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William K. Black: What if the SEC investigated Banks the way it is investigating Mutual Funds?

William K. Black: What if the SEC investigated Banks the way it is investigating Mutual Funds?


New Economic Prospectives-

The Wall Street Journal ran a story today (12/27/11) entitled “SEC Ups Its Game to Identify Rogue Firms.”

“Rogue” is an interesting word with a range of definitions. When it is used as an adjective its meaning is: “a playfully mischievous person; scamp.” The trivialization of the most destructive elite frauds is one of the most common forms of what criminologists call “neutralization” of the moral content of wrong doing. Neutralization increases crime.

The actual story makes it clear that the criminals that the SEC was identifying were not “rogues.” They were the CEOs of seemingly legitimate firms. The SEC is identifying “accounting control frauds” – the frauds that cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime combined. The SEC is not identifying a few rotten apples, but roughly 100 hedge funds likely to have engaged in accounting fraud. The WSJ describes the SEC’s identification system:

“The list is the low-tech product of a high-tech effort by the SEC to crack down on fraud at hedge funds and other investment firms. After the agency failed to detect the $17.3 billion Ponzi scheme by Bernard L. Madoff, who wowed investors with steady returns over several decades, SEC officials decided they needed a way to trawl through performance data and look for red flags that might signal a possible fraud.

In 2009, the SEC began developing a computer-powered system that now analyzes monthly returns from thousands of hedge funds. Officials won’t say exactly how it works or how much it cost to build, but the agency has announced four civil-fraud lawsuits filed as a result of what it calls the “aberrational performance initiative.”” The SEC should be applauded for finally understanding that “if it’s too good to be true; it probably isn’t true.” Our agency put a similar system in place in 1984 to identify the S&L accounting control frauds that were driving that crisis. A quarter-century later, the SEC began to follow our well-trodden trail – but only with regard to felons inhabiting the middle of the fraud food chain (hedge funds). 

The SEC has, inevitably, discovered that accounting fraud is common among …

[NEW ECONOMIC PROSPECTIVES]

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U.S. banks offered deal over lawsuits – FT

U.S. banks offered deal over lawsuits – FT


REUTERS-

Big U.S. banks in talks with state prosecutors to settle claims of improper mortgage practices have been offered a deal that is proposed to limit part of their legal liability, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

The FT said state prosecutors have proposed a deal to limit part of the banks’ liability in return for a multibillion-dollar payment.

The talks aim to settle allegations that banks including Bank of America (BAC.N), JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N), Wells Fargo (WFC.N), Citigroup (C.N) and Ally Financial (GKM.N). seized the homes of delinquent borrowers and broke state laws by employing so-called “robosigners”, workers who signed off on foreclosure documents en masse without reviewing the paperwork.

[REUTERS]

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FHFA Complaints: Can Control Frauds Recover for Being Defrauded by other Control Frauds?

FHFA Complaints: Can Control Frauds Recover for Being Defrauded by other Control Frauds?


William K. Black-

Reading the FHFA complaints against many of the world’s largest banks is a fascinating and troubling process for anyone that understands “accounting control fraud.” The FHFA, a federal regulatory agency, sued in its capacity as conservator for Fannie and Freddie. Its complaints are primarily based on fraud. The FHFA alleges that the fraud came from the top, i.e., it alleges that many of the world’s largest banks were control frauds and that they committed hundreds of thousands of fraudulent acts. The FHFA complaints emphasize that other governmental investigations have repeatedly confirmed that the defendant banks were engaged in endemic fraud. The failure of the Department of Justice to convict any senior official of a major bank, and the almost total failure to indict any senior official of a major bank has moved from scandal to farce.

The FHFA complaints are distressing, however, in their failure to explain why the frauds occurred and how an accounting control fraud works. The FHFA complaint against Countrywide is particularly disappointing because …

[BENZINGA]

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If Wall Street is not going to be held more accountable, we need to know why

If Wall Street is not going to be held more accountable, we need to know why


Don’t Let Go of the Anger


NYTimes- By WILLIAM D. COHAN

One of the most frustrating facts of the recently abated financial crisis is that those who might have been partly responsible for it have got off scot-free. The only two people prosecuted criminally — the Bear Stearns hedge fund managers Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin — were found not guilty by a jury in Brooklyn. Other potential culprits — Angelo Mozilo, chief executive of Countrywide Financial, Joseph Cassano, chief executive of AIG Financial Products, and Dick Fuld, the chief executive of Lehman Brothers — were either slapped with a small civil penalty, in the case of Mozilo, or the Justice Department made the decision not to prosecute after months of investigation.

