Monthly Archives: April 2013


FBI report: Florida family had ties to people linked to 9/11 attacks Read more here:

FBI report: Florida family had ties to people linked to 9/11 attacks Read more here:

A Saudi family who “fled” their Sarasota area home weeks before 9/11 had “many connections” to “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001,” according to newly released FBI records.

One partially declassified document, marked “secret,” lists three of those individuals and ties them to the Venice, Fla., flight school where suicide hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi trained. Accomplice Ziad Jarrah took flying lessons at another school a block away.

Atta and al-Shehhi were at the controls of the jetliners that slammed into the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center, killing nearly 3,000 people. Jarrah was the hijacker-pilot of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in a field in rural Pennsylvania.

The names, addresses and dates of birth of the three individuals tied to the flight school were blanked out before the records were released amid ongoing Freedom of Information Act litigation.

The information in the documents runs counter to previous FBI statements. It also adds to concerns raised by official investigations but never fully explored, that the full truth about Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 attacks has not yet been told.


New California Court of Appeal Decision May Affect Administration of Foreclosure-Avoidance Actions

New California Court of Appeal Decision May Affect Administration of Foreclosure-Avoidance Actions

California’s Legislature responded to the residential foreclosure crisis by, among other things, enacting new statutes aimed at clarifying the rights of borrowers facing foreclosure and imposing new restrictions on foreclosing lenders. A recent case,Intengan v. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 225, serves as a reminder that the manner in which courts interpret these statutes may affect how foreclosure-avoidance actions are litigated, and how long that litigation lasts.


Wells Fargo Must Face RICO, Fraud Claims

Wells Fargo Must Face RICO, Fraud Claims

(CN) – A federal judge in San Francisco refused to dismiss a class action accusing Wells Fargo of charging homebuyers who go into default inflated fees and interest rates.
     In a lawsuit filed in February 2012, lead plaintiffs Latara Bias, Eric Breaux and Nan White-Price claimed Wells Fargo and J.P Morgan Chase marked up default-related fees charged by third-party vendors — often by 100 percent or more — and then passed the inflated bill to borrowers.
     The plaintiffs said their mortgage contracts never disclosed that the lenders could mark up the actual cost of default-related services to make a profit.
     Wells Fargo routinely assessed these inflated fees “even when they [were] unnecessary and inappropriate,” the 2012 lawsuit states.
     “Employing this strategy, defendants are able to quietly profit from default-related service fees at the expense of struggling consumers,” the plaintiffs claimed. “Indeed, in the fourth quarter of 2011 alone, defendant Wells Fargo & Co. saw a 20 percent increase in profits.”
     They sued for RICO violations, conspiracy to violate RICO, fraud and violatio     ns of California’s business code.
     The claims against J.P Morgan Chase were severed into a separate action.
     In its motion to dismiss, Wells Fargo argued that Louisiana law should apply, not California law, because the plaintiffs bought homes in Louisiana.
     But U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said the allegations go further up the chain.
     “[D]rawing all reasonable inferences in favor of plaintiffs, the totality of plaintiffs’ allegations sufficiently state that the scheme was initiated and perpetrated by executives in California,” Rogers wrote.
     She added that further discovery is needed to determine if the claim “is ultimately tied to California solely by a California headquarters.”


JPMorgan Chase’s record highlights doubts about big banks’ devotion to fighting dirty money flows

JPMorgan Chase’s record highlights doubts about big banks’ devotion to fighting dirty money flows

In the summer of 2009, Jennifer Sharkey was moving in select company. As a Manhattan-based vice president at JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Private Wealth Management group, she juggled relationships with 75 “high net worth” clients with assets totaling more than half a billion dollars.

Things changed for her, she claims, after she raised doubts about a “suspect” foreign client who had millions stashed in various accounts at the bank.

The client was making questionable cash transfers and concealing who actually owned certain accounts, according to a lawsuit Sharkey is pursuing in federal court in Manhattan. She also found evidence, her suit claims, that the client had falsified financial statements for one of his companies and that he’d been involved in the “unexplained disappearance” of millions of dollars in merchandise in another venture.

After she warned high-level bank officials that the client might be involved in fraud and money laundering, her suit claims, JPMorgan moved to silence her — pressuring her to stop raising questions about the client, assigning her other clients to junior colleagues and, finally, firing her.

“I was just doing my job,” Sharkey said in an interview with theInternational Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). But for the bank, she said, “it was more important to keep this client than to do the right thing.”

JPMorgan denies it retaliated against Sharkey for pushing the bank to exit its relationship with the client — and it denies that the customer was either a foreign client or engaged in suspect activities. The bank says it goes to great lengths to identify and block money laundering, terrorism financing and other illicit transactions.


Got a IFR check? Got a story?: Senator Warren’s office is accepting “letters” from IFR victims

Got a IFR check? Got a story?: Senator Warren’s office is accepting “letters” from IFR victims

Senator E. Warren’s office is accepting “letters” from IFR victims. Just send a statement of what happened w/mtg, no more than 2 pages. Include your contact info. Send a copy of your check or include the amt. you received.

