Daily Archives: November 12, 2014

Stop and seize investigation by Washington post: Aggressive police seize hundreds of millions of dollars including homes from motorists not charged with crimes

After the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the government called on police to become the eyes and ears of homeland security on America’s highways.

Local officers, county deputies and state troopers were encouraged to act more aggressively in searching for suspicious people, drugs and other contraband. The departments of Homeland Security and Justice spent millions on police training.

The effort succeeded, but it had an impact that has been largely hidden from public view: the spread of an aggressive brand of policing that has spurred the seizure of hundreds of millions of dollars in cash from motorists and others not charged with crimes, a Washington Post investigation found. Thousands of people have been forced to fight legal battles that can last more than a year to get their money back.

Read on.

Bank of America, Citigroup Said to Sell Soured Home Loans

Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. (C) are selling multiple pools of soured U.S. mortgages to meet demand from investment firms that are pushing prices higher, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

Bank of America put about $1 billion of troubled debt on the market last week, consisting of nonperforming loans and some where payments have resumed, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the offerings are private. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender also is marketing about $1 billion of soured home loans with Wells Fargo & Co., according to one of the people. Citigroup is separately selling about $1 billion of nonperforming and re-performing mortgages, the people said.

Dan Frahm, a spokesman for Bank of America, and Mark Costiglio, a spokesman for Citigroup in New York, declined to comment on the loan sales. Elise Wilkinson, a spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, also declined to comment.

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US OCC Adds $1 Bln to Forex Fines, City & JPMorgan Chase Bills Surpass One Billion

After numerous global regulators announced today about settlements with several major banks involved in the foreign exchange fixing scandal, the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) was the latest to join the party, announcing a total of $950 million in fines against three national banks for “unsafe or unsound practices related to their foreign exchange trading businesses.”

The investigations conducted by the global regulators discovered that several major banks had been colluding around the time of foreign exchange fixings. Today a slew of fines started hitting the wires with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) leading the way.

– See more at: http://forexmagnates.com/us-occ-adds-1-bln-to-forex-fines-city-jp-morgan-chase-bills-surpass-one-billion/#sthash.0nZRAWhc.dpuf

Afghanistan jails two failed bank executives while there is no jailed U.S. bank executives

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Two senior officials of an Afghan bank that collapsed beneath almost $1 billion in debt were sentenced in a Kabul court on Tuesday to 15 years prison each for embezzlement and fraud.

The scandal in 2010 shook confidence in Afghanistan’s tiny banking sector, and the loss accounted for around 5 percent of the country’s economy, making it the biggest banking collapse in history.

The government bailed out the bank and brought in receivers who, officials say, have traced most of the missing funds.

The scandal struck at the heart of the Kabul political establishment, involving relatives of the former president Hamid Karzai and one of his deputies, Marshall Mohammad Qasim Fahim.

President Ashraf Ghani has put the case at the center of his anti-corruption campaign, and within days of taking office in September ordered it resolved within 45 days.

The Kabul Bank’s former chairman Sherkhan Farnood and former chief executive officer Khalillulah Ferozi were sentenced live on television, after a two-day appeal against earlier sentences of five years in prison. They have already served more than four years of the original sentence.

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How The Government “Punished” Wall Street, Explained In 1 Cartoon

Source: Alex Cartoon

$3.7B Petters’ Ponzi Suit Against JPMorgan Stays Federal

Law360, Los Angeles (November 10, 2014, 8:10 PM ET) — A New York federal judge on Monday refused to move from federal to state court a suit in which hedge funds accused JPMorgan Chase & Co. and others of aiding and abetting disgraced businessman Thomas Petters’ $3.7 billion Ponzi scheme.

Denying the hedge funds’ motion to remand, U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield said the federal court had jurisdiction under the Edge Act — which applies to bank lawsuits involving transactions overseas or in U.S. territories — because plaintiffs had implicated numerous foreign or international banking…

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HUD, Salvation Army settle pregnancy discrimination suit

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Wednesday that the Salvation Army will pay $48,000 to four women as part of a conciliation agreement resolving allegations that the international charitable organization wrongfully evicted them from its Turning Point transitional housing center in Washington, DC, because they became pregnant.

The Salvation Army also agreed to set aside $24,000 for a housing case manager.

The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in housing based on a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and familial status.

This includes discriminating against families with children under 18 years old, women who are pregnant, and persons who are attempting to secure legal custody of a child under 18.

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Altisource stock crashes after terminating lender-placed insurance business

Altisource Portfolio Solutions (ASPS) announced Wednesday morning that it is ending its lender-placed insurance brokerage business. The announcement, made before the stock market opened, sent Altisource’s stock tumbling to a new low for the year.

Altisource’s stock jumped on Tuesday after reports surfaced Monday that New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky plans to step down in 2015. Altisource’s stock rose by $2.47 on Tuesday, closing at $72.78.

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5 global banks fined $3.4B for attempted market manipulation

And no criminal charges!

LONDON — U.S., British and Swiss regulators fined five global banks more than $3 billion for attempted manipulation of foreign exchange markets.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and the Swiss Supervisory Markets Authority said Wednesday that they had fined Citibank, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC Bank and UBS a total of $3.4 billion.

“Today’s record fines mark the gravity of the failings we found and firms need to take responsibility for putting it right,” Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the FCA said. “They must make sure their traders do not game the system to boost profits.”

Some $5.3 trillion changes hands every day on the global foreign exchange market, with 40 percent of trades occurring in London. Dollars, euros and yen are traded in the loosely regulated market dominated by a group of elite banks.

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Ocwen stock jumps on reports of Lawsky’s departure from NYDFS

Rumors of Benjamin Lawksy’s potential departure from the New York Department of Financial Services sent the stocks of Ocwen Financial (OCN) and its affiliated companies soaring Tuesday.

Ocwen has been in Lawsky’s sights since February, when when the NYDFS Superintendent put a $2.7 billion mortgage servicing rights deal between Ocwen and Wells Fargo (WFC) on an indefinite hold.

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