Daily Archives: November 19, 2015

Brothers Slam Bank of America in Fraud Case

(CN) – A caretaker drained an elderly man’s account in the months before his death by cashing forged checks at a Bank of America branch where employees failed to conduct “even the most minimal due diligence,” the man’s sons claim in court.
In a Broward County lawsuit against Bank of America, brothers Philip and Anthony Makes claim caretaker Lemwell Seymour was permitted to cash a slew of forged checks on their 88-year-old father’s account.
The father, John Makes, had purportedly hired Seymour through nonparty Valuecare at Home, a nurse registry whose website boasts it will “find a caregiver at the lowest rate for your needs.”
According to the lawsuit, from April 2014 to January 2015, Seymour wrote more than 20 checks to himself in the total amount of $84,000, forging the signature of John Makes.
Defendant Bank of America “aimlessly cashed” the checks despite “striking and obvious differences” between the check signatures and John Makes’ signature on file, the pleading claims.

Read on.

Homeowners fight to revive RICO lawsuit over Ocwen inspections

Homeowners accusing mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Corp of charging them unnecessary default-related fees are asking a U.S. appeals court to revive their lawsuit, arguing that they have adequately alleged a fraudulent scheme.

Filed last year in Los Angeles federal court by lawyer Daniel Alberstone on behalf of a group of homeowners across the nation, the suit accused Ocwen of opportunistically ordering and then charging property inspections to borrowers in default. It sought damages for violations of several California state and federal laws, including the U.S. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
Read more at Reutershttp://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/18/ocwen-appeal-idUSL1N13D0NG20151118#gqwUKB3WY5vRRUWy.99

NewDay Financial banned from all lending in New York

NewDay Financial, already punished this year by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for its business practices and by the Multi-State Mortgage Committee for widespread cheating on licensing exams, is now completely banned from lending in the state of New York due to that same cheating on licensing exams.

According to the New York Department of Financial Services, New Day Financial, which does business as NewDay USA, will pay a $1 million penalty to NYDFS and surrender its mortgage banker’s license to do business in New York after its employees, including senior executives, engaged an extensive scheme to cheat on state-required continuing education courses and exams.

NewDay is a Maryland-based, nonbank mortgage lender owned by Chrysalis Holdings, a private company. Its primary business is originating refinance mortgage loans guaranteed by the Veterans Administration.

The charges mark the second time in 2015 that NewDay has run afoul of regulators for cheating on exams.

Earlier this year, the Multi-State Mortgage Committeeannounced a settlement agreement between 43 state mortgage regulators and NewDay, stemming from an investigation into allegations of extensive cheating on mortgage loan originator testing.

Under the terms of that settlement, NewDay was fined $5,280,000 for the violations.

Read on.

Police transcripts reveal shocking details surrounding Beverly Carter’s death

Alleged murderer told Realtor: “You’re about to have a very bad day”

[Editor’s note: This article contains disturbing language.]

Interview transcripts from the man accused of abducting and killing Realtor Beverly Carter show just what level of depravity these professionals may face on any given day.

For Beverly Carter, a 50-year-old mother of three who told her husband that she was going to show a house to a potential buyer before she vanished, that supreme depravity came in the form of Arron Michael Lewis.

According to interview transcripts with police, presented as part of pre-trial proceedings and recapped in detail on Arkansas Online, Lewis selected Carter from an Internet ad, based on the fact that she worked alone. According to The Courier Online, the trial isscheduled to begin January 12.

Upon meeting Carter at a house under the guise of being a potential buyer, Lewis allegedly told Carter “You’re about to have a very bad day,” before subduing her and binding her with green duct tape.

Read on.

Is the Government Nationalizing U.S. Companies?

Since 2012, the U.S. seems to be business as usual. Stocks have been climbing, the “too big to fail” banks have basically paid back their government “bail out” money. The housing market has boomed, with too few homes to go around, causing much higher demand for rentals.
Unfortunately, this has resulted in some renters having to pay 50% of their income for housing – compared to the 15.3% home owners pay for their housing bills. Zillow, the rental guru guide claims that we are in a rental crisis.
The discomfort about housing has brought to the forefront the debate over GSEs (government sponsored enterprises), of which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are at the center. Congress has long debated replacing Fannie and Freddie, who were at ground zero of the 2008 crisis as federally charted privately owned companies. They’d been given directives by Congress to make housing affordable, which pretty much meant: fulfill the American dream by having a chicken in every pot, a car in every driveway and a home for every American family – whether they could afford it or not.

‘Highly ethical’ business students don’t like Wall Street

Wall Street is facing an “incredibly disturbing” trend.

Students at business schools who think of themselves as “highly ethical” aren’t interested in a career on Wall Street. They don’t see the big banks as moral enough for their standards.

That’s according to William Dudley, the president of the New York Federal Reserve. Dudley knows a thing or two about ethics at big banks. He used to work at Goldman Sachs and now Dudley leads one of the watchdogs in charge of overseeing Wall Street’s activities.

Dudley was bothered by a recent conversation with business school deans. They told him that business school students who consider themselves “highly ethical” are choosing not to work in financial services.

“As long as we have that self selection out of the financial industry by people who view themselves as highly ethical…that tells you we have a problem,” Dudley said at the Economic Club of New York Thursday.

Fewer business school students jump to Wall Street

Although he didn’t name any schools or cite specific research, the overall numbers at business schools highlight the same trend.

Read on.

Feds investigating foreclosure crisis said to have bugged the steps of Silicon Valley courthouse

Defense attorneys have asked a federal judge to throw out more than 200 hours of conversations FBI agents recorded using hidden microphones planted near the steps of a county courthouse in Silicon Valley.

The lawyers are representing defendants accused of engaging in an illicit real estate bid-rigging and fraud conspiracy. The steps to the San Mateo County courthouse are frequently the scene of public auctions for foreclosed homes. Federal prosecutors have admitted that on at least 31 occasions in 2009 and 2010, FBI agents used concealed microphones to record auction participants as they spoke, often in hushed voices with partners, attorneys, and others. Because the federal agents didn’t obtain a court order, the defense attorneys argue the bugging violated Constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

In a court brief filed Friday in the case, attorneys wrote:

It bears repeating that this particular public place was immediately outside a courthouse. Defendants’ expectation that discreet conversations outside a courthouse would remain private is surely one that society is prepared to recognize as reasonable. Private affairs are routinely discussed as citizens, their lawyers, and even judges walk to and from court, and lawyers often take clients aside outside the courthouse for privileged conversations. “Common experience” and “everyday expectations” teach that individuals frequently have private conversations near the courthouse despite the public’s access to this location, and expect that such conversations are not subject to the type of dragnet electronic eavesdropping that took place in this case.

Read on.