Daily Archives: January 7, 2013



Two pension funds that agreed to a relatively small settlement with the directors of Bank of America over its acquisition of Merrill Lynch are being ordered by a federal judge to strike a better deal beginning on Monday.

The judge, P. Kevin Castel, voiced clear reservations about the $20 million settlement in a ruling on Friday, concluding that fees requested by the lawyers for the two funds could consume “some, most or all” of the money. The deal was reached last spring, months before two other pension funds in a separate lawsuit negotiated a $2.4 billion settlement with the bank over the Merrill purchase.

Lawyers representing the pension funds in the $20 million settlement — the Louisiana Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System and the Hollywood Police Officers’ Retirement System, of Florida — last October asked the court to approve payments of as much as $13 million in legal fees, or 65 percent of the amount proposed under the settlement.

Rest here…

Banks to Pay $10B in Foreclosure Settlement with OCC: Reports

Fourteen of the nation’s biggest banks are expected to pay a combined $10 billion to settle allegations they mishandled foreclosures that followed the housing crisis.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is set to announce as early as Monday that JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (NYSE: C) and others have agreed to the settlement, according to reports Sunday by several media outlets.

As part of the pact, the banks are expected to pay $3.75 billion directly to borrowers on whom the banks wrongly foreclosed.

Read on.

Insight: How Colombian drug traffickers used HSBC to launder money

(Reuters) – When several Colombian men were indicted in January 2010 on money-laundering charges, the case in Brooklyn federal court drew little attention.

It looked like a bust of another nexus of drug traffickers and money launderers, with mainly small-time operatives paying the price for their crimes.

One of the men was Julio Chaparro, a 48-year-old father of four who owned three factories that made children’s clothing in Colombia.

But to U.S. authorities the case was anything but ordinary. Chaparro, prosecutors alleged, helped run a money-laundering ring for drug traffickers that took advantage of lax controls at UK-based international banking group HSBC Holdings Plc. It was one of the most important leads for U.S. investigators pursuing a case against the bank that eventually led to a $1.9 billion settlement on December 11.

Chaparro was “basically putting the orchestra together” and investigators saw “him as a major player in terms of cleaning a lot of money,” said James Hayes, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New York. Known as ICE, the agency and its task force led the probe.

The Colombian’s lawyer, Ephraim Savitt, said Chaparro was a middleman in the operation, but disputed the extent of his client’s role, saying he was the “page turner of sheet music for the conductor.”

Read on.

Bank of America reaches multi-billion dollar deal with Fannie Mae

Mega bank Bank of America announced a multibillion dollar settlement with Fannie Mae to end outstanding repurchase claims, along with issues related to the origination, sale and delivery of mortgage loans sold to the GSEs from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2008.

HousingWire will have more updates shortly. Click here to read BofA’s update.

Update: Here is statement from Bank of America’s website.