By Phil Milford and Denise Pellegrini – Oct 9, 2010 12:01 AM ET
A former paralegal told Florida investigators that workers at a law firm that processed foreclosures signed paperwork without reading it, misdated records and skirted rules protecting homeowners in the military.
Tammie Lou Kapusta, who said she spent more than a year at the Law Offices of David J. Stern PA, made the accusations in a Sept. 22 interview with lawyers for Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum. In August, McCollum announced a probe of three law firms to see whether improper documents were created and filed with state courts to hasten the foreclosure process.
Jeffery Tew, a lawyer for the Stern firm, denied Kapusta’s claims.
Kapusta, who spoke under oath, said the Stern firm ballooned from 225 employees when she started in March 2008, to more than 1,100 when she was fired in July 2009. She described a disorganized workplace where documents got lost and mortgages were misfiled. The training process was “stupid and ridiculous,” she said.
“There were a lot of young kids working up there who really didn’t pay attention to what they were doing,” she said, according to a transcript. “We had a lot of people that were hired in the firm that were just hired as warm bodies.”
Kapusta’s statements were reported Oct. 7 in the Tampa Tribune. Tew, of Tew Cardenas LLP in Miami, said he wasn’t aware of the interview until it was released to the public.
“We didn’t get a chance to cross-examine her,” he said. “It was a one-sided statement by a disgruntled employee. There was a lot of animus and personal references, and she seeks to besmirch people’s reputation. The law firm denies there’s any accuracy in the charges.”
There’s a court hearing set for Oct. 12 to determine whether McCollum’s office has jurisdiction over the firm’s conduct, Tew said.
“This is a civil investigation, and the attorney general hasn’t made any conclusions,” Tew said.
EXPLOSIVE DEPOSTION!!!! BUSTED!! DAVID J. STERN “MILL” KNEW THIS ALL ALONG…THIS FORECLOSURE FRAUD!!!
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