Daily Archives: September 18, 2016

Nine executives had been recommended for 2008 mortgage meltdown criminal probe by FCIC

Former Treasury Secretary and Citibank Chair Bob Rubin was cited by a special congressional panel as someone who should have been the subject of a criminal investigation for activities related to the 2008 subprime mortgage meltdown.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) had told the Justice Department that it should open an investigation of Rubin, Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton, for alleged securities fraud perpetrated as a member of Citibank’s board.

Rubin was among nine executives recommended for a criminal probe by the FCIC that were cited in a letter sent Thursday from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Warren asked the department auditor this week to look into why zero criminal inquiries were launched as a result of the FCIC recommendations, which were publicly disclosed for the first time earlier this year.

Read on.

Trump contributed more than $40k of ”in-kind” services to Florida AG’s campaign, violating state election laws, according to complaint

Legal Schnauzer:

Donald Trump violated election law by giving a campaign contribution of more than $3,000 to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, according to a Boston attorney’s complaint.

J. Whitfield Larrabee also alleges that Bondi violated the law by failing to certify and publicly disclose Trump’s illegal contribution to the Florida Division of Elections. (See full complaint at the end of this post.)

DNC lawsuit update: DNC and Wasserman-Schultz have until Sept. 21 to respond to Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint

wasserman schultz sued

From DNC fraud lawsuit on Facebook:

Defendants DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz have a deadline of September 21, 2016 to respond to our First Amended Complaint (docket entry 8).

They were served with process on August 31, 2016 (docket entries 41 and 42). They have 21 days to respond according to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12, also known as FRCP 12:

Wells Fargo drumbeat grows louder. House launches investigation

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – Wells Fargo’s headaches are quickly piling up. The bank is now facing an investigation and hearing from the powerful House Financial Services Committee over the opening of millions of fake accounts.

The chairman of the committee, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, revealed it is launching an investigation and said Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf will be called on to testify at a hearing later this month.

Additionally, the House Financial Services Committee sent a letter to Wells Fargo requesting documents related to the bank’s controversial sales tactics and that corporate officers be made available for transcribed interviews.

“The Committee is very concerned by these serious allegations and is investigating Wells Fargo’s questionable sales practices,” a letter signed by Hensarling to Wells Fargo reads.

The potential for a House hearing on Wells Fargo was signaled earlier on Friday by Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California, where the bank is based.

Read on.

U.S. Bank CEO Warns Employees: Make Fun Of Wells Fargo And You’re Fired

The Consumerist:

U.S. Bank employees were warned Thursday that under no circumstances are they to attempt to capitalize on Wells Fargo’s situation — at least publicly, The Star Tribune reports.

CEO Richard Davis told investors that the company won’t tolerate employees who publicly and overtly go after Wells Fargo customers, because that’s just not how the bank does business.

“So help me God, if I find a branch in one market with an orange flier that says ‘if you bank at Wells come to U.S. Bank,’ they’re going to be let go,” Davis said.

Blankfein had Abacus, Dimon had Whale, now Stumpf has another scandal

John Stumpf, the Mr. Clean banker, has another scandal than the fake accounts scandal:

NOTICE TO WELLS FARGO CURRENT AND FORMER EMPLOYEES: Zamansky LLC Investigates the Wells Fargo 401(k) Plan for Possible ERISA Violations


September 16, 2016 05:26 PM Eastern Daylight Time

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Zamansky LLC announces that it has commenced an investigation of Wells Fargo Company (NYSE:WFC) on behalf of its current and former employees over the Wells Fargo 401(k) Plan (the “Plan”) for potential violations of the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”). ERISA imposes fiduciary duties to prudently manage and invest plan assets. We are investigating whether these duties were violated by the continued offering of Wells Fargo company stock as an investment option for employees under the Plan.

On September 8, 2016, Bloomberg News reported that Wells Fargo was fined $185 million by various regulators to resolve claims that bank employees allegedly opened deposit and credit-card accounts without customers’ approval to satisfy sales goals and earn financial rewards. The opening of fictitious accounts dates back to 2011 and was prompted by aggressive sales goals put by Wells Fargo on its employees, according to news reports. Some commentators have questioned whether Wells Fargo inflated its revenues through these tactics.

According to employee stock and investment fraud attorney, Jake Zamansky, Wells Fargo employees who purchased and held company stock through the Plan since 2011 may have had their retirement savings damaged. The allegations about Wells Fargo’s practices raise serious issues whether the Plan’s fiduciaries properly executed their duties under ERISA, he states. ERISA is designed to protect employees’ retirement savings from imprudent and inappropriate investments, Zamansky states.

Read on.

Busted! The new Trump hotel in D.C. is filled top-to-bottom with goods made in China

From the folks from American Bridge:

Sep 16

Inside the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC: bedding made in China, not the USA.

This dresser was made in the Philippines, far and away from the USA.

Even these Trump Hotel branded umbrellas are made in China, not here in the U.S..

Oh and Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank stayed at the $850 a night DC Trump Hotel wrote a piece about the new hotel offers everything Trump claims to hate

Damning animated videos might doom Wells Fargo

This will come back to bite Wells Fargo:

A series of cutting animated videos blasting Wells Fargo’s sales incentives are getting a new life online in the wake of the bank settling federal regulatory probes that found its employees created more than 2 million bogus accounts — slamming customers with $2.6 million in fees — in order to meet branch quotas.

Stumpf, after the settlement, blamed the problem on employees and said there was no incentive to do wrong. But the series of at least 12 videos, most posted in 2011, when regulators said the account scam started, seem to put the lie to Stumpf’s comments.

Branch manager, district managers and their bosses were clearly aware of the improper sales practices, the videos content.

“Wells Fargo is all about sales and fees, and helping people without selling new accounts with higher fees hurts production,” a manager in one of the videos says. “And when production hurts, Wells Fargo hurts. “

The video, called “Wells Fargo Jump into January 2011 Morning huddle,” makes light of the pressure-cooker environment — but shows that the pressure to funnel customers into the bank’s financial products was part of an overall strategy that went into the company’s leadership.

“If tellers and bakers make those sales numbers at the end of the month everybody in the branch will get a $5 gift card to McDonalds,” the manager says in the video. “The district manager will get a $10,000 cash bonus, and the community banking president executive will get a $50,000 cash bonus.”

Morgan Stanley promotes second exec with link to fishy loans

Morgan Stanley has promoted a second executive linked to a questionable sales contest that pushed risky loans on its customers, The Post has learned.

Eric Maiuri, a Boston-area vice president who pushed the sales contest on colleagues, was recently named an associate regional manager, one source said.

He’s taken over responsibilities from Jason Frank, who oversaw the sales contest that sparked at least two investigations.

Frank still works at the bank as a loan specialist for wealthy customers, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Morgan Stanley is being investigated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and Massachussetts’ top securities regulator for the questionable loan sales, which allegedly put the bank’s interests before its customers.

The Post first reported on the sales contests and the “Glengarry Glen Ross” culture that came with it.

Read on.