Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sean Hannity linked to property empire aided by foreclosures, HUD: report

Fox News host who said Trump’s fixer ‘knows real estate’ has a portfolio that includes support from Department of Housing and Urban Development, a fact he did not mention when interviewing secretary Ben Carson last year

When Sean Hannity was named in court this week as a client of Donald Trump’s embattled legal fixer Michael Cohen, the Fox News host insisted their discussions had been limited to the subject of buying property.

“I’ve said many times on my radio show: I hate the stock market, I prefer real estate. Michael knows real estate,” Hannity said on television, a few hours after the dramatic hearing in Manhattan, where Cohen is under criminal investigation.

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Wells Fargo fired whistleblower for complaints about incentives to mislead: lawsuit

The former head of beleaguered San Francisco-based bank Wells Fargo’s foreign exchange group claims he was fired weeks before he was to tell federal regulators about incentives that encouraged employees to “make false and misleading representations to customers, to engage in abusive sales practices, and to enrich themselves at the expense of clients.”

That’s according to the legal firm representing him in a lawsuit filed Thursday in San Francisco County Superior Court.

Wells Fargo declined to comment.

Simon Fowles alleges that he was terminated after years of making complaints to his managers and high-level executives about goings-on in the foreign exchange sales department. He had told bank management he planned to tell the U.S. Office of Controller of the Currency about the incentives, and was sacked “just weeks before” he was scheduled to talk to the regulators, his law firm said.

Fowles claims he had warned management of “significant risks of illegal activity, mail and wire fraud, unlawful profiteering, and regulatory violations he believed would result from the compensation plan used by Wells Fargo to compensate members of the FX (foreign exchange) sales team,” according to the San Francisco law firm of attorney Daniel Feder.

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Wells Fargo Sales Push Extended to Wealth Unit, Ex-Workers Say

  • Pay structure said to place lender’s interests over clients’
  • Disclosures come amid multiple probes of bank’s retail unit

Credit card and savings customers may not be the only ones who were misled by Wells Fargo & Co.

Some clients of the bank’s wealth-management division were steered into investments that maximized revenue for the bank and compensation for its employees, according to several people familiar with the unit and documents reviewed by Bloomberg. Those investments weren’t always in the best interests of clients, the people said. They included estates, trusts and loans, according to one of the people and the documents.

Wealth advisers as recently as 2016 were given ambitious quotas and could earn extra pay by steering clients into loans and accounts with recurring fees, said the people, who included one current and five former Wells Fargo advisers. To hit certain goals, some advisers plugged data into financial planning software that they knew would recommend portfolios their clients already owned, two of the people said.

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Chicago can pursue part of Wells Fargo predatory lending case

(Reuters) – A federal judge significantly narrowed but refused to dismiss a lawsuit accusing Wells Fargo & Co, the third-largest U.S. bank, of predatory mortgage lending targeting black and Hispanic borrowers in the Chicago area.

U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman ruled on Monday that Illinois’ Cook County, which includes Chicago, may pursue federal Fair Housing Act claims against Wells Fargo, to the extent the bank’s alleged “equity stripping” practices boosted the cost of administering and processing a higher number of foreclosures.

But Feinerman dismissed claims alleging harm from lost property taxes, the need to combat crime and blight, racial segregation and other factors, calling them “ripples” that “flow far beyond” Wells Fargo’s alleged misconduct.

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JPMorgan’s $8 Billion Jury Loss to Widow Faces Massive Reduction

  • Plaintiffs concede jury awarded too much money in estate fight
  • Widow, children of executive claimed mismanagement of estate

JPMorgan Chase & Co. will probably face a judgment of no more than $90 million in a lawsuit claiming mismanagement of an estate that initially brought a jury verdict of $8 billion in punitive damages.

A Dallas jury in September awarded excessive punitives and duplicate actual damages, the widow and children of Max Hopper, a former American Airlinesexecutive, said in court filings.

Lawyers for Stephen Hopper and Laura Wassmer asked a Dallas probate court to limit punitive damages to them and their father’s estate to about $70 million, down from a total of $6 billion awarded by the jury. Hopper and Wassmer also asked for $3.9 million for losses and attorneys’ fees.

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Yeah right, Jamie…


JPMORGAN CHASE WILL not benefit from a recent bipartisan bank deregulation bill that passed in the Senate, the bank’s CEO Jamie Dimon claimed to The Intercept last week after an event in Washington.

“The banking bill is only really affecting smaller banks, so it doesn’t really have anything to do with us,” Dimon said after an event organized by Axios at Howard University titled, “Smarter Faster Revolution.”

“I think if they get a little bit of relief, it’s probably good for them and their ability to finance America,” Dimon added.

Dimon’s assertion calls into question why JPMorgan has spent resources to lobby for the bill and could shape the way that federal rule-makers interpret the statute and translate it into regulations.

JPMorgan Chase has been active on the bill, S.2155, which the Senate cleared on March 14 on the strength of 50 Republicans, 16 Democrats, and one Democratic-leaning independent. A look at lobbying disclosure formsshows that JPMorgan spent $810,000 on lobbying for financial issues in the fourth quarter of 2017, including on S.2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. The bank was one of 119 separate organizations that have lobbied on the bill.

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The Former Khmer Rouge Slave Who Blew the Whistle on Wells Fargo

After Duke Tran escaped from slavery, but before he became a millionaire, he was a Wells Fargo employee.

He worked at the bank’s debt-collections center near Portland, Ore., talking on the phone to customers who owed Wells Fargo money. It wasn’t glamorous, but the job enabled him to afford a two-story suburban house with mustard-colored aluminum siding. After more than three decades in the United States, Mr. Tran felt that he was the living embodiment of the American dream.

And then it all started to crumble.

In 2014, according to Mr. Tran, his boss ordered him to lie to customers who were facing foreclosure. When Mr. Tran refused, he said, he was fired. He worried that he wouldn’t be able to make his monthly mortgage payments and that he was about to become homeless.

Joining a cadre of former employees claiming they were mistreated for speaking out about problems at the bank, Mr. Tran sued. He argued in court filings that he had been fired in retaliation for blowing the whistle on misconduct at the giant San Francisco-based bank. Mr. Tran said he didn’t want his job back — he wanted Wells Fargo to admit that it had been wrong to fire him and wrong to mislead customers who were facing foreclosure.

It was a long shot. Banks generally are happy to reach private settlements, but loath to publicly admit wrongdoing, which can open them up to litigation. But Mr. Tran, who fled Vietnam as a teenager and then was enslaved by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, wasn’t daunted by long odds.

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