Tag Archives: DOJ

DOJ suing Northwest Trustee Services for illegally foreclosing on veterans

WTH?

The DOJ announced Friday that it is suing Northwest Trustee Services for violating the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which prohibits lenders and mortgage servicers from foreclosing on a servicemember’s home while they are on active military service and for the next year without a court order, if the mortgage was originated before the servicemember’s military service.

According to the DOJ, in the last six years, Northwest foreclosed on at least 28 homes owned by servicemembers without the necessary court orders.

The lawsuit comes after the DOJ launched an investigation into Northwest’s foreclosure practices at the urging of United States Marine veteran Jacob McGreevey of Vancouver, Washington, who submitted a complaint to the DOJ’s Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative in May 2016.

Portland’s The Oregonian has been all over McGreevy’s story, previously chronicling his fight against Northwest and PHH Mortgage, his mortgage servicer, for foreclosing on his home shortly after he returned from active duty.

According to the DOJ, Northwest foreclosed on McGreevey’s home in August 2010, less than two months after he was released from active duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Read on.

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DOJ Redaction Flub May Undermine Libor Case

Law360, New York (August 31, 2017, 10:54 PM EDT) — U.S. Department of Justice lawyers made a potentially serious error in a Libor-rigging case against a former Deutsche Bank trader Wednesday when they mistakenly revealed the nature of testimony he was compelled to give to U.K. authorities in a separate probe.

The DOJ partially redacted a motion to conceal the content of former Deutsche Bank trader Gavin Black’s testimony before the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority out of concern it could taint the DOJ’s Libor-rigging case against him. But the DOJ lawyers failed to properly excise the…

Source: Law360

DOJ will be allowed to join Ocwen’s challenge to constitutionality of CFPB

Ocwen Financial could soon get a big boost in its fight against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from a once-unlikely source – the Department of Justice.

In defending itself against the CFPB’s claims that Ocwen illegally foreclosed on borrowers, ignored customer complaints, mishandled borrowers’ money, and failed at the most basic of mortgage servicing actions, Ocwen asked a federal judge to declare the CFPB unconstitutional and toss out the CFPB’s lawsuit against the company.

Read on.

DOJ’s corporate crime watchdog resigns saying Trump administration makes it impossible to do her job

She broke her silence on her Linkedin page:

On May 15, I informed the Fraud Section in the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice that I did not intend to renew my contract as its Compliance Counsel Expert. Last Friday, I officially ended that role.

Leaving DOJ was not an easy decision. Serving as the Fraud Section’s compliance counsel had given me not only the privilege of working with some of the most dedicated, intelligent, and innovative prosecutors in the federal government, it had also given me a platform from which I believed I could make a positive difference. Now, my reason for leaving is the same: to make a difference. For reasons articulated below, I believe the time has come when I can make a bigger difference outside of the DOJ than inside. 

First, trying to hold companies to standards that our current administration is not living up to was creating a cognitive dissonance that I could not overcome. To sit across the table from companies and question how committed they were to ethics and compliance felt not only hypocritical, but very much like shuffling the deck chair on the Titanic. Even as I engaged in those questioning and evaluations, on my mind were the numerous lawsuits pending against the President of the United States for everything from violations of the Constitution to conflict of interest, the ongoing investigations of potentially treasonous conducts, and the investigators and prosecutors fired for their pursuits of principles and facts. Those are conducts I would not tolerate seeing in a company, yet I worked under an administration that engaged in exactly those conduct. I wanted no more part in it.

DOJ opposes Wells Fargo on whistle-blower suit

The U.S. Justice Department filed a friend-of-the-court brief on Tuesday in a lawsuit brought against Wells Fargo & Co by two former employees, who were fired after they reported misdemeanors they had noticed to their supervisors.

The DOJ’s filing concluded that the appellate court, which had earlier dismissed the case, should revisit and modify its analysis.

The plaintiffs, Paul Bishop and Robert Kraus, had said the Wall Street bank had requested Federal Reserve loans on various occasions when it was in violation of certain banking regulations, in a complaint filed in 2011.

The suit, which was filed under the False Claims Act, is designed to encourage people to bring to light evidence of fraud against the government.

Read on.

Tough On Crime?: Sessions’ DOJ Drops Antitrust Case Against AmEx, But 11 States Press On

Attorneys general from 11 states filed a petition Friday afternoon asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case against American Express Co., which centers on whether the card company can ban merchants from encouraging consumers to use cards that run on competing networks, like Visa and Mastercard.

Also Friday, the Justice Department said it won’t ask the Supreme Court to review its antitrust case against AmEx. “We believe the DOJ’s decision not to proceed sends a strong signal that this seven-year litigation should come to an end,” an AmEx spokesman said in a statement.

Ohio is the lead state in the 48-page states’ petition and is joined by Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Rhode Island, Utah and Vermont

AmEx card policy says merchants that choose to accept AmEx cards can’t steer consumers into using cards on other networks.

Read on.

Tough-on-crime Jeff Sessions lets Citigroup off with fine for money laundering across the border

Daily Kos:

Because despite a whole lot of tough talk and a seemingly zero-tolerance approach to crime, Sessions and the Trump administration just let Citigroup-owned Banamex USA get away with six years worth of illegal activity with a hefty fine and no jail time for anyone involved.

Banamex and Citi officials knew of some 18,000 separate suspicious account activities from 2007 to 2012 yet reported just six to regulators, according to the description of the crimes in the deal. The transactions mostly involved remittance payments from people in the United States to account holders in Mexico — a standard class of transaction relied upon heavily by immigrants.

The transactions Citigroup failed to police internally or report to external authorities, however, were not typical worker remittances. Those usually involve small sums and scattered movements of money — as one would expect to see when a large group of individual workers are sending some of their pay back home to a large number of families.

But wait. What exactly happened to those long, harsh sentences and mandatory minimums? Guess they only apply to drug dealers. And only if you are black or brown. Since this wasn’t actually some hardworking immigrants sending money to relatives back home but instead some unknown “person or organization” sending large quantities of money back and forth across the border, Ol’ Jeffy thought to himself “Meh, we’ll let this one slide!”

Citigroup’s subsidiary noticed that very large remittances were flowing into the same bank account — as one might expect to see if illicit, scattered profits earned in the United States were being consolidated across the border by the person or organization who had made them possible. […]

Under the non-prosecution agreement, Citigroup-owned Banamex USA will pay $97.4 million and admit it broke the Bank Secrecy Act for years.