Monthly Archives: May 2016

SEC fines First Mortgage $12.7M, bans 6 execs for defrauding Ginnie Mae investors

Claimed performing mortgages were delinquent, resold them into new pools

Several senior executives at First Mortgage Corporation lied about the performance of the mortgages the company originated so they could pull the mortgages out of mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Ginnie Mae,then turn right back around and sell the mortgages back into new mortgage bonds, defrauding investors out of $7.5 million, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday.

According to the SEC, six senior executives at California-based First Mortgage, including the company’s chairman and CEO, president, and chief financial officer, pulled current, performing loans out of Ginnie Mae mortgage bonds by falsely claiming the mortgages were delinquent in order to sell them at a profit into newly-issued RMBS.

In a release, the SEC stated that from March 2011 to March 2015, First Mortgage and its senior-most executives “orchestrated a scheme” to make the mortgages appear delinquent, by delaying depositing customers’ payments on their mortgages, making it seem like the customers were behind on their payments.

Read on.

Here Are The Documents In Trump University Case Unsealed in San Diego

The documents released Monday are associated with the Cohen v. Trump case.

Here they are:

NOTICE-of-UNFILING-UNSEALED-VERSIONS-of-PLAYBOOKS

Original Document (PDF) »

 

 

EXHBIT-a-2010-PLAYBOOK

Original Document (PDF) »

 

EXHIBIT-a-2010-PLAYBOOK-PART-2

Original Document (PDF) »

 

EXHIBIT-C-FIELD-TEAM-PLAYBOOK

Original Document (PDF) »

 

EXHIBIT-D-SALES-PLAYBOOK

Original Document (PDF) »

 

Docs Released Today From Trump University Case Reveal Persuasion Tactics

Judge in San Diego released approximately 400 pages today in the Trump University. I will post the documents as soon as I find them. In the meantime, reporter Katy Tur of NBC, tweeted snippets from the court released documents:

  1. students learn how to “take full advantage of tax breaks and financial shelters”

    sellers are expected to “Master The Art Of Persuasion.”

Politico posted 2010 Trump University playbook back in March

03/03/16 12:54 PM EST

Politico:

A guidebook for Trump University instructed staff to kick off the real estate seminars by playing “For the Love of Money” by the O’Jays on an iPod shuffle.

The book told employees to collect financial information from those who attended and rank them by their liquid assets to see who could afford more coursework. And staffers kept hotel ballrooms at a precise temperature — no more than 68 degrees — at the expensive real estate seminars.
These details and scores of others are embedded in thousands of pages of documents that comprise the lawsuits attacking a set of education courses GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump has boasted about.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/trump-university-lawsuit-documents-220181#ixzz4AGcrM000

Guess Who Else Paid Out Big Bucks For Clinton Speeches? Law Firms.

Law Newz:

According to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s 2015 financial disclosure, most of their income came from book royalties and paid speeches. Clinton has been under intense pressure to release her transcripts from Wall Street bank speeches, but little has been said about her speeches to high profile law firms. These law firms often represent high net worth individuals, and companies. We examined The Washington Postdatabase; take a look at which law firms have paid both Hillary and Bill a pretty penny!

  • Hogan Lovells US LLP (New York based law firm) paid Bill Clinton $225,000 (6/20/2014)
  • White & Case LLP (New York based law firm) paid Bill Clinton $200,000 (1/27/2012)
  • Latham & Watkins, LLP (Los Angeles based) paid Bill Clinton $150,000 (3/8/2013)
  • Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP (San Diego based), paid a Bill and Hillary Clinton a total of $450,000 for two different speeches  (9/17/2013) (9/4/2014)
  • Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check LLP (based near Philadelphia) paid Bill Clinton $500,000 (3/7/2014)

From about January 2014 to March 2015, the Clintons pulled in about $25 million for 104 paid speeches, according to a Politico report. The report indicated one of Bill Clinton’s priciest speeches was to law firm Kessler Topaz Metzler & Check in Amsterdam.  He received a whopping half million for that speech back in 2014.  The law firm has more than 90 attorneys and has been at the forefront of class action litigation for over 20 years. Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd also paid the Clintons nearly a half a million dollars in less than a year. The law firm, based in San Diego, has 10 offices around the country and specializes in corporate litigation. Just last year, the firm won $7.2 for Enron shareholders. We will keep digging into these speeches, and let you know if any other law firms paid the Clintons.

[h/t National Law Journal]

Trump Gets Chance for Tax Cut Moving Trademarks to Delaware

And keep in mind that Delaware is one of the states in which many companies and individuals globally use Delaware as tax havens as well as create shell companies to avoid paying taxes. Delaware has ties to the Panama Papers scandal.