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William Black | ‘If you don’t look; you don’t find, Wherever you look; you will find’

William Black | ‘If you don’t look; you don’t find, Wherever you look; you will find’


HuffPO

I can no longer say that not a single senior executive of one of the major nonprime lenders whose frauds hyper-inflated the housing bubble and caused the Great Recession has been convicted of his frauds. A single senior executive of one of the hundreds of fraudulent nonprime lenders was convicted yesterday, April 19, 2011. A jury found Lee Farkas, Chairman of the Board of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker (TBW), guilty of fraud. TBW was a large mortgage banking firm that made many nonprime loans, but the prosecution does not address the fraudulent nonprime lending.

[…]

Third, note that while a Colonial Bank officer pleaded guilty for assisting these frauds against Colonial Bank, no one has pleaded guilty at Freddie Mac. The critical question is whether TBW actually delivered the key loan documents to Freddie Mac. Did Freddie Mac obtain an enforceable security interest or was it defrauded by TBW? Was Colonial Bank the only victim of the double sale/pledge?

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WILLIAM BLACK | Why aren’t the honest bankers demanding prosecutions of their dishonest rivals?

WILLIAM BLACK | Why aren’t the honest bankers demanding prosecutions of their dishonest rivals?


This is the second column in a series responding to Stephen Moore’s central assaults on regulation and the prosecution of the elite white-collar criminals who cause our recurrent, intensifying financial crises. Last week’s column addressed his claim in a recent Wall Street Journal column that all government employees, including the regulatory cops on the beat, are “takers” destroying America.

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Inside Job, Oscar-Winning Documentary, Now Online (Free)

Inside Job, Oscar-Winning Documentary, Now Online (Free)


In late February, Charles Ferguson’s film – Inside Job – won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. And now the film documenting the causes of the 2008 global financial meltdown has made its way online (thanks to the Internet Archive). A corrupt financial industry, its corrosive relationship with politicians, academics and regulators, and the trillions of damage done, it all gets documented in this film that runs a little shy of 2 hours.

Inside Job (now listed in our Free Movie collection) can be purchased on DVD at Amazon. We all love free, but let’s remember that good projects cost real money to develop, and they could use real financial support. So please consider buying a copy.

Hopefully watching or buying this film won’t be a pointless act, even though it can rightly feel that way. As Charles Ferguson reminded us during his Oscar acceptance speech, we are three years beyond the Wall Street crisis and taxpayers (you) got fleeced for billions. But still not one Wall Street exec is facing criminal charges. Welcome to your plutocracy…

Via:

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William K. Black | The Assault on the Already Crippled SEC and CFTC Will Increase “Control Fraud”

William K. Black | The Assault on the Already Crippled SEC and CFTC Will Increase “Control Fraud”


By William K. Black

The SEC and the CFTC’s budgets are not provided by the federal budget. The agencies, as with the federal banking regulatory agencies, are funded by user fees. None of these agencies’ budgets contribute to the deficit. When these agencies fail to stop epidemics of “control fraud” the result can be a Great Recession and trillions of dollars in increased deficits. The asymmetry is so stark that anyone serious about deficits would make ensuring the effectiveness of the SEC, CFTC, and the banking regulatory agencies among their greatest priorities. Supposed deficit hawks in the House are also among the strongest proponents of cutting the SEC, CFTC, and banking regulatory agencies’ budget even though this cannot have any positive effect on deficits and is exceptionally likely to produce the next financial and economic crisis that will produce the next sharp increase in the federal deficit. This is significantly insane, and it is even more insane that no one seems to call them on their insanity.

The purported logic for slashing the SEC and CFTC budgets represents another form of insanity. The logic is that the SEC and the CFTC failed to prevent the epidemic of accounting control fraud that drove the current financial crisis, the Great Recession, and the growing budget deficit. That is true, but proves the opposite. The SEC and the CFTC failures were self-fulfilling prophecies by kindred ideologues of those now seeking to slash the SEC and CFTC budgets.

