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Fraud: Federal government wins some, loses some

Two executives of Bear Stearns, a global investment bank and brokerage firm, ran hedge funds that bet heavily on the shaky subprime mortgage market. When the company collapsed, the two were accused of criminal fraud in an alleged scheme that cost investors $1.6 billion.

On Tuesday, the executives were found not guilty. The verdict is expected to have repercussions for other criminal cases being pursued by the Justice Department relating to America’s financial meltdown.

Fraud is extremely difficult to prove. That’s a big reason why those of us who have been defrauded by sociopaths have such a small chance of getting law enforcement to take action. Prosecutors know that fraud is difficult to prove, so rather than take a chance at losing in court, and putting a ding in their won-lost record, they often just refuse to take on the case.

But sometimes justice prevails. A Lovefraud reader sent me an e-mail about a recent settlement that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) extracted from the MoneyGram company.

MoneyGram is the second-largest money transfer service in the U.S. Between 2004 and 2008, the FTC charged, MoneyGram agents helped fraudulent telemarketers and other con artists trick U.S. consumers into wiring more than $84 million—money that was never seen again. The consumers were falsely told they won the lottery, were hired for a secret shopper program, or were guaranteed loans.

MoneyGram will pay $18 million in consumer redress to settle FTC charges that it allowed its money transfer system to be used for fraud.

The scams are described in detail on the FTC’s website. If you were swindled by one of them, you may be eligible for redress. For information, call 202-326-3755.

The FTC has posted a new consumer alert: Money Transfers Can Be Risky Business. Here are the highlights:

    Don’t wire money to:

  • someone you don’t know, in the U.S. or in a foreign country;
  • someone claiming to be a relative in the midst of a crisis and who wants to keep the ”¨request for money a secret;
  • someone who says a money transfer is the only form of payment that’s acceptable; or
  • someone who asks you to deposit a check and send some of the money back.

It’s good to see at least some movement against fraud. I hope to see more.



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24 Comments on "Fraud: Federal government wins some, loses some"

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Yea, I read about this yesterday. One of the Jurors was quoted as saying “you can’t blame them for the entire financial crisis the market crashed” (paraphrased) Well, yea tht’s right and fraud is VERY hard to prove.

In 1976 my late husband was defrauded by some out an dout CROOKS and he lost his multimillion dollar business—it was only years later that we got the business records back (he did win his business back, but by that time it was nothing but a piece of paper as all assets had been sold off by the crooks)

One man of the crooked team ended up doing 4 years on another fraud case, but it didn’t do my husband any good. He remained furious about this the rest of his life. It sure SUCKS but it is the fact that fraud and insider trading and so on is VERY difficult to prove. When it is proven, it seems to me that people l”wink” at it as “just business” unless they are the ones whose “ox is gored” and then it is difficult to NOT be bitter about it all for “forever.”

Of course I ithink most of us here would agree that being bitter about it forever is allowing the crooks to take your “future” life as well as your past life/money etc.

The seemingly huge number of crooks in many ends of the financial and political problems that caused our current “recession” while they scammed and skimmed millions and in Madoff’s case BILLIONS, it just seems “life isn’t fair.” DUH! LOL

Accepting that sometimes the “bad guy” wins and “gets away” with their bad deeds “scot free” can either make us bitter and grind our teeth, or we can just ACCEPT what IS, and that lilfe is NOT fair. Expecting it to be “fair” is delusional and magical thinking.

I advertized a pricey article (musical instrument) on Craig’s list a while back adn got a scammer who contacted me (didn’t speak good English which is a tip off) who was going to send me a MONEY ORDER (BIG TIP OFF) and then arrange pick up of the instrument.

Later contacted me and said, “Oh, so sorry, my assistant sent a bigger money order than she should have, would you please cash it and then MO me back the difference, keeping the price of the instrument” BIG RED FLAG.

It takes weeks for a MO to clear your bank, so if you go and get the cash for the total MO then MO them back the “balance” you are out good money and then the MO turns up FAKE so you have lost your own cash in the deal.

The scammers keep on trying this so I guess that it must work often enough for them to continue it or they wouldn’t keep on doing it.

