November 20, 2013 |
The "statement of fact" -- that narrative document that lays out what a corporate defendant has done wrong, without actually mentioning anything that could hurt the corporation in court -- has become our generation's big new literary genre. The statement accompanying JPMorgan Chase's $13-billion legal settlement this week is a perfect example of the form. Like most such narratives, it's notable more for what's hidden between the lines than for what's on the page, as in a novel by Joseph Conrad.
October 23, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Bank of America has been found liable for fraud in the sale of faulty loans by its Countrywide mortgage unit, a major victory for the federal government as it continues to pursue cases stemming from the financial crisis. A federal jury in Manhattan sided with prosecutors who alleged Countrywide Financial Corp. churned out risky home loans in a process called "the Hustle" and then sold them to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Calabasas company, once considered the crown jewel of American mortgage lending, made big profits unloading loans that were later rendered worthless during the housing crisis in 2008.
September 27, 2013 |
In little-noticed proceedings earlier this year, 11 people pleaded guilty in a federal court in northern Virginia to a scam that fleeced banks out of millions of dollars. According to the charging documents, the defendants were involved in overlapping conspiracies in which they would systematically alter the terms of real estate closings so lenders would send more money than they needed to. The thieves would then pocket the difference. The case shines some light on perhaps the shadiest side of mortgage fraud.
May 31, 2013 |
Thursday night's revelation that Ronald Holmes, father of former UCLA hoops star Shabazz Muhammad, had been indicted in Las Vegas on mortgage fraud charges raises a number of questions. The indictment, a copy of which can be found here , lays out a rough sketch of Holmes' alleged scheme, which involved obtaining mortgages to buy and sell houses using fraudulent information and straw bidders from 2006 to 2009. To pull off the fraud, Holmes, 51 years old and a former USC shooting guard, allegedly worked with several associates.
January 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Assistant Atty. Gen. Lanny A. Breuer, who boosted white-collar prosecutions and oversaw the investigation into the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill, announced that he would resign as one of the longest-serving chiefs of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. Breuer, whose resignation is effective March 1, had been expected to leave after President Obama's first term. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, noted that Breuer was the third top Justice Department official to depart after the department's inspector general reviewed Fast and Furious, the program that allowed illegal gun sales along the Arizona-Mexico border in an effort to trace them to drug cartels.
January 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Assistant U.S. Atty. Gen. Lanny A. Breuer, who made his mark ramping up the prosecution of white-collar crime and overseeing the government's Gulf of Mexico oil spill investigation, announced he is soon leaving his post as one of the longest serving heads of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. While Breuer, 54, had been expected to depart after serving four years in President Obama's first term, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, noted that Breuer, who was formally admonished in the Fast and Furious scandal, has now become the third top Justice official to step down after the department's blistering inspector general's report into the flawed gun-tracking operation.