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DailyFinance | Are Foreclosure Attorneys Illegally Outsourcing Legal Work to Non-Lawyers?

DailyFinance | Are Foreclosure Attorneys Illegally Outsourcing Legal Work to Non-Lawyers?


By ABIGAIL FIELD Posted 4:30 PM 02/07/11

An awful lot of attorneys are in deep trouble, two companies will be destroyed, two more will be deeply damaged and a venture capital firm faces big losses, if the allegations in a lawsuit updated Monday are true.

Jonathan and Darlene Thorne accuse the companies, LPS Default Solutions and Prommis Solutions, and their attorneys of having an illegal and fraudulent business model through which non-attorneys secretly practice law and illegally share legal fees. Because many of these fees are for bankruptcy work and are ultimately paid by the debtor, the suit explains, the business model isn’t just illegal — it’s also a fraud on the bankruptcy court system in violation of the the bankruptcy code, rules and processes.

Although many of the basic allegations have been known since last October, when the original suit was filed, the new complaint contains far more detail about some of the companies involved, particularly Prommis Solutions and its venture capital funder, Great Hill Partners. The suit also adds detail about the time pressure LPS Default Solutions puts on its network attorneys, and how that pressure allegedly feeds document fraud in foreclosure filings, whether in state or bankruptcy court. Given LPS’s dominant market position, those pressures have widespread consequences.

LPS and Great Hill Partners have not returned requests for comment about this case. Prommis Solutions general counsel Richard Volentine says: “Our position is pretty much the same as it’s always been. We think the claims are without merit and will continue to defend ourselves vigorously.”


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WILLIAM BLACK: 2011 Will Bring More de Facto Decriminalization of Elite Financial Fraud

WILLIAM BLACK: 2011 Will Bring More de Facto Decriminalization of Elite Financial Fraud


William K. Black
Assoc. Professor, Univ. of Missouri, Kansas City; Sr. regulator during S&L debacle
Posted: December 28, 2010 05:29 PM

The role of the criminal justice system with regard to financial fraud by elite bankers in 2011 is likely to reprise its role last decade — de facto decriminalization. The Galleon investigation of insider trading at hedge funds will take much of the FBI’s and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) focus.

The state attorneys general investigations of foreclosure fraud do focus on the major players such as the Bank of America (BoA), but they are unlikely to lead to criminal liability for any senior bank officials. It is most likely that they will lead to financial settlements that include new funding for loan modifications.

The FBI and the DOJ remain unlikely to prosecute the elite bank officers that ran the enormous “accounting control frauds” that drove the financial crisis. While over 1000 elites were convicted of felonies arising from the savings and loan (S&L) debacle, there are no convictions of controlling officers of the large nonprime lenders. The only indictment of controlling officers of a far smaller nonprime lender arose not from an investigation of the nonprime loans but rather from the lender’s alleged efforts to defraud the federal government’s TARP bailout program.

What has gone so catastrophically wrong with DOJ, and why has it continued so long? The fundamental flaw is that DOJ’s senior leadership cannot conceive of elite bankers as criminals.

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AMICUS BRIEF FILED FOR LANDMARK MASSACHUSETTES CASES IBANEZ & LaRACE EXPOSES FORECLOSURE FRAUD

AMICUS BRIEF FILED FOR LANDMARK MASSACHUSETTES CASES IBANEZ & LaRACE EXPOSES FORECLOSURE FRAUD


Update 1/7/2011:

BREAKING NEWS: AFFIRMED MASSIVE VICTORY RULING FOR HOMEOWNERS “IBANEZ, LaRACE”

I have personally read this Amicus Brief and seen the exhibits and this is Explosive!!

This is a must read for any defense attorney and judges!

“Marie,

This is without question the most important decision so far in the war against the unlawful and fraudulent conduct of the originators, securitizers, out-source-providers, default servicers, and their so-called lawyers! The Judge articulates the business models we are dealing with better than anyone has done in any opinion, article or brief. I am sure your work contributed greatly to the education of the court and for that you should be highly commended. This Judge really and truly got it! It is the perfect outline of the transactional requirements and debunks every bogus argument that the other side has been advancing for year”.