I found a web site where a guy was scamming the scammers for fun, h would lead them on for weeks and have them standing on a street corner waiting on him to show up with cash. This guy was having a ball and I laughed til I rolled reading the emails from them to him and their typical P responses about excuses. He might have been a P himself the way he came up with excuses, but seemed to be having a ball doing it and I can’t say it was “bad” for him to do this as it at least cost them time they weren’t working on someone who really was vulnerable.

I am glad to see the prosecution of some of these crooks, but it is never enough.

My aunt got a call from someone who said…..Gramdma….it’s me….she said, who’s me…he said Your favorite Grandson….
She replied…..OH, Johny how are you. (gave up the name). She continued to ask how Jeni and the baby were….(more info given)…..the caller played along with ‘grandma’…..
He said….Grandma, we were in a car accident and I can’t get ahold of my mom and the car rental place needs $2500.00 or they are going to have me arrested today. I didn’t have insurance on the car, I lied….
My aunt went into her diatribe about being responsible, he agreed, listened and nabbed her emotions. My aunt said she was so mad, but her g.son was in trouble and he asked her to wire him a Moneygram from Wallmart, and he would pay her back when he got his paycheck the next week.
she said, you know I have loaned you money before and you have never paid me back and Johnny, this is the last time I will do this for you. He said Gramma, we need to get the baby home because he has a Dr’s apt…..(more drama, crisis and emotional ploy, but remember SHE gave him this info about baby, caller just played along)…..He gave her strict instructions on who to wire it to, not his name but the name of the ‘guy’ at the car rental place….(gramma felt comfy with this…more plausable)….
So….gramma heads off to the bank, collects the 2500 cash and goes into the wallmart ‘g. son’ stated, just as he stated she needed to do……
She gets to the moneygram counter and was still pissed at her g. son….and his irresponisability, and how it was time he grew up…he was 20……She decided to share this with the Money gram lady….her anger at how irresponsible her G. son was etc….handed over the cash and was filling out the paperwork as she was instructed….all while speaking out loud to the MG lady….
The MG Lady said….wow, what a coincidence…there was another lady in here with the same type of irresponsible g. son…..he also had gotten into an accident and couldn’t reach his mother and grama was sending the car rental place a money gram to get him out of trouble…..MY AUNT STOPPED…and her alarms went off…..(btw…she was also told by ‘grandson’ that he didn’t have his cell, it was broken in the accident)….she tried her daughter, and daughter didn’t have a clue of any accident….they both tried calling the son, who wasn’t picking up the phone…..Aunt decided to shop at wallmart and try calling later…..when she finally got a hold of G son…..he said, gramma are you okay, I see you’ve been calling……what s going on…..she asked him about where he was, the money, accident, moneygram etc…..he said….NO GRAMMA, I’m AT WORK and I WAS IN A MEETING so I coulndn’t take your call.
BOOM…..scam averted…..she was inches away from sending this money to a con……a con that she played right into…..it was all so plausible…..
The gramma was so preoccupied with the g. sons irresponsibility in the past, she believed the story and fed right into it…..never really felt comfortable….but went along…..went out of her way to collect the cash and head out to the Money gram place…..until the blessed lady at the counter mentioned the ‘coincidence’.

My aunt felt so embarrassed…..BUT……again….lesson in everything…..I was able to send her info on the cons….sociopathic behaviors……and how reminicent of my experience (always gotta sneak it in, wherever we are!) on a different level….and HOW PEOPLE ARE…..how we always should be aware and on guard……and how proud I was of her for listening to her gut all along……so she was saved from being out the 2500. ultimately.
I told her, how stupid do you think I felt being conned like that for 28 years……
SHE SAW THE LIGHT!!!!!
I told her, the best thing she could do now…..after learning her lesson……was to share her experience….go to the bridge group and tell her story……go to her golf club and tell her story……ONE person will be helped when they get that call, or meet someone in a parking lot or whatever……One person will think of her and her experience and think twice…..and be able to avert danger…….

This got a bit off tract…sorry…..but the Money gram issue was what triggered me to tell this……..
If our govmt keeps letting these cons/fruads off…..there will be no stopping them sooner than later! Whats the point in following the law….if there are NO consequences??

Dear Erin,

TOWANDA!!!! for Gramma and for you and for the lady at the moneygram store! GREAT!!!!

