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RePost- MUST READ RELEASE: From Andrew Bennett Spark, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa Economic Crimes

RePost- MUST READ RELEASE: From Andrew Bennett Spark, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa Economic Crimes


RELEASE:

From Andrew Bennett Spark, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa Economic Crimes

August 8, 2011
Cell: 941.321.5927

I. Introduction
By way of introduction, I have served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Economic Crimes Division of the Florida Attorney General’s Office since March of 2004, first in Orlando, and the last 6 ½ years in Tampa. I have been reading articles concerning the controversies swirling around the Attorney General’s Office with respect to the forcedresignations of June Clarkson and Theresa Edwards (from whom I took over day-to-day handling of the ProVest investigation), and the employment of Joe Jacquot with Lender Processing Services, one of the companies at the heart of the foreclosure robo-signing issues. While I have a significantly different philosophy concerning these cases than Clarkson, Edwards, and most other homeowner advocates, the people of the State of Florida are entitled to fair and honest government, independent of personal connections and powerful interests, and I have decided to speak out.

As an important caveat, please note that the below contains various factual statements, and asks questions. If I ask a question, it is because I truly do not know the answer, not because I am implying any particular answer to the question.

II. Former Director of Economic Crimes Mary Leontakianakos now works for foreclosure law firm Marshall Watson
Joe Jacquot is not the only high-ranking recent member of the Attorney General’s Office to now be working with a company which has been the subject of one of our foreclosure investigations. Mary Leontakianakos, who was Director of Economic Crimes until approximately January 3 of this year has, according to The Florida Bar, taken a job at foreclosure firm Marshall Watson.
http://www.floridabar.org/names.nsf/0/C1D818F4CF8FA1EE85256A8400081E2D?Open

Document Leontakianakos was centrally involved in the foreclosure investigations while leading our Division, including the investigation of Marshall Watson:
http://www.abc-7.com/Global/story.asp?S=12968488

It appears that Watson and/or Leontakianakos have been secreting her employment from the public. By using a personal email address as her contact email address rather than the Marshall Watson email address suffix MarshallWatson.com, Leontakianakos has been able to avoid search functions which would reveal her affiliation. It is through the use of email suffixes that one may search the Florida Bar’s database for former employees of the foreclosure firms under investigation. In addition, Watson has taken down the portion of his website showing the attorneys in the firm; it appears to be the only portion of his website that is inaccessible from elsewhere on the firm’s website (interestingly enough, Watson’s own attorney profile on that portion of the website is easily found directly from a Google search, and so does Caryn Graham’s, but there’s none for Leontakianakos)..

As has been widely reported, the Attorney General’s Office entered into a settlement with Marshall Watson in March of this year. A copy of the settlement agreement with Marshall Watson is found here:

http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/SKNS-8FAHED/$file/WatsonAVC.pdf

Note that Paragraph 4.1 of the agreement requires Marshall Watson to name a liaison to the Attorney General’s Office. Is Mary Leontakianakos that liaison? I do not know. However, Leontakianakos’ address on The Florida Bar website is listed as Fort Lauderdale, and yet a search of the website of the Broward County Clerk of Court reveals that she has not appeared as an attorney in a lawsuit in Broward County – ever.

If Leontakianakos is that liaison, would she have been switching sides during the course of a controversy, Rule 4-1.9 of The Florida Bar states, “[a] lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter:

(a) represent another person in the same or a substantially related matter in which that person’s interests are materially adverse to the interests of the former client unless the former client gives informed consent;”

Of course, the Economic Crimes Division acts in a parens patriae role as a representative of the people of the State of Florida. Consent of the people of the state cannot meaningfully be given in such a situation – and judging by the reaction of so many of people in the state the past few weeks since the Clarkson/Edwards/Jacquot story broke, it is safe to say such consent by the people would not be given even if it meaningfully could be given.

The Case Report for the investigation indicates that attorney Caryn Graham is the “point person” to contact at Watson for concerns about the AVC. According to The Florida Bar website, Graham is still with the Watson firm. Watson recently hired former Broward Chief Judge Tobin in a supervisory capacity. Indeed, the Miami Herald reported that Tobin said he would not spend much time in the courtroom.
http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/05/18/2222892/browards-chief-judge-resigns.html

If Leontakianakos is not actually the liaison, despite the entry about Graham in the Case Report, this begs a few questions, one of which is what, if anything, Leontakianakos is doing there?

