Daily Archives: August 24, 2014

It’s a mystery! The Disappearing Records of Santa Cruz District Attorney Bob Lee’s $34,000 Wells Fargo Loan

One of D.A. Bob Lee’s principal demands in the Santa Cruz Eleven cases has been “restitution” to Wells Fargo Bank. Why are there “no records” of a $34,000 interest free loan to DA Bob Lee’s 2010 re-election campaign from Wells Fargo Bank? On Wednesday August 20th, Judge Steven Siegel held a hearing on a motion by attorney Alexis Briggs to uncover the records of Wells Fargo’s 2010 loan to Santa Cruz District Attorney Bob Lee. Lee has been relentless pursuing 11 activists at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars for a peaceful occupation of a 5 year-vacant Wells Fargo-leased bank building. 7 of the defendants, some of whom lost jobs, housing, and health because of this vendetta against the Occupy movement, had all charges dismissed after a grueling year of merry-go-round court appearances. The Final Four defendants still being hounded have been to court nearly 50 times, according to defendant Brent Adams.

Wednesday’s hearing in Judge Steven Siegel’s courtroom was a continuation of a hearing from the week before. Alexis Briggs, attorney for Cameron Laurendau of the Santa Cruz Eleven filed a motion on behalf of her client to recuse District Attorney Bob Lee from the case & have the State Attorney General take over the prosecution of the remaining four defendants.

At that hearing, a well-suited representative from Wells Fargo, Hani Ganji, appeared before the Judge to provide records, if any, of any financial relationship between the Bank & Bob Lee in the past 5 years.

In 2010, Bob Lee was running for re-election for his District Attorney for Santa Cruz County position. He submitted papers to the County elections board as required by law that he had taken out a loan from Wells Fargo Bank for $34,000. About six weeks later, he filed an addition affidavit claiming that $32,000 of the original $34,000 loan had been paid off. He also checked the box indicating that zero interest had been charged. This possible preferential treatment by the bank towards Lee prompted the motion.

DA Bob Lee was not in court, despite being the subject of the motion, and sent County Counsel, Mr. Sheinbaum, to court on his behalf, who explained that Lee “was ailing.”

The Hani Ganji told the Judge, “Wells Fargo has searched for any loans in the last five years and we didn’t find any records.”

Sheinbaum told Siegle that Lee had no records of the transaction, either, but that there was “a perfectly innocuous explanation” for the lack of records.

Siegle admitted he was “not clear how that works.” “Not only do we have no record of that loan. We have no records of any loan in the last five years.”

“It’s a mystery,” admitted Sheinbaum, “but there are several perfectly innocuous reasons for the lack of records.” When asked for even one such reason by Briggs & Defense Attorney Lisa McHaney, he did not offer a single response.

So did Lee submit fraudulent records to the County Elections department? Did Lee get a $34,000 interest-free loan from Wells Fargo and they have destroyed the records? Or even worse, did Lee get the loan & upon his victory, was gifted $32,000 8 months before he charged 11 local activists and whistle-blowers with felony charges and sought over $25,000 in “damages” from them for occupying an empty bank building, leased to Wells Fargo for three days and turning it into a community center.


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Unemployed take their case to Fed officials at Jackson Hole

Reginald Rounds was among those present at the Federal Reserve’s high-flying monetary conference here, enjoying the chance to button hole two top officials of the U.S. central bank.

The St. Louis resident is neither an economist nor a central banker. He’s a 57-year-old unemployed worker, who said he is trained in the green technology field and can’t find a job.

He was among a group of activists who gathered on the sidelines of the Fed’s annual symposium wearing green t-shirts with “What Recovery?” on the front and a chart depicting sluggish U.S. wage growth on the back.

“From the world where I reside, there is no recovery. We need a boost. We need a jump start,” said Rounds. “The key is jobs creation.”

The ten activists, most of whom were unemployed and seeking jobs, were sent as emissaries for a coalition of advocacy groups that has launched an unusual campaign from the left to press the U.S. central bank to keep monetary policy easy.


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NJ Lawyer Sees Victory for Homeowners Suing Banks for Consumer Fraud

Joshua Denbeaux, partner at the law firm ofDenbeaux and Denbeaux, sees the recent ruling that Freedom Mortgage Corp was guilty of violating the NJ Consumer Fraud Act as a victory for NJ residents because now their rights have been upheld and the lenders will have to pay money to homeowners.

“The conventional wisdom is that banks win and homeowners lose. The balance of power has shifted and banks are no longer immune; homeowners can now expect to recover money from banks. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. We have 27 active cases pending, and more homeowners are coming in every day”, said Joshua Denbeaux.

In “FREEDOM MORTGAGE CORPORATION Plaintiff, -v.- MAMIE E. MAJOR, et al.,Defendants. SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY CHANCERY DIVISION: BERGEN COUNTY DOCKET No. BER-F-32463-13“, Bergen County Superior Court Judge Gerald Escala ruled that Freedom Mortgage Corp gave a home refinance loan to Mamie Major, a 70-year-old Englewood resident, despite knowing that she would be unable to repay it. He also stated that “the loan was granted in order to engender fees for the lender and not for the benefit of the borrower,” and also argued that “the transaction has been demonstrated to be effectively one-sided, for the benefit of the lender.”

Freedom Mortgage Corp has been found guilty of violating NJ’s Consumer Fraud Act and will be forced to pay NJ homeowner Mamie Jones triple damages and attorney’s fees.

eton Hall Law Professor Mark Denbeaux added, “This is an enormous breakthrough. For the first time homeowners are being paid money by the banks for the fraudulent loans the banks have written. The judge’s ruling should further encourage homeowners to bring actions against banks because the playing field has been leveled.


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