Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2000; 12:47 p.m. EST

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Special Prosecutor

Kenneth Starr

is looking into allegations that First Lady

Hillary Rodham Clinton

may have used her aborted senatorial run for personal financial gain. Starr is reportedly looking into an investment Clinton made in shares of

Paychex

(PAYX) - Get Report

just before pulling out of the New York Senate race last month.

Newsweek

magazine has reported that Clinton made a $100,000 investment in Paychex just two days before Paychex Chief Executive

Thomas Golisano

narrowly beat New York Mayor

Rudolph Giuliani

for the Republican senatorial nomination. Golisano now comfortably leads all the polls and is running unopposed in the general election.

Shares of Paychex have increased almost 10-fold since Clinton dropped out of the race.

Clinton turned a $100,000 stake into a $990,000 profit in less than a year, far outstripping her success as a commodities trader in the late 1970s. The White House said Tuesday that there was nothing improper in Clinton's speculation in Paychex, saying she benefited from a bull market "when a lot of people made a lot of money."

Clinton surprised New York and the nation last month by suddenly dropping out of a race she was leading comfortably, saying, "I want to spend more time with my family."

Golfer Daly Suspended

Monday, April 17, 2000; 11:27 a.m. EDT

AUGUSTA, Ga.-- The

U.S. Golf Association

has suspended troubled golfer

John Daly

for "seditious conduct unbecoming a former major champion." Golf equipment maker

Callaway

(ELY) - Get Report

has also dropped Daly from its lucrative endorsement deal.

The 33-year-old golfer has been under fire since Saturday, when he removed a Titleist golf ball from

Tiger Woods'

golf tee at the 13th green of the

Masters

. Daly replaced the ball with a hard-boiled egg.

Later, it was revealed that Daly had sold short 10,000 shares of

Fortune Brands

(FO)

, the parent company of Titleist. Woods endorses Titleist golf balls. Yesterday, a Web site reported that Daly may have hoped to further cash in on the incident.

CompanySleuth.com

reported that Daly had registered the domain name "TitleistSucks.com."

"Hey, I've got four ex-wives to feed," Daly said. "How's a regular guy supposed to make a living? I don't mind the long courses, but if they keep making those damn greens so tough, well, hell..."