Daily Archives: August 23, 2012

Senior ATF official already under investigation about his role in the Fast and Furious scandal accused of double dipping from taxpayers & JP Morgan Chase

A senior ATF official already under investigation about his role in the Fast and Furious scandal is collecting a six-figure government salary while working for a top financial services firm, according to congressional investigators.

Fast and Furious was the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms operation that allowed illegally purchased guns, many bought right here in the Valley, to be smuggled into Mexico for use by the drug cartels.

At least one of those weapons was found at the crime scene where U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered.

The scandal has already cost top ATF administrators their jobs.

According to congressional investigators Deputy Director of Operations Bill McMahon is on leave and under investigation for lying to congress about his role in the Fast and Furious debacle.

McMahon has admitted he failed to read documents that required his authorization for wiretaps.

But after McMahon was put on paid administrative leave, he was allowed to take a job with J.P. Morgan in the Philippines earning a six-figure salary while still collecting his ATF paycheck and earning credit toward his government pension.

U.S. Representative Daryl Issa (R-California) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to the acting head of ATF this week in an effort to find out who signed off on the unusual double dipping arrangement.

You can read the letter Congressman Issa and Senator Grassley sent to Acting ATF Director B. Todd Jones here .

Read more: http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/local_news/investigations/Senior-ATF-official-Bill-McMahon-accused-of-double-dipping#ixzz24OkY9MqA

The Bain Files: Gawker Releases Trove of Records on 21 Romney-Owned Bain Caymans Entities

Gawker has obtained a large cache of confidential internal financial documents from more than 20 secretive hedge funds and other investment vehicles in which Mitt Romney has stashed his considerable wealth. All told, the partnerships and limited liability corporations detailed below accounted for, at minimum, $10,069,000 of Romney’s assets in 2011 and yielded $913,300 in income, according to his 2012 financial disclosure (those figures are derived from adding up the low end of ranges Romney disclosed; the actual numbers could be astronomically higher).

Most of the entities are affiliated in one way or another with Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney ran from 1984 through 1999. According to his financial disclosures, the investments “were made pursuant to an agreement with Bain Capital regarding Romney’s retirement…. The agreement has expired but [Romney] retain[s] certain investments…made prior to the expiration of the agreement.” In other words, they are his retirement package from more than a decade ago, and continue to make him nearly a million (at minimum) dollars per year.

Read more and check out documents from Gawker.

FLORIDA MAN, 73, IN JAIL AFTER THREATENING TO BOMB WELLS FARGO BANK DURING COLLECTIONS CALL

Gardens man, 73, in jail after threatening to bomb Wells Fargo….

Tired of receiving phone calls by a Wells Fargo collection agency, a Palm Beach Gardens man threatened to “blast out” one of its branches on Northlake Boulevard.

Gerasimos P. Kambitsis, 73, was arrested by Palm Beach Gardens Police on Wednesday and was taken to the Palm Beach County Jail, where he is being held without bail. He is facing a charge of providing a false report of a bomb.

Gardens police officers began working the case Wednesday at 8 p.m. after Kambitsis allegedly threatened to bomb the Wells Fargo Bank at 4480 Northlake Blvd. A K-9 officer’s dog searched the premises and could not find a bomb.

Once the branch was cleared of any threats, officers turned their attention to Kambitsis, who initially told officers that he “probably said something I shouldn’t have said,” according to the arrest report.Officers then listened in on the recorded conversation between Kambitsis and the representative of theWells Fargo collection agency.

Rest here…

Wells Fargo controls 1 in 3 US mortgages

Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), the largest U.S. home lender, said competition in the mortgage market is“essential” and that its control of 1 in 3 U.S. mortgages is the result of doing a better job than rivals.
Growth in market share isn’t “magic” and is driven by clients choosing the bank over competitors because it has served them well, San Francisco-based Wells Fargo said in a memo sent last week to mortgage employees. The bank said it issued the two-page, unsigned document amid “discussion about Wells Fargo’s prominence” in the market. The document was confirmed by Tom Goyda, a bank spokesman.

“In a free economy, competition is essential,” the bank said. “We believe customers must have choices in where they bring their lending business.”
Read on.

West Virginia AG spends foreclosure settlement money on political ads

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) – Critics of West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw say the state’s top lawyer should take heed, pointing to New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney’s own appearance before a legislative council this week.

