Class action to target government over ‘robotdebt’ scheme


Centrelink’s controversial ‘robodebt’ scheme will be the subject of a class action led by law firm Gordon Legal with the support of the Labor Party.

The scheme — formally known as the Online Compliance Initiative (OCI) — involves automatically generated letters being sent to former and current welfare recipients demanding that they prove they were not overpaid by Centrelink.

The data-matching program takes Australian Taxation Office (ATO) income records and matches them with Centrelink clients. Centrelink’s algorithm assumes that the ATO-reported annual income of an individual was earned at an equal rate throughout the year, leading to letters being sent asking highlighting a possible debt being owed to Centrelink even in cases where there is no conflict between the data sets.

A 2017 report from a Senate inquiry called for the system’s suspension.

“Throughout this inquiry, the committee heard many personal accounts of the stress and distress the automated debt recovery system has caused recipients,” the report stated. The OCI system involved a “fundamental lack of procedural fairness” that was “evident in every stage,” the report said.




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Mark Karpelès faces US class action lawsuit over Mt Gox’s demise



Mark Karpelès, the ex-CEO of defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox, will have to face a class-action lawsuit in Philadelphia about the notorious company‘s demise five years ago.

It comes after District Judge Robert Kelly threw out Karpelès’ request to dismiss the suit, which alleges he hid problems at the exchange from its users, Reuters reports.

The case was brought forward by Gregory Pearce, a former Mt. Gox customer, who is representing himself as well as other victims affected by the exchange‘s failure.

According to documents submitted in court, Pearce claims Karpelès was aware of “security bugs in the system but did not make these defects known to the public.”

Karpelès has been involved in several lawsuits over the years. In fact, back in March, he said he would appeal a court ruling, which found him guilty of manipulating the financial records of his embattled cryptocurrency exchange to conceal its massive losses.

By 2013 and into 2014, Mt. Gox was reportedly handling more than 70 percent of all Bitcoin transactions worldwide. When the company collapsed in early 2014, it said it lost almost 750,000 of its customersBitcoins, as well as around 100,000 of its own coins, a total sum of approximately $473 million near the time of the filing.

Published July 30, 2019 — 14:52 UTC




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