The other question that arises is whether Leontakianakos’ hiring by Watson is connected to the settlement. The settlement agreement does not specify as such; however, I have been told by someone in my office that in another case some years back, another highranking individual with Economic Crimes received a job with a subsequent employer out of settlement proceeds from a case – and the connection between the settlement and the job was not disclosed.

Perhaps tellingly, the Attorney Geneal’s press release concerning the Watson settlement states, “The Marshall Watson firm fully cooperated with theinvestigation since its inception.”
http://myfloridalegal.com/__852562220065EE67.nsf/0/478149A91AA0E2528525785E0
06C1EED?Open&Highlight=0,marshall,watson

During her tenure as Director of Economic Crimes, Leontakianakos encouraged side agreements that werecontemporaneous with but not memorialized in the formal settlement documents (“AVC”s). Perhaps as some sort of Freudian-like slip reflective of what may be in effect a golden parachute, on the Bar website Leontakianakos still describes her practice in the “Occupation” field as “Government attorney.” The Marshall Watson settlement contains an unusual provision, paragraph 6.1, requiring the Attorney General to close the investigation upon the execution by all parties. It is typical for our office to close investigations following execution, and parties do typically want the public to know that the investigation is closed; what it is unusual, however, at least in my experience, is for the settlement agreement to explicitly state as such memorializing the closing as a priority. Why the extra concern? (Interestingly enough, despite that provision, I should note that the investigation is now open – I don’t know whether it remained opened or was reopened).

[…]

THIS IS MINDBLOWING…continue below!!

[ipaper docId=61985571 access_key=key-1tqrvtjuwe5lp5zzmcb6 height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

Florida AG Pam Bondi Pressured By Targets Of Investigations To Soften Approach, Critics Say

Florida AG Pam Bondi Pressured By Targets Of Investigations To Soften Approach, Critics Say


ALL-in-ONE, Excellent report by HuffPo’s William Alden on the facts of what went down, when those who work for the people get fired, pushed out for getting a bit too close to exposing the AG’s office.

Is she waiting for the statue of limitations to run it’s course? When there is much more left to expose.

HuffPO-

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Last December, when she was still investigating foreclosure fraud as a top lawyer in the Florida attorney general’s office, June Clarkson gave a PowerPoint presentation to a legal association.

Her presentation amounted to an indictment of Lender Processing Services, or LPS, a company near the center of ongoing state investigations into claims that foreclosures have been rushed en masse through the legal machinery, without proper documentation. She flashed images of paperwork on a screen under the heading “forgeries,” asserting that LPS’ former subsidiary, Docx, had produced phony documents to justify unlawful foreclosures.

The legal association later sent Clarkson a thank-you note, calling her tutorial “invaluable.” Word of her presentation reached New York, where a state Supreme Court judge cited it in a harshly-worded ruling that a bank lacked the right to foreclose on a Brooklyn home.

But the Jacksonville-based LPS was furious …

[HUFFINGTON POST]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

LPS lawyer Joe Jacquot defends himself in AG scandal

LPS lawyer Joe Jacquot defends himself in AG scandal


Common sense, one would’ve recused themselves from even communicating with a high profile corp. that is under investigation from the AG’s office and in some states under criminal. Creates a “conflict” wouldn’t you think? Maybe unless you know for a fact that nothing will happen.

First thing comes to mind is why would one continue to pursue a job, knowing there might be a very good chance the company making headlines nationwide for fraud would even stay in business? Don’t many of the businesses the AG’s investigate get shut down when they find a mountain of fraud? Secondly why are other states and NOT Florida going after a criminal investigation when the company under investigation headquarters are indeed in Florida? Makes no sense.

We don’t see anyone from the New York AG’s office running to work for lets say Bank Of America…or in talks to find employment there.

Orlando Sentinel

TALLAHASSEE — A former state government lawyer now working for a firm under investigation by the state in a foreclosure fraud case said Thursday that he had nothing to do with foreclosures while he worked in the attorney general’s office.