Ah, how crafty they are!!!!

This article on fraud reminds me of an incidentwith my older p daughter,{forgive me if Ive already mentioned it here.}
She rang me one evening in a terrible state, to say she was in trouble with her bank, as she was overdrawn, and couldnt pay back the money . She asked if I could help her out, you know the usual promised to pay me back, etc. I finally agreed to meet her At Circular Quay in Sydney, as she worked for a company near there. I was to meet her in the foyer of the building where she worked. I waited, she was half an hour late. We went to her bank, {Westpac} at the Quay. I had a cheque made out for the amount I could afford, around A$480-, all my savings at the time.She said it was no use, she couldnt wait for the cheque to be cleared, so she insisted I go to my bank, cash the cheque, get the cash, and hand that over to her. I did convert it to cash, but I kept the money, saying I wanted to pay it into her account myself. There wasa large queue,finally we got to the teller. I said,”Id like you to get my daughtersaccount statement, so Ican see exactly what she is owing.” The girl went away, and came back, and wrote,A$4.-50 cents” on a scrap of paper. In other words, she was only overdrawn by$4 dollars and fifty cents, a piddling amount.
When d saw this, she said,” Mum., there must be some mistake, you look tired, why dont you go and sit down and Ill sort it out!” I WAS tired and confused by then, so I did sit down,-big mistake. My daughter came back and said, “It WAS a mistake, she got the decimal point in the wrong place, Im actually $450– Overdrawn., as I said”.
So, like a mug, I handed over the $450– we went outside, in front of me, she cut up her credit card, we put the bits in the bin, I hugged her, she said”Thanks Mum!”, and I went home, convinced Id helped her out.
A week or so later, her bank statement came to my address,[as shed been living with us for some months,-nearly broke up my marriage, but thats another story.} Smelling a rat, and listening to my gut, I opened it. There, in black and white, was the correct statement from before I gave her the $450–
$4. -and fifty cents overdrawn. So the teller in the bank did NOT make a mistake. And D had taken my last $450- of savings, knowing she wasnt in trouble financially, knowing it was all my savings. But, worse was to come. Another week went by,then a courier on a motor bike turned up at my door with a cablegram. I had to read it in her place,{it was addressed to her, but the boy wouldnt leave unless I signed for it.} It said,” From Julie, at Westpac, Circ. Quay. Your new
mastercard is here waiting to be picked up. Sincerely, Julie.”
So, the minute after wed cut up her card, shed straight awy gone back in , told them her card was lost, and ordered a new one!!Worse again, to come. the next day, a NEW bank statement came, this time I opened it without any qualms.
There was A$13,000 in her account from her job, shed either left or been fired and this was the super plus holiday loading shed accrued in several years. ! She went on holiday with that money,when I rang her at work the next day to remonstrate with hr for deceiving me, yet again she hung up on me. I rng her 4 times, each time she hung up on me.
This was in1986, and no, she hasnt changed. But I have now, better late than never!!They are TOTALLY without conscience, pity, kindness, or remorse.Are they even human? Love, Gem.XX

Gem that is horrible your girl did that to you – no remorse is right. They do things that would make a regular person cringe.
EB = such a close call! What a clever woman to check it out!

The P who derailed my life spent tens of thousands that was BORROWED to complete renovations on the house then blamed me for it. “I spent it on household bills and things.” yeah right – why is the statement full of cash withdrawals then? I never have been able to find out the truth of where all the money went and suspect I never will know. Yet I had scrimped and scraped for a decade hauling his ass out of financial problems and crises that were always self inflicted. I never had a holiday in all that time and was exhausted and sick. Did he care? No. Of course not – no conscience, no guilt, no morals and no ethics or empathy.

I am angry that the justice system allows them to do this – they enter into a contractual arrangement – marriage or relationship and don’t hold up their end of the bargain much to the detriment of targets… yet we are meant to ‘forgive’ and ‘move past it’ and ‘don’t be bitter’. Where is the justice?? Why can’t we sue them for something? I would like to see his ass thrown in jail for fraud = for presenting himself as something he isn’t. Yet of course there is no justice – it’s a case of ‘Buyer Beware’ with absolutely no consumer protection at all, no insurance, no guarantees and no warranty.