On the envelope – The first line in your return address section should be:

then your return address follows under that line.

Mail your letters to:

Elizabeth Warren
Senator for Massachusetts
2400 JFK Federal Building
15 New Sudbury Street
Boston, MA. 02203

Foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Y. Fong: Two new court cases may help California homeowners avoid foreclosure, but banks are trying to stop it

Two new court cases may help California homeowners avoid foreclosure, but banks are trying to stop it. If you have completed a trial modification and the bank has refused to modify your loan permanently, read on. If you were in the middle of a loan modification, and the bank gave you the run-around, read on. 

To read the rest, go here.


DENVER (MarketWatch) — Melvin Willis, a 22-year-old activist from Richmond, Calif., attempted something Tuesday that not even the U.S. attorney general dares to do: Place the CEO of a giant bank under arrest.

“Too-big-to-jail is an outrage,” Willis told me in a telephone interview after the attempt.

Willis had just interrupted the annual shareholders meeting of Wells Fargo WFC +0.03%   in Salt Lake City where he told CEO John Stumpf that he was under citizen’s arrest.

In the realm of high finance, such vigilante justice never gets far. Private security guards surrounded Willis and members of his posse. They were escorted from the Grand America Hotel before they could even read off the charges.

Willis is a part-time staffer at the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. The group drove more than 700 miles from the San Francisco Bay area to demonstrate against Wells Fargo, as they have so many times in the past. Offenses in their “citizen’s arrest warrant” included illegal foreclosuresand unlawful discrimination against black and Hispanic mortgage applicants.

Last year, Wells Fargo agreed to pay tens of millions of dollars to settle civil complaints containing these same allegations. But the bank denied guilt, and not one executive was named as a defendant.

After the financial crisis hit in 2008, Wells Fargo received $25 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. It has since repaid this taxpayer bailout, but it can’t shake its branding as a too-big-to-fail bank, an institution too critical to the financial system to ever be shut down or prosecuted.

“The only thing John Stumpf has is a lot of money,” Willis said. “Otherwise, he’s just a person like any of us. If we did what he did … we would all be locked up.”

Rest here…


JPMorgan, Citibank sued Over $301 Million Mortgage Loans

JPMorgan, Citibank sued Over $301 Million Mortgage Loans

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Washington Mutual Inc. and Citigroup Inc. (C) were sued by Integer Program LLC over $301 million in losses from mortgage loans.

Integer claimed that the banks breached a 2007 mortgage loan purchase agreement, according to the suit filed April 26 in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

Washington Mutual securitized more than 4,600 residential mortgage loans that were eventually sold to Integer, according to the complaint. The alleged breaches occurred on more than 1,400 loans.

“Over 60 mortgage loans were delinquent as of the applicable cut-off date and/or the date of the closing of the offering of the certificates to the public,” Integer said in a court filing. “These breaches have not been remedied by the responsible parties.”


Barclays wins Libor appeal in £70m mis-selling case

Barclays wins Libor appeal in £70m mis-selling case

Guardian Care Homes is suing Barclays for up to £70m over accusations it was mis-sold interest rate hedging products that were based on Libor.

The trial is seen as a test case for small British firms who believe they were mis-sold such swaps and raises the prospect of other companies linking future claims to interest rate rigging by banks.

But Barclays has appealed a decision by Mr Justice Flaux, the judge in the case at London’s High Court, which allowed Guardian Care Homes to include claims relating to the Libor manipulation in its case against the bank.

On Monday the judge said the start of the trial would now be delayed until April next year so that Barclays’ appeal over the Libor element of the case – which, it is alleged, amounted to fraudulent misrepresentation in the sale of the interest rate swaps – can be heard.


It appears that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Fed dropped the ball yet again on vetting firms involved in the Orwellianly-named Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) for conflicts of interest. Michael Olenick’s expose on Allonhill, one of the “independent consultants” hired by Wells Fargo, led to Allonhill’s role being curtailed considerably.

But there’s no way to curtail the role of Rust Consulting, a firm that has been central in the IndependentForeclosure Reviews virtually from their onset. Rust was the firm that servicers engaged to handle the initial mailings to borrowers eligible for a review. The assumption of the authorities appears to have been that Rust was merely doing such low level stuff that it didn’t need to be checked; when I called the OCC to ask if the firm had been screened for conflicts of interest, the PR staffer who returned my call reacted as if the question was off-base (he said he’d get back to me with an answer the following day and never did).

But as both unhappy Congressmen and even more unhappy homeowners have found, Rust is playing a substantive review in the IFR, and one that has not stood up well to close scrutiny. Now it is bad enough that its independence is already subject to question, in that, like the “independent” consultants, it was hired by and paid for by the servicers. But it is even more troubling that its owners have deep ties and involvement in the residential real estate business, and Rust’s parent is being sold to the venture capitalarm of Citigroup, which is also subject to the IFR.

Rest here…