Three Democratic lawmakers said this week they want legislation passed to prevent lawyers for government agencies from leaving the state to go work for firms that are under investigation. The proposal is aimed, the lawmakers say, in part at Joe Jacquot, who left the attorney general’s office earlier this year and has come under scrutiny for going to work for a Jacksonville company, Lender Processing Services, that was under investigation by the office, while he was there.

Jacquot said in an interview with The News Service of Florida on Thursday that not only did he not have anything to do with the probe of foreclosure firms started under former Attorney General Bill McCollum, he formally notified McCollum when he began talking to LPS as a possible future employer, and asked to be kept completely out of the loop on any discussions related to the company. Jacquot was one of two deputy attorneys general in McCollum’s office, and was McCollum’s chief of staff.

[ORLANDO SENTINEL]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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Assistant attorney general resigns after memo blasting Florida AG’s office

Assistant attorney general resigns after memo blasting Florida AG’s office


Doesn’t the last paragraph seem way off? Yes, what about those who did leave the AG’s office to go work at firms that were busted for Massive Fraud and currently under investigation today?

Exactly how, when and where did the discussions about employment come about? This is going to get extremely interesting.

Palm Beach Post

Andrew Spark, an assistant state attorney general in the Tampa office of economic crimes, resigned Wednesday, a day after he released a 16-page memo discussing grievances he has with the Florida attorney general’s office.

Spark said his memo, which he emailed to media outlets, was motivated by the forced resignations of former state foreclosure investigators June Clarkson and Theresa Edwards.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said today that Spark was the subject of an ongoing investigation for using the services of a business he was investigating.

[PALM BEACH POST]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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LAST CALL | Before Florida Dems pledge to file Pam Bondi-inspired ‘Investigation Integrity Act’

LAST CALL | Before Florida Dems pledge to file Pam Bondi-inspired ‘Investigation Integrity Act’


Orlando Sentinel-

TALLAHASSEE — Two Democratic lawmakers said Wednesday they planned to file a reform proposal inspired by Attorney General Pam Bondi to place stronger revolving-door prohibitions into state law.

Reps. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, and Ron Saunders, D-Key West, said in a press release that the “Florida Investigation Integrity Act” they’re filing was inspired when “the Attorney General’s special counsel on foreclosure fraud “a special counsel in the Attorney General’s office esigned and then, reportedly, accepted employment with an organization he had been investigating. that has been under investigation for its foreclosure practices. Subsequently, two other attorneys in the office who were investigating the matter foreclosure fraud were terminated from their jobs.” (The updated statement was released late Wednesday afternoon.)

Background on the case, as well as Bondi, here.

[ORLANDO SENTINEL]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

MUST READ RELEASE: From Andrew Bennett Spark, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa Economic Crimes

MUST READ RELEASE: From Andrew Bennett Spark, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa Economic Crimes


RELEASE:

From Andrew Bennett Spark, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa Economic Crimes

August 8, 2011
Cell: 941.321.5927

I. Introduction
By way of introduction, I have served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Economic Crimes Division of the Florida Attorney General’s Office since March of 2004, first in Orlando, and the last 6 ½ years in Tampa. I have been reading articles concerning the controversies swirling around the Attorney General’s Office with respect to the forcedresignations of June Clarkson and Theresa Edwards (from whom I took over day-to-day handling of the ProVest investigation), and the employment of Joe Jacquot with Lender Processing Services, one of the companies at the heart of the foreclosure robo-signing issues. While I have a significantly different philosophy concerning these cases than Clarkson, Edwards, and most other homeowner advocates, the people of the State of Florida are entitled to fair and honest government, independent of personal connections and powerful interests, and I have decided to speak out.

As an important caveat, please note that the below contains various factual statements, and asks questions. If I ask a question, it is because I truly do not know the answer, not because I am implying any particular answer to the question.

