Daily Archives: February 19, 2014


‘Inside Man Helped £1m Barclays Bank Fraud’

‘Inside Man Helped £1m Barclays Bank Fraud’

Fraudsters stole more than £1m from a Barclays bank branch after fitting a remote control gadget to a worker’s computer, a court has heard.

The keyboard, video and mouse (KVM) device was attached to a computer at the Swiss Cottage premises with the help of “inside man” Duane Jean-Jacques, London’s Southwark Crown Court was told.

On April 5 last year, 128 transfers using Jean-Jacques’ staff login were made totalling £1.25m, it is alleged.

Some £700,000 of that money has yet to be recovered.

The transactions, each for less than £10,000, took mere seconds, the court heard.

Six high-value accounts at the branch in north London were targeted.

Mr Jean-Jacques was not present at the computer at the time, which the prosecution says was controlled from afar using an internet connection.


Advocacy group goes undercover at Bank of America, alleges discrimination

Advocacy group goes undercover at Bank of America, alleges discrimination

CHARLOTTE, N.C — CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The nonprofit National Fair Housing Alliance said Tuesday that it conducted an undercover investigation of Bank of America Corp. in Charleston, S.C. – and claimed it found evidence that the Charlotte bank discriminated against potential Latino borrowers.

The organization filed a formal complaint with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. It says it conducted a series of tests that showed that Latinos were not given the chance to speak to loan officers or were quoted higher interest rates than whites.

In a news release, the organization said it sent a series of white and Latino potential customers into a Bank of America branch to talk with employees. In one instance, a prospective white borrower was sent into a branch to talk about a mortgage and immediately got a call from a loan officer. A Latina prospective borrower went into the same branch but never got a call, the alliance says.

The organization did not say how many such exercises it conducted, or how it reached its conclusions.

Bank of America spokesman Terry Francisco said the National Fair Housing Alliance had not provided the bank with details of its complaint. He said if HUD pursued an investigation, the bank would cooperate fully.


One-Percent Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society

One-Percent Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society

Recently, our nation’s financial chieftains have been feeling a little unloved. Venture capitalists are comparing the persecution of the rich to the plight ofJews at Kristallnacht, Wall Street titans are saying that they’re sick of being beaten up, and this week, a billionaire investor, Wilbur Ross, proclaimed that “the 1 percent is being picked on for political reasons.”

Ross’s statement seemed particularly odd, because two years ago, I met Ross at an event that might single-handedly explain why the rest of the country still hates financial tycoons – the annual black-tie induction ceremony of a secret Wall Street fraternity called Kappa Beta Phi.

“Good evening, Exalted High Council, former Grand Swipes, Grand Swipes-in-waiting, fellow Wall Street Kappas, Kappas from the Spring Street and Montgomery Street chapters, and worthless neophytes!”

It was January 2012, and Ross, wearing a tuxedo and purple velvet moccasins embroidered with the fraternity’s Greek letters, was standing at the dais of the St. Regis Hotel ballroom, welcoming a crowd of two hundred wealthy and famous Wall Street figures to the Kappa Beta Phi dinner. Ross, the leader (or “Grand Swipe”) of the fraternity, was preparing to invite 21 new members — “neophytes,” as the group called them — to join its exclusive ranks.


Mortgage servicers foreclosing on very different timelines

Mortgage servicers foreclosing on very different timelines

A new white paper is highlighting the vast differences in foreclosure timelines at varying mortgage servicers.

Without naming names, the research, from data analytics firm Oversite, found that mortgage servicers vary in foreclosure speed by up to 192%.

Oversite also found after examining more than 50,000 foreclosure files:

• Cases with a Lack of Prosecution (LOP) filing had an average foreclosure timeline of 308 days longer than cases without similar filings.

• Cases with an Amended Complaint (AC) filing had an average foreclosure timeline of 439 days longer than cases without similar filings.

• Cases with a Bankruptcy Discharge (BK) filing had an average foreclosure timeline of 448 days longer than cases without similar filings.


JPMorgan banker jumps to his death

JPMorgan banker jumps to his death

Third JPMorgan employee, fifth banker in three weeks to die.

A prominent investment banker for JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) jumped to his death from the roof of Chater House in downtown Hong Kong, the headquarters of JPMorgan’s Asian operations.

Witnesses told the South China Morning Post that said the banker, Li Junjie went to the roof of the 30-story Chater House in the city’s central business district and jumped.

The incident happened between 2 and 3 p.m. Tuesday in Hong Kong, or between midnight and 1 a.m. ET Tuesday.

Witnesses and emergency personnel saw the man leap to his death, the South China Morning Post reports.

Calls to JPMorgan’s North American headquarters were not returned.


Finally, via Financial Post, here is a chronological summary of all recent banker deaths:

Sunday, Jan. 26: London police found William Broeksmit, a 58-year-old former senior executive at Deutsche Bank AG, dead in his home after an apparent suicide.

Monday, Jan. 27: Tata Motors managing director Karl Slym died after falling from a hotel room in Bangkok in what police said could be possible suicide. Slym, 51, had attended a board meeting of Tata Motors’ Thailand unit in the Thai capital and was staying with his wife in a room on the 22nd floor of the Shangri-La hotel. Hotel staff found his body on Sunday on the fourth floor, which juts out above lower floors.

Tuesday, Jan. 28: a 39-year-old JPMorgan employee died after falling from the roof of the European headquarters of JPMorgan in London. The man, Gabriel Magee, was a vice president in the investment bank’s technology department, a source told WSJ.

Wednesday, January 29: Russell Investments’ Chief Economist Mike Dueker was found dead in an apparent suicide. Police said it appears Dueker took his own life by jumping from a ramp near the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Tacoma, Wash., AP reported. According to Bloomberg, Dueker, 50, had been missing since Jan. 29, and friends and law enforcement had been searching for him.

The week before, a U.K.-based communications director at Swiss Re AG died. The cause of death has not been made public.

Monday, February 3: 37-year-old JPMorgan Chase & Co executive director who died from unknown causes Feb. 3 appears to be the latest in a series of untimely deaths among finance workers and business leaders around the world in the past three weeks. Ryan Crane, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. employee who in a 14-year career at the New York-based bank rose to executive director of a unit that trades blocks of stocks for clients, died in his Stamford, Connecticut, home.

Tuesday, February 18: 33-year old JPMorgan forex trader is the latest in a string of suicides to take his life in Hong Kong.