Feds allow high-profile case against Bank of America to quietly fizzle out

The Department of Justice had until Monday to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take up its 2012 ‘Hustle’ lawsuit against Charlotte-based Bank of America. The DOJ let the deadline pass.

The Department of Justice had until Monday to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take up its 2012 ‘Hustle’ lawsuit against Charlotte-based Bank of America. The DOJ let the deadline pass.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/banking/bank-watch-blog/article116470198.html#storylink=cpy
 The U.S. government let a high-profile mortgage case against Bank of America quietly fizzle out this week.

More Lawsuits, Still No Real Progress and No Coverage by Media

Jon Stewart committed his entire show to the mortgage crisis last Wednesday night. Go watch it. It wasn’t funny although they added some comedic aspects. The bottom line is the question “why aren’t these people in jail?” And the media was scorched with the fact that despite a constant culture of continuing corruption and absurd “transactions” in which paper goes back and forth, and calling that economic activity with”profit,” and stories of the human tragedy of Foreclosures all based on what are now obviously fraudulent schemes, the media is silent. The number of stories on the illegal Foreclosures, the charges of FRAUD by everyone involved from lenders (investors) to insurers to guarantors to borrowers, the verdicts and judgments decided against the banks, and the analysis that the assets of the banks are fictional, the total is ZERO.

My question is why the displacement of more than 15 million people in a single scheme is not the main question in American discourse, media and politics — especially since the banks have admitted by conduct or expressly their wrongdoing? We already know it was a total fraudulent scheme. The banks are settling their ill gotten gains for pennies on the dollar while the victims absorb most of the loss. We already know that the requirements of Federal law were routinely ignored in disclosing the real terms and lenders to borrowers. And if they had made the disclosure, the deals would not have occurred, because if they were disclosed neither the lenders (investors) nor the borrowers (homeowners) would have done the deal.

One particular story was singled out by Jon Stewart to provide an example of what Gretchen Morgenson called “just another day on Wall Street” was the recent transaction between Blackrock and Corere. Blackrock loaned Corere $100 million. Blackrock purchased a credit default swap worth $15 million if there was any default for any reason. Blackrock made a deal with Corere for Corere to default. So Corere defaulted. Blackrock collected the $15 million on the credit default swap PLUS the full repayment from Corere of $100 million, plus interest. Somehow this is considered legal. I call it FRAUD.

When applied to the mortgage market you can easily see how the agent banks (investment banks or broker dealers) made a fortune by creating deals that failed on paper when in fact the loan was already covered in multiple ways. Only in the mortgage situation the lenders got screwed out of repayment and the borrowers got screwed on their deal by either losing their home or getting a deal where they would be underwater for the rest of their lives. As I have been detailing over the last week, I have a currently pending case in which the “successor” trustee with a new aggressive law firm is pursuing foreclosure and collection of rents on loans that they know have been paid, they admit have been paid, but they say it doesn’t matter. Using this theory, if the payment doesn’t come from the named Payor on the note to the now unnamed payee on exhibit note, anyone can collect multiple times on a single debt. This is crazy.

The bastion of our security — judiciary — is succumbing to expediency over truth and justice. Instead of applying the requirements of law and procedure strictly against the same entities that are repeatedly cited for FRAUD AND NON COMPLIANCE by government and lawsuits from investors, insurers and guarantors, the judiciary is ignoring the requirements or applying liberal standards to allow the foreclosure to proceed. What Judges don’t understand yet is that they can clear their docket more quickly if they demand proof of payment by the party seeking foreclosure and proof of authority to represent the real creditors, who must be identified.

If the party pursuing foreclosure has no skin in the game and doesn’t represent anyone who does, the foreclosure fails jurisdictionally. If we apply any other standard, then the courts are opening the door for uninjured people to sue for a slip and fall that happened to someone else.

These Foreclosures would disappear entirely if judges applied the law with or without a proper presentation by defense counsel. In the old days, Judges carefully reviewed the basic documents. If they found a gap, they refused to apply the most extreme remedy of foreclosure until the the creditor could comply. That is all I ask. Instead most lawyers are told to stop arguing because the Judge is uncomfortable with what he is hearing and most lawyers do not have the guts to say to the judge that the purpose of having a lawyer is to “argue” cases. Is the Judge throwing out the right to be heard altogether? That violation of undue process is something that should be taken to task.