He can abuse as much as he likes and then make out I am the one with an anger problem at the end of the day – I hear you Gemini!!! And no they are not human – they are reptilian of some description = cold blooded with forked tongues.

Oxy – those are fairly well known scams nowadays = I have received a few about winning lotteries I never entered. I actually called one of the phone numbers one day and sure enough a man with a very heavy accent answered rather sheepishly and stumbled when I asked some pointed questions about the email and then told him he was a scammer and I was reporting him in my country.

My Mom encountered a sneakier scam that appeals to vanity I guess. She entered a poetry contest and got an email saying her poem was going to be published … as soon as she sent two hundred dollars for a copy of the large coffee table anthology it would be included in. Poor Mom was delighted until I pointed out the ridiculously inflated price for one copy … and then pointed out that most published authors get complimentary copies of their books when it is published. She’s pretty astute when it comes to scams too – notably she didn’t like the P from day one!

Thanks Donna Anderson – it is good to see some prosecutions 🙂 Let’s hope it eventually trickles down to the fraudsters who operate in relationships rather than the corporate arena!

Pollyannanomore, He can abuse as much as he likes and then make out I am the one with an anger problem at the end of the day……Yes absolutely. Mine was a master at this, and yes I was angry. Damn angry. Being angry wasn’t abnormal, anyone in their right mind would have been angry.
What was not normal was my not kicking him to the curb. My insistance that I should and could controll him, and my absolute refusal to involve the law. How arrogant of me. To think I could fix him. And everytime I failed I was furious.
AH. Live and learn.

Dear Gem,

I think each of us could publish a 600 page book on the scams our Ps have done to us, and all the things they lied about.

Did you sit down and count your blessings today? Make a list! I bet the list of BLESSINGS is 10 X longer than the list of the things you lost!

I know it is hard to let go of those old hurts, but by hanging on to them you RE-live them and the pain. Darling, I know it is HARD to let go of your “child” even if they are 45+ yrs old–but your “child” just like mine is GONE, but you DO have your granddaughters (something I don’t have biologically) and so focus on what you DO have my sweet Gem. I know I’m being bossy! Butr just like we have told others NC and when you relive and relive these terrible things and bash yourself about the head for being so “stupid” (I know you didn’t say that WORD but you insinuated it LOL) but you are NOT stupid, you were gullible because of love.

Count the wonderful blessings you DO have and give that love and RECEIVE the love from your GDs adn your “new” adulty kids! ((((hugs)))) and all my prayers for you Sweet Gem!

That should be Adult kids NOT adulty LOL

The P’s are going to lose at the end of the day. No worries. Just heal.

As clients, I ‘ve had several companies who track “bad actors” in business and finance. One is a research company that rates publicly traded companies for their integrity in financial accounting methods. Another one is a company that tracks the performance of states and municipalities in meeting their public disclosure requirements after issuing bonds.

Both have done extraordinary work in investor protection, and there are more firms like that, helping investors and providing information to regulatory and enforcement agencies.

One of the things I’ve come to accept after working in the financial realm for nearly three decades is that the structure of the free market system encourages greed, and it’s a short step from healthy ambition to criminal activities. Often that step is created by a confluence of circumstances that really challenge people’s ethics. I’ve been in the situation myself in my PR work where a high-paying client orders me to do something iffy, in terms of releasing information that is not strictly true or that would create negative controversy just to get visibility. I’ve been faced with losing a big part of my income by refusing to do it, or creatively coming up with a better solution. And I’ve lost some clients over it, ones who didn’t want a PR person who was the “ethics police.”

I’m lucky to work in an industry where ethics is a selling point (desptie eathe bad press some PR people earn). So it ultimately pays off for me. The same is true in most industries, because no one wants to do business with a company they can’t trust. But it doesn’t mean that protective business regulations aren’t important. The work of the SEC, the Federal Trade Commission, the banking agencies, the state consumer affairs agencies and the laws they enforce are resources we tend to take for granted, but they were hard won.

Most anti-fraud and other anti-abuse regulations come to be passed because of initiatives that started at the grass roots level, and eventually gained enough strength to become issues of voter power. And these regulations are always, naturally, fought by the entities that will be regulated. Right now, I’m actively engaged in a variety of initiatives regarding wilderness protection, women’s rights, fair banking practices, natural health options, and support for entrepreneurs in poor countries.