O. MAX GARNDER III-

Dear Damian,

I have attached a sampling from my Amicus Brief filed on Friday, October 1, 2010 with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in the landmark cases that are presently on appeal from the Massachusetts Land Court styled:  U.S. Bank v. Ibanez and its companion case, Wells Fargo Bank v. LaRace.

My brief reveals groundbreaking evidence that Antonio Ibanez’s loan was most likely securitized twice – a hidden fact unknown until now.

Moreover, the Assignment of Mortgage allegedly conveying the Ibanez loan to U.S. Bank, executed by “robo-signer” Linda Green, violated the Pooling and Servicing Agreement and other Trust documents.

Finally I expose the fact that U.S. Bank, who bought the Ibanez property at foreclosure for $94,350, sold it on December 15, 2008 for $0.00.  That’s right, they foreclosed on Ibanez’s property so that they could give it away!

With respect to Mark and Tammy LaRace, I am happy to report that through the efforts of Attorney Glenn F. Russell, Jr. and myself, the LaRaces moved back into their home in January of this year, two and a half years post-foreclosure!

My Amicus Brief reveals that Wells Fargo Bank’s own documents prove that they did not have the authority to foreclose on the LaRaces.  Therefore, the Assignment of Mortgage, Power of Attorney, Affidavit, and Foreclosure Deed executed by “robo-signer” Cindi Ellis were all unauthorized.

Wells Fargo Bank’s recent statement that it does not have the same “document” problem that GMAC, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America have admitted to is simply not true.  I have audited many, many foreclosure files where Wells Fargo Bank employees and their agents have manufactured false documents to prosecute wrongful foreclosures such as in the LaRaces’ case.

I would encourage everyone to go to my website and make a donation of $125.00 or more which will allow me to e-mail a complete copy of my Amicus Brief together with the Exhibits that document the fraud.  Although I undertook this effort on a pro bono basis, I will have a printing bill that could amount to about $5,000.  Therefore, I would greatly appreciate some assistance.

CONSUMERS

My Amicus Brief will explain why your mortgage servicing company must hire “document execution teams” to create the paper trail needed to foreclose.

ANALYSTS

My Amicus Brief is a roadmap that will show you how to use the documentary evidence to prove the underlying fraud in foreclosure cases.

ATTORNEYS

My Amicus Brief will teach you how to frame the issues so that you can go toe-to-toe with “tall building lawyers.”

JUDGES

My Amicus Brief will educate you so that your courtrooms do not become “crime scenes” as creditors’ attorneys ask you to sanitize and validate their false and fraudulent foreclosure documents.

Respectfully,

Marie

Marie McDonnell, CFE
Truth In Lending Audit & Recovery Services, LLC

Mortgage Fraud and Forensic Analyst

Certified Fraud Examiner

http://truthinlending.net/

30 Main Street, Rear
P.O. Box 2760
Orleans, MA 02653
Tel. (508) 255-8829
Cell (508) 292-5555
Fax (508) 255-9626


UPDATE: 10/13/2010 As Filed

[ipaper docId=38884691 access_key=key-13f8jmfld9d7c1a156cg height=600 width=600 /]

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AMENDED |NEW YORK FORECLOSURE CLASS ACTION AGAINST STEVEN J. BAUM & MERSCORP

AMENDED |NEW YORK FORECLOSURE CLASS ACTION AGAINST STEVEN J. BAUM & MERSCORP


Class Action Attorney Susan Chana Lask targets Foreclosure Mill Attorneys as source of foreclosure crisis.

This is the amended complaint against Foreclosure Mill Steven J. Baum and MERSCORP.

Want to join the Class? No problem!

Please contact: SUSAN CHANA LASK, ESQ.

[ipaper docId=37881265 access_key=key-2hj0jnnmfxmm0i37q7l0 height=600 width=600 /]

Related posts:

CLASS ACTION | Connie Campbell v. Steven Baum, MERSCORP, Inc

_________________________

CLASS ACTION AMENDED against MERSCORP to include Shareholders, DJSP

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Posted in assignment of mortgage, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Law Office Of Steven J. Baum, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., notary fraud, note, racketeering, RICO, Steven J Baum, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, Susan Chana Lask, Trusts, truth in lending act, Wall StreetComments (2)


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