Once upon a time, scandalous actions that made the news stayed in the news cycle for some time. In the digital age, scandals quickly come and go; one is replaced in the memory by another. An online question-and-answer thread asked users to name some massive scandals that everyone seems to have forgotten about, and the answers even jogged my memory of them.
1 – Surfside Condominium Collapse
The June 2021 collapse of the Miami high-rise resulted in the loss of ninety-eight lives. Significant problems with the building’s engineering structure were reported in 2018 and again two months before the tragedy.
2 – Astroworld
A fatal crowd crush happened during a Travis Scott concert at Houston’s Astroworld music festival in November 2021, with ten fatalities attributed to overcrowding conditions at the venue. While some victims’ families settled lawsuits, there haven’t been any criminal charges.
3 – Panama Papers
The millions of leaked files exposed how the wealthiest people in the world used offshore banking loopholes to evade paying taxes and commit tax fraud. The participants hid and transferred their assets and money to countries with strict bank privacy laws, like Switzerland and the Bahamas.
4 – Equifax Breach
The March 2017 data breach occurred when hackers stole the personally identifying information of millions of people from Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies in the United States. The breach occurred after Equifax failed to repair a commonly known software vulnerability. Equifax failed to notify the public of the attack for over a month after discovering it happened.
5 – Cashing In On COVID
Several politicians in the U.S. Congress engaged in insider trading or using non-public information they obtained from their work in Congress to buy or sell stocks at the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. These politicians purchased or sold stocks they knew whose value would rise or fall in response to COVID and related shutdowns.
6 – Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill
In April 2010, an oil drilling rig operated by BP exploded, killing eleven workers and spilling more than four million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for almost three months. BP didn’t have adequate safety measures, which resulted in the explosion and subsequent spill. BP paid a $20 billion settlement, but to this day, the ecosystems in the spill area are still negatively impacted.
7 – McDonald’s Monopoly Sweepstakes Cheat
From 1995 to 2000, a vendor hired to ensure fairness in the McDonald’s Monopoly Sweepstakes game stole the winning game pieces for the top prizes, giving them away to people he knew for a share of the proceeds and selling them to others.
8 – Wells Fargo Cross-Selling Fraud
In 2016, the news broke that Wells Fargo bank had fraudulently opened checking and savings accounts using existing customer information. Next, they engaged in cross-selling or selling multiple banking products and services by signing up these fraudulent accounts for services such as debit cards, credit cards, lines of credit, and insurance policies. By creating these accounts, Wells Fargo looked more successful than it was. Wells Fargo fired the involved workers, was fined, and had to pay restitution.
9 – Andrew Wakefield
Wakefield falsified a research paper that connected autism and colitis to the MMR vaccine. He published his falsifications in a leading medical journal. Wakefield profited from his research paper as he held a patent for a rival MMR vaccine and was a hired expert for parents suing vaccine manufacturers.
10 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
While flying an international flight from Malaysia to China on March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared off all radar and is still missing. The passengers and crew are presumed dead. The search for Flight 370 is the most expensive in aviation history.
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