  • More than 110 trademarks assigned to new company, records show
  • ‘It’s sort of too complicated to explain,’ lawyer says

As Donald Trump prepared for the Republican primaries, he transferred dozens of his most prized assets, the “Trump” trademarks that adorn everything from hotels to ties to his U.S. golf courses, into a new Delaware-based company — a move that offers him a chance to cut his income-tax bills.

By shifting more than 110 registered or pending trademarks to Delaware, Trump consolidated them in a state that doesn’t tax income from royalties on intellectual property. Among the trademarks he moved are his own name and those of some of his best-known properties, including “Trump National Golf Club,” “Trump Tower” and “Mar-a-Lago,” his private club in Palm Beach, Florida, according to records from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

He also shifted some of his less prominent trademarks, including “Trumptini,” a martini made with pink lemonade, and a design of a Scottish crest that he applied for and received in 2012. The crest shows a lion, a two-headed eagle and the Latin phrase “Nunquam Concedere” which means “Never Give Up.”

Moving the trademarks to his new company, DTTM Operations LLC, will enable Trump to avoid other states’ income taxes on royalties paid for their use — an income stream worth perhaps tens of millions of dollars or more, according to a federal financial disclosure form he filed this month.

Read on.

Barclays Director Arrested For Giving Plumber Trading Tips in Exchange for Home Renovations

Bloomberg reports:

A former Barclays Plc director was accused by the U.S. of giving tips about future mergers and acquisitions to a plumber friend in exchange for cash and home renovations.

 

Steven McClatchey, 58, who worked in the investment-banking division, told the plumber about 11 impending mergers and acquisitions from March 2014 to August 2015, the government said. The plumber wasn’t named.

 

McClatchey and the plumber met in 2011 or 2012 at the Long Island marina where both dock their boats, according to the complaint. By 2013, they spent most Saturdays at the marina or, in cold weather, playing pool and watching sports in McClatchey’s garage. The plumber used tips from McClatchey to make $76,000 trading stocks including Questor Pharmaceuticals Inc., PetSmart Inc., Emulex Corp. and Omnicare Inc., the government said.

The WSJ adds:

Steven McClatchey, 58, was a former employee at Barclays, the bank confirmed. Prosecutors said he worked for seven years at the Manhattan office of Barclays, where he was responsible for tracking the bank’s involvement in potential mergers and acquisitions. He distributed a weekly document to select Barclays employees called “M&A Global Weekly Business Update,” which included deals that were likely to become public the following week.

 

Government officials allege Mr. McClatchey gave tips to his friend who worked as a plumber ahead of more than 10 separate mergers and acquisitions before they became public, including deals involving PetSmart Inc., CVS Health Corp. and Duke Energy Corp.

 

The plumber allegedly paid Mr. McClatchey, in part, by providing “home renovation” services free of charge.

* * *

The two men became friends about four years ago, when they met at the Long Island marina where they both docked their boats. They began to spend most Saturdays together, the complaint said. The first tip Mr. McClatchey gave Mr. Pusey came around 2013 or 2014, when Mr. McClatchey allegedly told the plumber to “keep an eye on a particular company because something good was going to happen,” according to the complaint. Based on the tips, Mr. Pusey bought securities in at least 11 companies, prosecutors said.

Trump Wants Judge in His Class Action Investigated

Courthouse News:

SAN DIEGO (CN) — Donald Trump denounced a federal judge as “a hater,” and “we believe, Mexican” after the judge ordered Trump University to divulge its “playbooks” in a class action from students who claim he defrauded them of millions of dollars for classes that were little more than infomercials.
Trump devoted 12 minutes of an hour-long Friday-night campaign rally to denouncing the order issued that day by U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel.
“I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel,” Trump told an enthusiastic crowd, after a warm-up speech by Sarah Palin.
“I think Judge Curiel should be ashamed of himself,” Trump said, adding that the judge should be investigated.
“I’m telling you, this court system, judges in this court system, federal court, they ought to look into Judge Curiel. Because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace, OK?”

………………………………………………………

Curiel has set trial in that case for Nov. 28, to avoid the political implications of starting it just before the presidential election. Trump’s attorneys have said he will testify.
Curiel ruled Friday after a motion hearing in which The Washington Post sought to unseal documents in one of the California class actions. The Post told Curiel it has received hundreds of documents from Trump’s attorneys, to which the public does not have access.
The Post intervened in April in lead plaintiff Art Cohen’s 2013 class action, saying Trump’s run for the presidency entitles the press to “access by default” to information about Trump University and its later incarnation, the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative. Trump changed its name in 2010, five years after the New York State Department of Education warned that he could not use the word “university” without a license.
Post attorney Dan Laidman with Davis Wright Tremaine told Curiel that Trump’s attorneys agreed to hand over many of the documents the Post sought, but about 150 pages of documents from four Trump University “playbooks” were still in dispute.
Laidman said those playbooks included the “roadmap” for Trump University’s marketing and sales strategy and live events. Trump’s attorneys claimed the documents contain trade secrets.
But Curiel noted in court that “Mr. Trump himself has placed this front and center” and that “it’s important for the public to have access.”

