Daily Archives: May 16, 2017

DNC Faces Another Class Action Lawsuit After $1 Million in Bonuses Given Out

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia has paid out nearly a million dollars to staff members, and local institutions, from leftover money it raised to stage the event.

But, dozens of people who worked in the field elsewhere in the country for Democrats feel shortchanged and are now part of a class action federal lawsuit.

The bonuses ranged from $500 for interns to more than $300,000 for the executive director.

“I think everyone’s reaction is the same. It’s obscene,” says Justin Swidler, a Cherry Hill-based attorney.

Swidler is pursuing a lawsuit on behalf of 40-to-50 “field organizers” all over the country, whom he says were denied overtime compensation.

“One of the arguments that the Democrats are making is that they just don’t have the money to pay overtime to their workers,” said Swidler.

The named defendants are the Democratic National Committee, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and five more state party organizations.

t nearly a million dollars to staff members, and local institutions, from leftover money it raised to stage the event.

But, dozens of people who worked in the field elsewhere in the country for Democrats feel shortchanged and are now part of a class action federal lawsuit.

The bonuses ranged from $500 for interns to more than $300,000 for the executive director.

“I think everyone’s reaction is the same. It’s obscene,” says Justin Swidler, a Cherry Hill-based attorney.

Swidler is pursuing a lawsuit on behalf of 40-to-50 “field organizers” all over the country, whom he says were denied overtime compensation.

“One of the arguments that the Democrats are making is that they just don’t have the money to pay overtime to their workers,” said Swidler.

The named defendants are the Democratic National Committee, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and five more state party organizations.

Read on.

Trump’s new bank regulator… is a lawyer who helped banks charge more fees

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In the early 2000s, banks successfully sued to stop Iowa from limiting their ability to charge ATM fees to non-customers. They also fought off states’ attempts to stop them from charging non-customers to cash checks drawn on the banks’ accounts. In another case, they stopped California from forcing two banks to conduct audits of their own residential mortgages.

What do all these cases have in common? The winning argument in each was that states had no right to impose their laws on federally regulated national banks. And the man who helped make that powerful argument was Keith Noreika — President Trump’s pick to head the federal agency that oversees national banks.

Noreika, a prominent Washington attorney who specializes in financial regulatory law, has made a career out of representing banks as they sought to fight back consumer-friendly state regulations and class-action lawsuits accusing banks of deceptive practices.

He is now the acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a position he can serve for 130 days without Senate approval and during which he does not have to abide by stricter ethics rules governing permanent appointees.

As head of the OCC, Noreika will be well-positioned to lighten regulations on banks — without the need for Congress to pass legislation.

Read on.

New lawsuit filed against Wells Fargo by Jackson couple

A Jackson couple has filed a federal lawsuit against Wells Fargo and a home windows company claiming the financing scheme devised by the companies is a “fraud and a scam.”

Wilbert and Esther McCoy filed the lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court in Jackson against Wells Fargo and The Window Source.

The lawsuit says: “In fact, the defendants, without any authorization or agreement from their customers, sign their customers up for what turns out to be a Visa Home Projects credit card, issued by Wells Fargo.

Read on.

Former Bank of America executive, husband accused of embezzlement

A former Bank of America executive, her husband, and an associate allegedly embezzled about $2.7 million from the bank in an elaborate kickback scheme that ensnared several Boston and Atlanta nonprofits, according to the US attorney’s office.

Federal investigators allege that from 2010 to 2015, Palestine “Pam” Ace, 45, then a senior vice president in the Global Wealth & Investment Management division in Boston, fraudulently diverted money from the bank’s marketing budget to nonprofits, most of which were unaware of the scheme.

As a condition of a donation, Ace’s husband, Jonathan, 46, and Brianna Alexis Forde, 35, of Boston, demanded that the nonprofits give them a percentage of the money. In one case, Jonathan Ace threatened to release embarrassing photos and recordings of a nonprofit’s founder if he didn’t get a larger cut of the donation.

Read on.

Philadelphia sues Wells Fargo over discriminatory lending

Bad news for Wells Fargo…

Housingwire:

The city of Philadelphia announced Monday that it is suing Wells Fargo for alleged discriminatory lending practices against minority borrowers.

Philadelphia’s announcement specifically cites the recent Supreme Court decision, which stemmed from a lawsuit brought by city of Miami against Bank of AmericaCitigroup, and Wells Fargo in 2013.

In its lawsuit, Miami claimed that the banks engaged in predatory lending to minority borrowers in the city, and accused the lenders of “reverse redlining,” which led to a large number of foreclosures, lower property tax collections, and increased cost to the city to deal with the resulting property value loss and blight.

The Supreme Court ruling granted cities the right to sue banks under the Fair Housing Act, but established that the city must prove direct harm to itself caused by the lender’s actions.

Philadelphia is taking that challenge head-on.

According to the city’s announcement, its complaint alleges that beginning in 2004 through today, Wells Fargo violated the FHA by “steering African-American and Latino borrowers towards high-cost or high-risk loans even where those borrowers’ credit permitted them to obtain more advantageous loans.”

Philadelphia’s complaint also alleges that Wells Fargo was “aware and, in fact, incentivized the marketing of the high-cost or high-risk loans to minorities.”

According to the city, the incentivized loans included “lender credit” loans, in which Wells Fargo pays the borrower’s closing costs in exchange for receiving a loan with a higher interest rate.

HSBC : settles bondholders’ claims of Libor manipulation

HSBC Holdings Plc has settled claims by a group of U.S. bondholders that it conspired with rivals to rig the Libor benchmark interest rate, according to a New York court filing on Monday by the bondholders’ attorneys.

The filing did not disclose the terms of the settlement, which it said must be approved by U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan federal court.

“We are pleased the matter is resolved,” said HSBC spokesman Rob Sherman. He did not comment on the terms of the deal.

Lawyers for the bondholders could not immediately be reached.

Read on.