Author Archives: justiceleague00


And here are emails and other records regarding office renovation expenses for HUD Secretary Ben Carson from FOIA lawsuit by American Oversight. Click here.


Nuns’ pressure leads Wells Fargo to publish causes of ‘systemic lapses in governance’

A group of nuns and religiously-affiliated investors said Wells Fargo & Co. has agreed to publish a review that shows the root causes of the systemic lapses in governance and risk management that have led to ongoing controversies, litigation and fines. As a result of the company’s commitment, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility will withdraw a resolution filed for the 2018 proxy calling for the review.

Sister Nora Nash of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia led the engagement with Wells Fargo, along with 22 other co-filers who are members of the ICCR, a shareholder coalition that has been engaging the top seven U.S. banks on controversies around risk, ethics and culture for several decades. ICCR members were joined in the filing by the Offices of the Treasurer of the States of Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Read on.

Wells Fargo couldn’t get through last month and this month with new scandals

Here is the lawsuit. Click here.

 Deal Breaker

Alas: Wells could not get through February without seeing that streak end.

Matthew Valles, a former fraud investigator for Wells Fargo in Portland, Ore., said the bank fired him in January in retaliation for his internal complaints about “hundreds” of mishandled fraud investigations….

Wells Fargo customers, however, have complained that the bank was too quick to freeze or close accounts after signs of fraud — even if they themselves reported the suspicious activity. The consumer bureau’s complaints database contains dozens of reports from aggrieved customers who said their accounts had been shut down after they were victimized. Some customers who unknowingly deposited fake checks, for instance, said their accounts had then been terminated, often with little warning or explanation.


Nor shall March mark the beginning of a new streak:

Wells Fargo on Thursday disclosed the board’s investigation in a securities filing, saying it was “in response to inquiries from federal government agencies.”

The bank said the board’s review is assessing “whether there have been inappropriate referrals or recommendations, including with respect to rollovers for 401(k) plan participants, certain alternative investments, or referrals of brokerage customers to the company’s investment and fiduciary services business.”

Sacramento sues Wells Fargo, says bank discriminated against black and Latino borrowers

The city of Sacramento has filed a federal lawsuit against Wells Fargo alleging the banking giant steers African American and Latino borrowers into high-risk and high-cost mortgages.

The suit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, also seeks monetary damages against Wells Fargo, alleging the mortgages forced the city “to divert resources intended for other programs” to provide services to blighted neighborhoods impacted by the lending practices.

“These illegal practices suppressed property values in minority and low income communities in Sacramento, reduced the city’s property tax revenues, and increased the cost of providing municipal services such as police, fire fighting and code enforcement,” the city’s lawsuit reads.

Read on.


You can download the PDF version of this report here.

Acknowledgements: the lead investigator on this Global Witness report was Ken Silverstein. Global Witness is grateful to NBC News for making available to us material from an NBC and Reuters interview with Alexandre Henrique Ventura Nogueira. Unless otherwise indicated, this material is referenced in the text as (NBC/Reuters).


“Every other country goes into these places and they do what they have to do… It’s a horrible law and [the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act] should be changed.”

Donald Trump

In the early 2000s, a series of bankruptcies meant Donald J. Trump was shunned by most lenders. Struggling for credit, he started selling his name to high-end real estate projects. This report examines in detail the criminal connections that propelled one such project – the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama – and how this case bears some of the same disturbing hallmarks as other Trump developments.

Since he became President of the United States, numerous investigations and articles have probed Trump’s business dealings and his alleged links to criminals and other shadowy characters. It is understood that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation under the Department of Justice will also examine his real estate business. This is important because it seems likely that, following his various bankruptcies, at least a part of Trump’s business empire has been built on untraceable funds, some apparently linked to Russian criminal networks.

Trump may not have deliberately set out to facilitate criminal activity in his business dealings. But, as this Global Witness investigation shows, licensing his brand to the luxurious Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama aligned Trump’s financial interests with those of crooks looking to launder ill-gotten gains. Trump seems to have done little to nothing to prevent this. What is clear is that proceeds from Colombian cartels’ narcotics trafficking were laundered through the Trump Ocean Club and that Donald Trump was one of the beneficiaries.

One key player in the laundering of drug money at the Trump Ocean Club was notorious fraudster David Eduardo Helmut Murcia Guzmán, whom a U.S. court subsequently sentenced to nine years for laundering millions of dollars’ worth of illicit funds, including narcotics proceeds, through companies and real estate.

Another was Murcia Guzmán’s business associate, Alexandre Henrique Ventura Nogueira, who brokered nearly a third of the 666 pre-construction unit sales at the Trump Ocean Club and claims to have sold 350-400 units overall. Ventura Nogueira’s sales brokerage was critical to ensuring the project’s lift-off and Trump’s ability to earn tens of millions of dollars.

Read on.

Years after leaving office, ex-members of Congress still spend campaign money


IT’S BEEN MORE THAN A DECADE since South Florida Rep. Mark Foley was forced out of Congress for sending sexual text messages to teenage boys.

But Foley tapped his congressional campaign fund to dine on the Palm Beach social circuit four times in early 2017, ending with a $450 luncheon at the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches.

Then there’s baseball-star-turned-senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky. He paid his daughter $94,800 from campaign money in the four years after he left office, only stopping when he’d bled his fund dry.

And over the past 17 months, political advisor Dylan Beesley paid his firm more than $100,000 from the campaign account of Hawaii Congressman Mark Takai for “consulting services.”

It’s hard to imagine what Beesley advised. Takai was dead that whole time.

In their political afterlife, former politicians and their staffers are hoarding unspent campaign donations for years and using them to finance their lifestyles, advance new careers and pay family members, an investigation by the Tampa Bay Times10News WTSP and TEGNA-owned TV stations found.

Their spending makes a mockery of one of the fundamental principles of America’s campaign finance laws: Donations must be spent only on politics, not politicians’ personal lives.

Times/WTSP reporters analyzed more than 1 million records detailing the spending of former U.S. lawmakers and federal candidates. They found roughly 100 of these zombie campaigns, still spending even though their candidate’s political career had been laid to rest.

Read on.

A Booming Stock Market Does Not Mean a Strong US Economy

During his State of the Union speech, Trump touted the recent stock market boom as proof of how well the U.S. is doing. However, as NEP’s Bill Black explains, the boom has nothing to do with new investment. You can view with a transcript

Source: New Economic Perspectives