Concord Patch reported Delaney was scheduled to appear before Gov. John Lynch and the state’s Executive Council Wednesday, seeking approval to use funds from New Hampshire’s portion of the nationwide mortgage settlement.

McGraw, who is seeking reelection in November, has spent a chunk of West Virginia’s share of the settlement without any legislative approval.

In May, McGraw used some of the funds to open a satellite office in Martinsburg, a city in the state’s fastest-growing region.

The office is funded for three years by the deal with mortgage servicers Wells Fargo & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Ally Financial Inc. and Bank of America Corp.

The nationwide settlement, reached in February between federal officials, 49 state attorneys general and the banks, is worth $25 billion but only covers those mortgages held by the five banks, not Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

West Virginia received more than $33 million in funds from the deal to help struggling homeowners.

McGraw then decided in June to dole out $1 million from the settlement to Legal Aid.

The move allows the nonprofit organization — the sole provider of no-cost legal assistance with housing, income security and safety issues for the state’s low-income or “vulnerable” citizens — to continue to operate its office in Logan and Mingo counties for the next three years.

West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, a legal reform group that is often critical of the attorney general, calls McGraw’s continued spending of settlement funds without any legislative oversight or approval “disturbing.”

“While attorneys general in states such as New Hampshire must typically seek approval to spend state settlement funds, McGraw continues to unilaterally spend West Virginia’s money as if it were his own personal slush fund,” Richie Heath, executive director of the group, said Wednesday.

“Earlier this year, McGraw decided on his own to ‘donate’ a whopping $1 million in state funds to one of the attorney general’s pet projects. And McGraw also spent state settlement funds on a ‘satellite’ office that state lawmakers have previously refused to fund.”
Read on.

Brookline man fighting to save the home he built from BofA foreclosure mix-up

BROOKLINE – Ray Lavoie is a self-made man, but eventually, everyone needs a hand.

He mostly taught himself carpentry, starting in his parents’ garage and making stairs through trial and error. After that came windows, then trim and so on.

Eventually, he was building houses from the outside in. He works for himself now, and has for 28 years, doing fine woodworking. He built his brother’s house and his sister’s. He built most of the house he lives in on Cleveland Hill Road after buying the land 21 years ago. He built the huge workshop beside the house where he spends most of his days sawing, sanding, nailing and building.

It’s that house, and the workshop where he earns his livelihood, that he’s trying to rescue from foreclosure and the reason he finally had to reach out for help.

For now, Lavoie, his wife and two teenage daughters are living in a house that Bank of America bought at auction – an auction Lavoie says should never have happened, and praying the sale is reversed.

Lavoie, 48, finished building his house in 1991. Everything went pretty well until about a year and a half ago when the economic recession from a couple of years before finally caught up to him.

Business was slow – really slow. Not many people were redoing their kitchen or building an addition when they didn’t know how long they would be employed.

“No one felt comfortable at work a few years ago,” Lavoie said. “They held off and it snowballed.”

Work has rebounded for Lavoie now, but it may be too late. He fell behind on his mortgage. It wasn’t all at once. He missed a payment and then made one. He missed a couple and then made one, then missed one and made two. And so on.

Eventually, Bank of America came calling, and after months of trying to work with them and being rebuffed, Lavoie entered foreclosure.

Lavoie then contacted HSI Trust, a nonprofit group that helps homeowners fight foreclosure. HSI was able to get Bank of America to review Lavoie’s loan for modification.

But that’s when a series of mix-ups and miscommunications came to a head, and before Lavoie even knew his review had been denied, an auctioneer pulled into his driveway.

Read on.

MUST SEE – Lawyer James Koutoulas Tells Rick Santelli: ‘We Plan To Pursue Criminal Charges Against Jon Corzine In All 50 States’ (CNBC)

Lawyer James Koutoulas with Rick Santelli on CNBC yesterday.

As I wrote yesterday and as discussed by Santelli in the clip, Edith O’Brien is the key and Eric Holder won’t offer her immunity because the Covington & Burling Department ofJustice Criminal Defense has absolutely zero interest in hearing her implicate Obama bundler Jon Corzine for multiple felonies.

Best quotes from Koutoulas:

  • “Crimes were unequivocally committed and I will do whatever I can to continue to do the government’s job for it and help see justice done.”
  • “MF Global had a choice.  Do we cheat or go out of business.  And they cheated.  They broke the law.  And these took these customer funds to covermargin calls.”
  • “Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice is the biggest enabler of financial crime in U.S. history.”

Read on.