At the end of the day, it will be accepted fact that the mortgages were fraudulent unenforceable devices that never should have been recorded, much less used for foreclosure or collection of rents, the note is a fraudulent unenforceable paper designed to mislead the borrower, the lenders, the insurers, the government guarantors, credit default counterparties, and the courts as to the lender’s identity, and the debt was always between the investors who received no documentation for their investment that was real, and the homeowners who were duped into signing papers that made them unwitting participants in a fraudulent scheme.

In the end the intermediary agent banks got paid but the lenders only get their money if they sue the investment banker because the lenders were denied the right to appear on closing paperwork as the lender or on assignments. In other words, the parties who loaned the money got pennies on the dollar. The Banks got paid multiple times on the same debt by selling it multiple times, insuring it multiple times and getting it guaranteed multiple times, and then foreclosing as if they were the lender.

My final question is this: “if we know the mortgage mess was a fraudulent scheme, why are we allowing its continuation in the courts?”

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DOJ plans more MBS fraud cases in New Year

The Department of Justice intends to bring cases against several financial institutions next year for what it says is mortgage-bond fraud, Attorney General Eric Holder told Reuters yesterday.
While Holder said that the DOJ would use JPMorgan’s $13B agreement as a template, he didn’t provide details about which banks are in his crosshairs.
Firms that have acknowledged that they are under investigation include Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C) and Goldman Sachs (GS).

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For assistance with presenting a case for wrongful foreclosure, please call 520-405-1688, customer service, who will put you in touch with an attorney in the states of Florida, California, Ohio, and Nevada. (NOTE: Chapter 11 may be easier than you think).

Editor’s Comment: Among the unsung culprits in the false securitization scheme were the developers who conspired to raise prices to unconscionably high levels and the Wall Street funding that loaned the money for construction of new residential palaces. The reason the developer did it was once again, no risk and all profit, knowing that no matter how high the price, the appraisal would be approved. And the reason why IndyMac and other fronts for Wall Street’s tsunami of money did it was the same, no risk and all profit.

So what we have going on is that a few bankers are being thrown under the bus to take the blame for “isolated”instances of malfeasance. Their defense bespeaks of the widespread nature of this crime and how it created its own context of right and wrong. Many of them are saying they were following industry standards. Here’s the rub: they are right. The problem is that the new industry standards were illegal, fraudulent and disgraceful.

So here we have three IndyMac executives — out of thousands of people who did the exact same thing they did — accused of approving unworkable loans that were never repaid because in every Ponzi scheme the result is the same: when people stop putting in new money, the scheme collapses.

The question is not why these three are being charged in a civil action. The real questions are why are they not being charged with criminal fraud, and why thousands of other individuals who engaged in identical behavior are not being charged both civilly and criminally.

Then we have an interesting question: if it was improper for these three IndyMac execs to approve bad loans to developers, why are there no charges pending for approving bad loans and misleading homeowners?

DOJ keeps saying that they did not accumulate enough evidence to prove a criminal case, which as we all know, must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. But I say the DOJ simply went for the low-hanging fruit, intimidated by the complexity of securitization. But if they take two steps back and get their heads out of the thickets, they will see a simple Ponzi scheme that can be prosecuted easily.

Other than a criminal environment, what bank or other organization would set bonuses based upon the number of loans or the amount of money they moved? In the real world where right and wrong are inserted into the equation, bonuses, salary and employment is based upon the perception of management that an individual is contributing to a profit center. Here the bank is said to have “lost money” much of which was off set by insurance, Federal bailout and gigantic fees paid tot he bank for pretending to be a lender when they were not.

Criminal larges are way overdue against both the corporate mega banks and the titans who ran them, right down the line to anyone who had enough knowledge to realize the acts they were committing were wrong. But the money was too damn good — getting paid 4-10 times usual compensation was enough for them to keep their mouths shut — but not in all cases. Some people did quit or blow whistles. They are buried in the mounds of documents and statements taken by law enforcement all over the country.

It is not the lack of evidence that keeps the prosecutions, even the civil ones, from becoming a wave, it is the will of the people charged  with law enforcement decisions whose opinions were guided by political pressures. The Obama administration owes a better explanation of what is happening in the housing market and how it can be fixed. Without taking economists seriously on the importance of housing and prosecuting those who break the rules, the economy will continue to drag.

