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CBA Addresses Fraud and Consumer Protection at Monthly Membership Meeting

Lee Edwards | 4/15/2015, 2:44 p.m.
It was all about fraud and consumer protection at the Chatham Business Association (CBA) monthly membership meeting held at the ...
L-R Gloria Gayle, vice president of small business services, US Bank; Gwen Shaw, secretary, Chatham Business Association and Marino Orlandi, president, Chatham Business Association. Photo by Lee Edwards

It was all about fraud and consumer protection at the Chatham Business Association (CBA) monthly membership meeting held at the QGB Building, 806. E. 78th St, where Atty. Joshua Karsh, and Gloria Gayle, Vice President, Small Business Services, U.S. Bank, were invited to spell it all out.

Karsh, a shareholder with Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd, 70 W. Madison St., discussed labor and employment, civil rights, general commercial litigation, consumer protection, whistleblower litigation, appeals, insurance coverage and all manner of statutory and common law fraud litigation.

“What we really wanted to do is reiterate how, when you’re trying to procure a contract or agreement, it’s important to know the compliance end and sometimes you need a little legal guidance,” said Melinda Kelly, executive director, CBA. “If, along the way when you’re engaging in the contract you have a question, we wanted to bring a reliable source who has a community feel which his law firm has.”

L-R Marino Orlandi, president, Chatham Business Association; Gloria Gayle, vice president of small business services, US Bank and Melinda Kelly, executive director, Chatham Business Association.

L-R Marino Orlandi, president, Chatham Business Association; Gloria Gayle, vice president of small business services, US Bank and Melinda Kelly, executive director, Chatham Business Association.

In his discussion, Karsh tackled government contract fraud, small business owner/corporate liability, whistleblower best practices, creating a level playing field and the False Claims Act (FCA). Karsh explained that business owners should learn FCA guidelines in order to protect themselves, their business, and how to hold competitors accountable. (Enacted in 1863 by Congress, the FCA provides that anyone that knowingly submitted false claims to the federal government is liable for double the government’s damages and an additional penalty.)

“If you know that your competitors are cheating or defrauding the state or federal government and you report them and you use somebody like me to go after them you can debar them from future contracts and more importantly for you you’re recovering dollars for the tax payers and the statue says there’s a bounty,” said Karsh.

Karsh also stated that government contract fraud whistleblowers can receive 15 to 25 percent of the value of the reported contract as a reward if the information provided to the authorities is accepted. The most common contract violations are: failure to ever deliver goods or perform services, bribes and or kickbacks, overcharging or double billing, bid rigging, defective products and services, and making false statements to obtain or keep a contract.

Gayle highlighted new innovations and practices in consumer credit card transactions specifically the shift toward Euro Mastercard Visa (EMV) encryption.

EMV is an open-standard set of specifications for smart card payments and acceptance devices. The EMV specifications were developed to define a set of requirements to ensure interoperability between chip-based payment cards and terminals. EMV chip cards contain embedded microprocessors that provide strong transaction security features and other application capabilities not possible with traditional magnetic stripe cards.

Gayle stated that the United States is one of the last developed countries not to utilize EMV, however, all merchants will be required to have EMV encryption technology by Oct. 1, 2015. She added that credit card providers are now making cards with the EMV chip already embedded.

“[EMV] will save our industry and our consumers billions of dollars once it’s fully implemented because it will decrease fraud dramatically at the forefront of in person credit card processing,” said Gayle. “We’re excited about the coming change because it will not only make the process better but it will help eliminate fraud.”

Kelly acknowledged the necessity for credit card protection and applauded Gayle’s remarks during the meeting.

“Identity theft is one of the highest crimes on the south side of Chicago and a lot of it comes from small businesses on how they’re doing their transactions,” said Kelly. “We wanted to make sure that our businesses are ahead on what’s coming and they’re not at the final end forced to be compliant or incur some costs. With US Bank being a corporate member and trusted partner, we wanted to give our businesses a resource.”

To learn more about EMV visit https://www.emvco.com/.

For information about the Chatham Business Association visit http://cbaworks.org/.