Daily Archives: December 3, 2013


Teen Jailed At Rikers For 3 Years Without Conviction Or Trial

Teen Jailed At Rikers For 3 Years Without Conviction Or Trial

A teen who spent three years in a notorious New York jail without ever having been convicted or put on trial is coming forward after filing a lawsuit against New York City. In June, charges against Kalief Browder were mysteriously dropped and he was released, as first reported by WABC-TV.

Browder was a 16-year-old sophomore in high school walking home from a party in the Bronx when he was arrested on a tip that he robbed someone three weeks earlier. He was hauled off to Rikers Island, a prison known for punishing conditions and overuse of force, and was held because he couldn’t pay the $10,000 bail. Browder went to court on several occasions, but he was never scheduled for trial. After 33 months in jail, Browder said a judge offered freedom in exchange for a guilty plea, threatening that he could face 15 years in jail if convicted. He refused. Then one day, he was released with no explanation.

“They just dismissed the case and they think it’s all right. No apology, no nothing,” he told WABC-TV. Now at age 20 with his teen years behind him, Browder is first faced with finishing his GED and trying to make up for three years of his teen years lost.

Browder says he spent more than 400 days in solitary confinement, was deprived of meals, and was assaulted and beaten both by officers and fellow inmates. Browder attempted suicide at least six times. Last month he filed a lawsuit last month against the city and several agencies. The Bronx District Attorney’s office has declined to comment.


‘Profit meant more than her life’: Woman with breast cancer dies after Wells Fargo forecloses

‘Profit meant more than her life’: Woman with breast cancer dies after Wells Fargo forecloses

Breast cancer victim Marsha Kilgore lost her home in Fresno, California and died soon after she was foreclosed on by Wells Fargo, which had promised a loan modification but later reneged.

On Saturday, the Fresno Bee reported that Kilgore’s troubles began in 2005 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, had a double mastectomy and was forced to stop working.

The 62-year-old woman had made regular mortgage payments for 16 years. And although her Social Security payments and disability provided her with enough money to continue making payments, a sales call convinced her she would be better off with something called a “pick-a-payment” loan from World Savings, which gave the borrower the flexibility to pay less if they needed to.

Kilgore, a former real estate agent, had been ill at the time she signed papers and later realized the true cost of the loan. But World Savings would not allow her to rescind her signature on the loan.

She had been led to believe that she had signed a fixed-rate loan, but loan documents showed that payments would skyrocket from $656 in 2006 to $1,012 in December of 2012. And by 2016, she would have owned $1,750 each month.

She now owed $177,000 on the condo that she had borrowed $66,000 to purchase in 1990.

World Savings had sold their “pick-a-payment” loans to enough other customers that Kilgore was able to join a class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo, which had bought the bank.


Pope Francis attacks global capitalism

Pope Francis attacks global capitalism

ROME (MarketWatch) — Pope Francis laid out his first major mission manifesto since becoming the head of the Catholic Church eight months ago, calling for the Church to renew its focus on the poor and launching an attack against global capitalism.

“Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality,” wrote the pontiff, in the 224-page document known as the Apostolic Exhortation.

“Such an economy kills,” wrote Pope Francis, denouncing the current economic system as “unjust at its roots,” based on the “tyranny” of a marketplace in which financial speculation reigns supreme.

The document, called Evangelii Gaudium, or The Joy of the Gospel in English, shows the pope seeking to position himself as the world’s chief critic of unchecked markets and economic inequality.


Wells Fargo: U.S. targeting executive as defendant may be retaliation

Wells Fargo: U.S. targeting executive as defendant may be retaliation

NEW YORK – Wells Fargo & Co said Monday that a U.S. government request to add one of its executives as a defendant in a fraud case may be in retaliation for the bank’s decision to cut off settlement talks.In a motion filed in New York federal court opposing the Justice Department’s request to add executive Kurt Lofrano as a defendant, Wells Fargo said it told the government it would no longer engage in settlement negotiations on October 29 after months of discussions.Three days later, the government for the first time said it would seek to add an unnamed executive, later revealed to be Lofrano, to its year-old lawsuit accusing the bank of fraud during the lead-up to the financial meltdown.”In the absence of any other explanation for the lengthy delay, this intervening event – within days of the notice – raises questions about whether the United States acted in bad faith, in retaliation for Wells Fargo’s message,” the bank’s lawyers said in court papers.The bank questioned why the Justice Department waited a year before deciding to pursue claims against Lofrano, who has joined a very short list of individual executives to be sued by the government over actions that contributed to the financial crisis.


DOJ Won’t Penalize Banks In Swaps Investigation: WSJ

DOJ Won’t Penalize Banks In Swaps Investigation: WSJ

Dec 1 (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department is not planning any penalties on a civil probe relating to allegations that large banks tried preventing competition in the credit default swaps market, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Justice Department pored over trading data, messages, emails and documents about credit default swaps (CDS) as part of the probe for the past four years, which is drawing to a close, the people told the paper.

The probe focused on trading among a small number of CDS traders who conducted most of their business over the phone rather than via computer technology that records and distributes prices, the Journal said. ()

However, investigators believe the alleged anti-competitive conduct has since been remedied and there is no need to seek penalties.

CDS are over-the-counter contracts that bet on whether a company or country will default on its bonds within a fixed period of time.


Final Volcker Rule to Be Released Dec. 10

Final Volcker Rule to Be Released Dec. 10

At least three U.S. regulators will meet on Dec. 10 to adopt the final version of the Volcker rule banning banks from making speculative bets with their own money, according to three people familiar with the planning.

The Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. are scheduling meetings to act on the rule on that date, said the people, who requested anonymity because the schedule hasn’t yet been announced.

Two other agencies that need to approve the rule — the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission — are working on plans to meet next week as well, two other people familiar with that effort said. The agencies are not required to approve the rule at the same time.

The agencies’ approval would be the final stage in the process of adopting the Volcker rule, a centerpiece of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act designed to prevent a repeat of the 2008 global credit crisis. The final version is also expected to extend compliance dates for the rule, which was sought by Wall Street banks and trade groups.


BofA settles reps and warrants issue with Freddie Mac for $404M

BofA settles reps and warrants issue with Freddie Mac for $404M

Freddie Mac managed to get another reps and warrants case against a mega lender behind it on Monday, announcing a $404 million deal with Bank of America(BAC) over misrepresentations the lender allegedly made on loans sold off to the government-sponsored enterprise.

Freddie Mac announced the deal this morning.

As part of the agreement, Bank of America will pay Freddie Mac $404 million.

Freddie also will release the bank from existing and future buyback obligations stemming from 716,000 questionable loans originated between 2000 and 2009. The payment covers past losses on the loans and future rescissions and mortgage cancellations.