Japan just announced they had an annual GDP decline of 3.5%. Remember when we afraid japan’s money would take over the world? Their shrinking economy is due to the fact that they ideologically stuck to their guns and refused to stimulate the economy, protect their currency, and reign in the big money people. All they needed was a philosophy that the common man doesn’t matter. Hopefully our election which broke in favor of the democrats because of demographics, will teach a lesson — that without the success and hopes and good prospects for the common person entering the workforce, the economy can stall for decades.

FDIC seeks damages from three former IndyMac executives

Trial begins on a civil lawsuit that accuses them of negligence in approving loans that developers and home builders never repaid.

By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times

When the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized Pasadena housing lender IndyMac Bank four years ago, the scene resembled the grim bank failures of the 1930s.

Panicked depositors, seeking to reclaim their money, lined up outside branches of the big savings and loan, whose collapse under the weight of soured mortgage and construction loans helped usher in the financial crisis and biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression.

As those memories fade, the government’s effort to reclaim losses stemming from the financial debacle grinds on, with one IndyMac case winding up this week before a federal jury in Los Angeles.

Test your knowledge of business news

The civil lawsuit seeks damages from three former IndyMac executives, accusing them of negligence in approving 23 loans that developers and home builders never repaid, costing the bank almost $170 million.

The executives approved ill-advised loans because they earned bonuses for beefing up lending to developers and builders, said Patrick J. Richard, a lawyer representing the FDIC.

“They violated their duties to the bank,” Richard said in his opening statement to the jury Tuesday. “They violated standards of safe and reasonable banking.”

The bankers deny wrongdoing, contending that they made solid business decisions, which at the time were well-considered and approved by regulators and higher-ups at IndyMac.

“This case,” defense attorney Damian J. Martinez said in his opening statement Wednesday, “is about the government evaluating these loans with 20/20 hindsight after the greatest recession we’ve had since the Depression in the 1930s.”

The defendants — Scott Van Dellen, Richard Koon and Kenneth Shellem — ran IndyMac’s Homebuilder Division, a sideline to the thrift’s main business of residential mortgage lending. Court filings show the FDIC settled its case against a fourth former executive at the builder operation, William Rothman, by agreeing to a $4.75-million settlement to be paid by IndyMac’s insurance companies.

The trial, playing out before U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer, highlights how federal authorities — often stymied at bringing criminal cases against major players in the financial crisis — have pursued civil damages on a number of fronts.

One high-profile example involved the Securities and Exchange Commission‘s investigation of Countrywide Financial Corp. of Calabasas. The SEC exacted a $67.5-million settlement from former Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo, who ran Countrywide as it expanded to become the nation’s largest purveyor of subprime and other high-risk mortgages.

A Justice Department probe of Mozilo had found too little evidence to support a criminal prosecution. Admitting no wrongdoing, Mozilo paid $22.5 million of the SEC settlement himself, with corporate insurance policies covering most of the balance.

On another front, federal and state prosecutors have filed a series of civil lawsuits accusing major home lenders including Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. of fraud and recklessness that cost taxpayers and investors billions of dollars.

Taking a different approach, the FDIC suits aim to recover losses in its insurance fund, which compensates depositors when banks fail. The agency says it has authorized lawsuits against 665 insiders at 80 institutions seized during the recent crisis, with 33 suits already filed.

The IndyMac case now going to trial, filed in July 2010, was the first of those suits.

Recoveries typically are modest compared with the losses.

IndyMac’s failure cost the federal insurance fund more than $13 billion, the largest loss among the 463 banks that have failed since 2008. But the FDIC is seeking only $170 million in the suit that has gone to trial in L.A., plus $600 million in a separate suit against former IndyMac Chief Executive Michael Perry.

(Perry contends that the pending lawsuit, accusing him of negligently allowing $10 billion in dicey mortgages to pile up on IndyMac’s books, is without merit.)

The FDIC is proceeding with the IndyMac case despite a setback in its efforts to collect from IndyMac’s insurance. U.S. District Judge Gary Klausen ruled July 2 that IndyMac officer and director insurance policies at the time of its failure cannot be used to cover any damages the agency wins against former bank insiders.