Republicans set to unveil plan to replace Dodd-Frank

Later this year, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will reach its sixth anniversary, but if Congressional Republicans have their way, Dodd-Frank won’t reach anniversary number seven and many of the financial reforms enacted by the landmark law will be repealed or replaced.

According to the Republican arm of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, is planning to announce a Republican plan to replace Dodd-Frank.

Hensarling plans to reveal the Republicans’ plan in a speech on June 7 at theEconomic Club of New York, the House Financial Services Committee said Tuesday.

During the speech, Hensarling is expected to announce a Republican-crafted plan to replace Dodd-Frank with a “pro-growth, pro-consumer” alternative, that includes the potential significant regulatory relief for financial institutions, as well as a dramatic overhaul of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

While specific details on the plan are sparse at this point, Hensarling did reveal some of what can be expected in a recent speech at the National Center for Policy Analysis.

In that speech, given earlier this month, Hensarling called Dodd-Frank a “a monument to the arrogance and hubris of man.”

According to Hensarling, the country is “suffering” from the “slowest, weakest, most tepid recovery” in the country’s history.

“Some would say a lot of this has to do with our inefficient tax code, and it does. But beyond the tax burden that entrepreneurs face, there is a larger burden known as the regulatory burden – the sheer weight, volume, complexity, and uncertainty of a needless avalanche of Washington regulations – much of which has come from Dodd-Frank,” Hensarling said earlier this month.

………………………………………………..

According to Hensarling, the Republican plan to repeal and replace Dodd-Frank will undo much of the harm done by the law, and will be based on six principles, which are:

1. Economic growth must be restored through competitive, transparent, and innovative capital markets

2. Every American must have the opportunity to achieve financial independence

3. Consumers must not only be viciously protected from force, fraud, and deception, but also from the loss of economic liberty

4. Taxpayer bailouts of financial institutions must end, and no company can remain too big to fail

5. Systemic risk must be reduced through market discipline

6. Simplicity must replace complexity, because complexity can be gamed by the well-connected and abused by Washington bureaucrats

“Both Wall Street and Washington must be held accountable,” Hensarling said.

Read on.

Donald Trump Soured on a Deal, and Hong Kong Partners Became Litigants

Open Thread - Super Villains For Trump

Artwork by Stephen Byrne follow him on Twitter here.

Donald J. Trump, who has made reversing America’s trade imbalance a pillar of his campaign, often portrays himself as uniquely capable of wringing concessions out of China through hard-nosed business tactics he has honed over the years.

In fact, he says, he has a personal track record to back up his boasts.

“I beat China all the time,” Mr. Trump declared in a speech the day he announced his candidacy. “I own a big chunk of the Bank of Americabuilding at 1290 Avenue of the Americas that I got from China in a war. Very valuable.”

Mr. Trump does have an investment in the building, an office tower near Rockefeller Center. But court documents and interviews with people involved in the deal tell a very different story of how he ended up with it.

It began when a group of Hong Kong billionaires, including one who has been called the Donald Trump of China, helped rescue Mr. Trump from the verge of bankruptcy by investing in one of his properties in Manhattan.

For years, the carefully cultivated relationship between Mr. Trump and his Hong Kong partners proved lucrative for both sides, and stands out as perhaps the closest that Mr. Trump has come to international diplomacy.

To strike the deal, Mr. Trump had to attend elaborate dinner parties featuring foreign foods he did not want to eat. He delayed the closing because of Chinese spiritual beliefs and hunted around New York for a “feng shui” master to help with the building décor, instead of indulging his tastes for marble and gold, according to former associates of Mr. Trump who were involved in the deal.

But when his Hong Kong partners sold the property without his support, Mr. Trump waged a bitter, long-shot legal battle against them. And far from winning his share of the Bank of America building, according to court documents, he had to settle for it after losing in court. In the end, Mr. Trump’s alliance and eventual rivalry with some of Hong Kong’s richest men proved to be a tale of Mr. Trump at the extremes. It showcased his unflagging confidence in his ability to turn a bad financial situation around. But it also underscored his willingness to destroy a fruitful relationship with aggressive litigation.

Read on.