Most of them don’t require more than adding my signature to petitions, agreeing to have e-mails sent on my behalf, and investing money when I have some to spare. I hope that someday someone smarter than me figures out an way to articulate the need to expand the legal definitions of personal injury to include psychological abuse for profit. Or something like that. It will be a revolutionary idea when it comes, challenging a lot of our beliefs about what is acceptable in individual and institutional behavior. But it will also begin to codify compassion into the legal system in a way that is long overdue.

I’m looking forward to that day, and I’m ready to work for it.

Kathy

http://www.scambuster419.co.uk/

This site is hysterically funny when you pick a subject (left side – I recommend ‘the Vicar’ and the “door furnishings [knobs and knockers]” to start with.

This guy ‘gets back’ at all the nigerian 419 scams – Oxy, I believe this is the one you were referring to in post of Thurs 11/12.

The website post-er strings these jokers along – sometimes for MONTHS, with his obtuse replies and insistence upon meeting the scammers. There are pictures of the scammers waiting around for their “victim” and all the while THEY are the victims and end up looking really STUPID!

When you need a “lift of spirits” and have a bit of time to spend, reading these posts will definitely do that – I love them, but don’t get to go to the site too much lately, what with school and all that.

I hope LF readers will go to this link and have a few good BELLY LAUGHS, as they read an entire “transaction that isn’t going to happen!”

It gave me some concrete ideas and strategies for dealing with the “P” disordered person in my/our life (it’s custody of a now 9 year old, wherein she continually acts the opposite of our home’s rules, chronically LATE and getting LATER with her child pick-ups for visitation). But alas, it IS funny, even as is it frustrating. The “trains run on time” at our house; and she’s got no respect for that.

But we did get custody, and she can’t do SH*T about it – except to be late, and “run her game of opposition” against us and our ways. Fortunately, we KNOW this and PLAN for it. It is all we can do for now. Well THAT and DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT !!! Which we do.

So enjoy the reading at the link, above. When you’re feeling down or “blue” or overwhelmed, it’s a good way to break the cycle!
~j~

Did you all see this article in Time? http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,972865-1,00.html

One victim’s father says of Scientology” “I now believe it’s a school for psychopaths. ”

Early in my life I dated a guy who tried to recruit me into that. Thank god he creeped me out and I dumped him. I begin to have more and more respect for the person I was at 20!

Getting back to my core values.

Any “religion” started by a Sci-fi author I think is suspect, or any religion that requries you to PAY for training is suspect, but people will believe what suits them. that is why cults work and always have.

There have been many “media stars’ recruited into the scientology ranks in the last few years, and some of them are descent people and not dumb at all, but I have no “faith” in that either as a religon or a spiritual path but obviously those people who do get something out of it.

Someone put me on the scientology mailing list so I get lots of their propoganda sent to me, I’m not sure how to get off that list either! LOL

Another reason cults work is very familiar to all of us here….brainwashing, gaslighting, a trance, a fog, seduction by dreams of perfect love, etc. Nasty, nasty stuff.

Ox do you want a subscription to the Watchtower and Awake ? I can get you a good deal on em…

Henry,

I don’t have to get you to get me a deal on them, one of clay’s friends is JW and there are some guys around here who come on a regular basis to leave them at my door. LOL

I think next time I will carry my skillet to the door.

well i think they have good intentions – but being raised in that faith only added to my dysfunction – be it the Truth or whatever. anywho enuff about religion – next subject?

Wasn’t sure where to post this, but here’s a link to the latest federal court hearings on the competency hearings for the monster that abducted Elizabeth Smart. I’m posting it here because as you will read an independent examiner is arguing that the guy isn’t delusional that he’s really an ASPD Psychopath, etc. who is faking his incompetence. They wouldn’t have to have to twist our arms to get any of us believe that now, would they??!!!

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-11-29-elizabeth-smart-case_N.htm?csp=34&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+usatoday-NewsTopStories+%28News+-+Top+Stories%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo

Hecates:
Thanks for that….
Ms. Smart is one courageous woman!!!
I say …..save all this money being spent and kill the beast!
Oooopppps! Love YA!