An appeal of that ruling is before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. If the ruling stands, the FDIC could only try to recover damages by attaching the defendants’ personal assets.

The IndyMac defendants’ earnings were modest by the standards of executives running large financial firms, such as Mozilo, whose take during the housing bubble has been estimated at nearly $470 million. But their compensation — in the $500,000 annual range for Koon and Shellem and well over $1 million for Van Dellen, who headed the Homebuilder Division — merited note by the FDIC.

Richard, the lawyer making the FDIC’s opening statement, noted that Van Dellen had rejected a suggestion by Perry in July 2006, as cracks appeared in the housing markets, that IndyMac take a cautious approach in its lending to home builders.

Van Dellen replied in an email that “now is the time to pounce,” Richard told the jury. “So what was his motivation? His bonus for 2006 production was 4 1/2 times his base salary — $914,000 — tied to production” of more builder loans.

scott.reckard@latimes.com

la-fi-indymac-trial-20121110,0,3796443.story

Incredible “Hustle”: JPM Moves Exec Who Defrauded Fannie and Freddie to Defrauding Borrowers Again

What’s the Next Step? Consult with Neil Garfield

For assistance with presenting a case for wrongful foreclosure, please call 520-405-1688, customer service, who will put you in touch with an attorney in the states of Florida, California, Ohio, and Nevada. (NOTE: Chapter 11 may be easier than you think).

Victims can receive up to $125,000 in cash or, in some cases, get their homes back. But the review has already been marred by evidence that the banks themselves play a major role in identifying the victims of their own abuses, raising the question of whether the review is compromised by a central conflict of interest.”

Editor’s Comment and Analysis: The rules and laws are in place and the banks are flagrantly violated them — again. While the infrastructure is in place to compensate victims of wrongful foreclosure and to stop wrongful foreclosures, the programs are routinely corrupted and ignored.

JPMorgan and the other mega banks actually had a name for the game: the “Hustle.” “Rebecca Mairone, worked at Countrywide and Bank of America from 2006 until earlier this year, when she left for JPMorgan Chase, according to her LinkedIn profile.” (see article below).

Mairone stands accused of a two year “scam” of foisting bad loans onto Fannie and Freddie on behalf of Bank of America. Now she is at JPM supervising the compensation program for wrongful foreclosure victims. Do you think there might be a conflict of interest or two in that structure?

So now she is the head of the “independent Foreclosure Review” process. “The review “never seemed designed to place first the interests of those who were supposed to be helped — victimized homeowners,” said Neil Barofsky, the former federal prosecutor who served as the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, better known as the bank bailout.”

The DOJ lawsuit says “”Countrywide knowingly churned out loans with escalating levels of fraud and other serious material defects and sold them to” Fannie and Freddie.”

Countrywide had a name for its policy of abandoning underwriting standards, lying to borrowers, brokers and closing agents: “The new modus operandi was called the “High Speed Swim Lane”; its motto was “Loans Move Forward, Never Backward,” according to the suit. The company allegedly paid bonuses to its employees based on the number of loans they pushed through, not on whether the loans were sound.

AND THIS is why I am telling you that if you push the banks into a corner by denying all the essential allegations they make about your loan and then demand discovery on the money trail starting with the first dollars that went in or out of a REMIC or that went in or out of the loan you thought you were getting, you will prove your case and the bank will retreat.

The fact is that in most cases the REMIC played no part in the lending process but the investors, who were advancing money THOUGHT they were investing in a REMIC, were actually lending money to the investment bank who took control as if the loans belonged to the banks. Then they traded, insured and contracted as though they were the owners. They claimed losses on federal bailouts when they had no losses.

The lies told to investors were identical to the lies told to borrowers as to the underwriting, the appraisal values, the ability of borrowers to pay on loans where the payments would skyrocket above any known income the borrower ever had, and so many severe defects in the origination of the loans that the investors themselves have come to the conclusion that there is nothing enforceable about those loans –— not the obligation, the note (as evidence of the obligation) nor the mortgage which secured a defective note containing both the wrong payee and the wrong terms of repayment.

As I have repeatedly stated, the investors should join with borrowers in a tactical pincer action, but they don’t. And I can only conclude that the reason they don’t is that the fund managers who bought these bonds knew more than they say they knew and went ahead because of the some benefit they received by buying the bogus mortgage bonds. Things don’t happen on this scale without lots of people knowing.