II. Former Director of Economic Crimes Mary Leontakianakos now works for foreclosure law firm Marshall Watson
Joe Jacquot is not the only high-ranking recent member of the Attorney General’s Office to now be working with a company which has been the subject of one of our foreclosure investigations. Mary Leontakianakos, who was Director of Economic Crimes until approximately January 3 of this year has, according to The Florida Bar, taken a job at foreclosure firm Marshall Watson.
http://www.floridabar.org/names.nsf/0/C1D818F4CF8FA1EE85256A8400081E2D?Open

Document Leontakianakos was centrally involved in the foreclosure investigations while leading our Division, including the investigation of Marshall Watson:
http://www.abc-7.com/Global/story.asp?S=12968488

It appears that Watson and/or Leontakianakos have been secreting her employment from the public. By using a personal email address as her contact email address rather than the Marshall Watson email address suffix MarshallWatson.com, Leontakianakos has been able to avoid search functions which would reveal her affiliation. It is through the use of email suffixes that one may search the Florida Bar’s database for former employees of the foreclosure firms under investigation. In addition, Watson has taken down the portion of his website showing the attorneys in the firm; it appears to be the only portion of his website that is inaccessible from elsewhere on the firm’s website (interestingly enough, Watson’s own attorney profile on that portion of the website is easily found directly from a Google search, and so does Caryn Graham’s, but there’s none for Leontakianakos)..

As has been widely reported, the Attorney General’s Office entered into a settlement with Marshall Watson in March of this year. A copy of the settlement agreement with Marshall Watson is found here:

http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/SKNS-8FAHED/$file/WatsonAVC.pdf

Note that Paragraph 4.1 of the agreement requires Marshall Watson to name a liaison to the Attorney General’s Office. Is Mary Leontakianakos that liaison? I do not know. However, Leontakianakos’ address on The Florida Bar website is listed as Fort Lauderdale, and yet a search of the website of the Broward County Clerk of Court reveals that she has not appeared as an attorney in a lawsuit in Broward County – ever.

If Leontakianakos is that liaison, would she have been switching sides during the course of a controversy, Rule 4-1.9 of The Florida Bar states, “[a] lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter:

(a) represent another person in the same or a substantially related matter in which that person’s interests are materially adverse to the interests of the former client unless the former client gives informed consent;”

Of course, the Economic Crimes Division acts in a parens patriae role as a representative of the people of the State of Florida. Consent of the people of the state cannot meaningfully be given in such a situation – and judging by the reaction of so many of people in the state the past few weeks since the Clarkson/Edwards/Jacquot story broke, it is safe to say such consent by the people would not be given even if it meaningfully could be given.

The Case Report for the investigation indicates that attorney Caryn Graham is the “point person” to contact at Watson for concerns about the AVC. According to The Florida Bar website, Graham is still with the Watson firm. Watson recently hired former Broward Chief Judge Tobin in a supervisory capacity. Indeed, the Miami Herald reported that Tobin said he would not spend much time in the courtroom.
http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/05/18/2222892/browards-chief-judge-resigns.html

If Leontakianakos is not actually the liaison, despite the entry about Graham in the Case Report, this begs a few questions, one of which is what, if anything, Leontakianakos is doing there?

The other question that arises is whether Leontakianakos’ hiring by Watson is connected to the settlement. The  settlement agreement does not specify as such; however, I have been told by someone in my office that in another case some years back, another highranking individual with Economic Crimes received a job with a subsequent employer out of settlement proceeds from a case – and the connection between the settlement and the job was not disclosed.

Perhaps tellingly, the Attorney Geneal’s press release concerning the Watson settlement states, “The Marshall Watson firm fully cooperated with theinvestigation since its inception.”
http://myfloridalegal.com/__852562220065EE67.nsf/0/478149A91AA0E2528525785E0
06C1EED?Open&Highlight=0,marshall,watson

During her tenure as Director of Economic Crimes, Leontakianakos encouraged side agreements that werecontemporaneous with but not memorialized in the formal settlement documents (“AVC”s). Perhaps as some sort of Freudian-like slip reflective of what may be in effect a golden parachute, on the Bar website Leontakianakos still describes her practice in the “Occupation” field as “Government attorney.” The Marshall Watson settlement contains an unusual provision, paragraph 6.1, requiring the Attorney General to close the investigation upon the execution by all parties. It is typical for our office to close investigations following execution, and parties do typically want the public to know that the investigation is closed; what it is unusual, however, at least in my experience, is for the settlement agreement to explicitly state as such memorializing the closing as a priority. Why the extra concern? (Interestingly enough, despite that provision, I should note that the investigation is now open – I don’t know whether it remained opened or was reopened).

[…]

THIS IS MINDBLOWING…continue below!!

[ipaper docId=61985571 access_key=key-1tqrvtjuwe5lp5zzmcb6 height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (6)


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