Dear Hecates path,

WELCOME BACK, long time no see! glad you are still around.

Thanks for the link! You know, sometimes I read about these cases and I think, my goodness, what am I WHINING about, there are so many people who had it so much worse….but like Viktor Frankl said “Pain is TOTAL” and it fills the complete space like a gas does. You are right though, she is a suvivor.

I saw a show last night (true story) about a girl who at age 10 had her throat slashed, and the girl she will in the bedroom with was killed, she crawled out the door, down the street to a house quite a ways away, to get help, identified the perp, and testified at his trial as the key witness. She is now 20 and still a suvivor—tough little girl who has had to endure too much.

Both her parents were druggies, and she was “raising” her younger sibs (she was 10) at the time of the attack her father was in prison and her mother somewhere else—but she survived and has seemed to weather it a stronger more successful person than one might expect given her back ground. Her dad and mom have cleaned up their acts and her younger sibs are doing well and she is reestablishing a relationship with her dad, close to her sibs and starting college.

The interviews with her were amazing on “living to tell”—

Sage and onion bulletts!! Kill the spaths and stuff them at the same time![The bears will like them even more!}
Im in a psychopath mood tonight, -let me be, Im on a roll! love, Gem

Exerpt from the below article.
http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20464502,00.html

“In other developments surrounding the case, NBC News reported that FBI and law authorities were tipped off six years ago about Carlina’s situation but failed to follow through.”

What is is going to take for the government to START DOING THEIR JOBS?
I’ts just pushing papers…..there is NO ACCOUNTABILITY!
Even when things go way south….and murders occur…..respossibility gets thwarted.
If no one is held accountable….this shit will continue to be accepted.
PEOPLE>.>………Stand up and start yelling…..OUR VOICES NEED TO BE HEARD!

If we keep seated and silenced……it is gonna get worse!

This happens EVERYDAY! Look at Jayce Dugard case….look at all the chances she had to be ‘rescued’….in those 18 years.
Look at how many agencies visited the house wehere she was held captive…..

IF WE HAD PEOPLE THAT ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE….this wouldn’t happen…..we’ve allowed our society to settle…..close one eye….and pretend it didn’t happen.

There are too many cracks……and we as a society are OKAY with it…..UNTIL WE ARE AFFECTED.

It’s like….manufactureres……they produce a product…..now back in the ‘day’, we’d expect that product to have a resonable life span OR we’d return it for being defective. NOW….we gotta BUY an EXTENDED WARRANTY and pay a huge sum for that?
AND WE DO IT??????????
WTF?
If I spend $800 on a new TV, and it comes with a 90 day warranty…..your sure as SHIT I am gonna expect this tv to last at least several years………and if it breaks/malfunctions in 100 days……I don’t care what your policy is…..your getting the friggen TV BACK!
I AIN”T PAYING AN ADDITRIONAL fee to extend what I should be entitieled to in the beginning……

As a society…..we need to have ‘reasonable’ expectations…..and if we all ‘buy’ that extended warranty….then the companies get away with producing faulty – shoddy, products….and keep making fortunes allowing them to ‘run’ the world.
STOP IT! EXPECT SOMETHING REASONABLE! STAND UP FOR OUR RIGHTS!!!!!! DON”T WALK ALONG LIKE “the rest of em’……..MAKE A DIFFERENCE…..BE HEARD!!!!!! SET AN EXAMPLE!

RIGHT IS RIGHT-0 WRONG IS WRONG!!!!!
Just because the majority goes along….doesn’t mean ‘we’ have to……..LOOK WHERE THAT HAS GOTTEN OUR SOCIETY!
It aint’ getting better people!

As a society…..if we expect MORE from our FBI down to our local authorities…..AT SOME POINT….they are gonna have to perform to standards WE SET and expect!

EB, I thought the whole article and the COMMENTs were all very interesting, actually.

The girl becoming “distant” and the settlement money that the parents spent after she didn’t turn up by age 21 (who would have expected she should or would turn up) The talk for pay attitude about interviews etc.

I agree that the money settlement to the parents which wasn’t all that much, was THEIRS for their suffering at the loss of their child (as if money would make up for that) But I don’t think the girl has any “right” to that money even if they did have it.

She sounds to me like she has some “problems” but not sure what they are.

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