Red-faced bureaucrats who take their information from banks are going to be explaining for years to come why they gave money to the banks when it was the investors and homeowners who were the ones losing money while the banks were raking in the money on the way up and on the way down the greatest bubble in history.

Exec Who Allegedly Enabled Fraud Runs Chase’s Effort to Compensate Foreclosure Victims

by Paul Kiel
ProPublica,

An executive who the Justice Department says facilitated a scheme to defraud Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is now spearheading JPMorgan Chase’s role in the government’s program to compensate victims of the big banks’ abusive foreclosure practices.

The executive, Rebecca Mairone, worked at Countrywide and Bank of America from 2006 until earlier this year, when she left for JPMorgan Chase, according to her LinkedIn profile.

In a lawsuit filed last month in federal court in New York, Justice Department attorneys allege that Countrywide, which was bought by Bank of America in 2008, perpetrated a two-year scam to foist shoddy home loans on Fannie and Freddie. Neither Mairone nor any other individuals are named as defendants in the civil suit, and no criminal charges have been filed against her or anyone else in connection with the alleged misconduct. But Mairone is one of two bank officials cited in the suit as having repeatedly ignored warnings about the “Hustle,” as the alleged scheme was called inside the company, and she prohibited employees from circulating some of those warnings outside their division.

Mairone was chief operating officer of the Countrywide lending division that allegedly carried out the “Hustle.” She took the helm of JPMorgan Chase’s involvement in the Independent Foreclosure Review this summer, according to a former Chase employee.

The review, overseen by federal banking regulators, requires the nation’s biggest banks to compensate victims for harm they inflicted on borrowers. Victims can receive up to $125,000 in cash or, in some cases, get their homes back. But the review has already been marred by evidence that the banks themselves play a major role in identifying the victims of their own abuses, raising the question of whether the review is compromised by a central conflict of interest.

Mairone’s role raises additional questions about the Independent Foreclosure Review.

The review “never seemed designed to place first the interests of those who were supposed to be helped — victimized homeowners,” said Neil Barofsky, the former federal prosecutor who served as the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, better known as the bank bailout.

“Finding out that the person running it for JPMorgan Chase is a person whose conduct in the run-up to financial crisis was allegedly so egregious that she somehow managed to be one of the only people actually named in a case brought by the Department of Justice goes beyond irony,” he continued. “It speaks volumes to the banks’ true intent and lack of concern for homeowners when addressing the harm that they caused during the foreclosure crisis.”

In response to ProPublica’s questions about Mairone’s role in the foreclosure review and the suit’s allegations, Chase issued a brief statement confirming that Mairone is a managing director who is “working on the Independent Foreclosure Review process.” The statement added, “It would not be appropriate for us to discuss another firm’s litigation.”

Chase declined to make Mairone available for comment, and she did not return a message left at her home number.

The Suit’s Allegations

Countrywide was the industry leader in subprime loans, which are typically given to borrowers with a troubled credit history. In 2007, the subprime market began to collapse as more and more of those borrowers defaulted on their loans. Countrywide grew desperate to find ways to keep profiting from issuing mortgages.

Fannie and Freddie guarantee home loans, relieving banks of the risk that borrowers will default. So in 2007, the government’s suit alleges, Countrywide began the Hustle to pass a huge number of risky loans, many with phony incomes attributed to the borrowers, on to Fannie and Freddie.

At that time, the two mortgage giants were restricting their underwriting guidelines, making it harder for lenders like Countrywide to find borrowers who qualified for Fannie and Freddie backed loans.

The suit alleges that Countrywide deliberately gutted its system for detecting unqualified borrowers, leading to a flood of flawed and outright fraudulent loans backed by Fannie and Freddie.

The new modus operandi was called the “High Speed Swim Lane”; its motto was “Loans Move Forward, Never Backward,” according to the suit. The company allegedly paid bonuses to its employees based on the number of loans they pushed through, not on whether the loans were sound. According to the suit, the new system created a torrent of loans that often featured inflated borrower incomes, accelerated by employees who had every incentive to fabricate numbers to get the loans into the “High Speed Swim Lane.”

The suit says a number of employees within Countrywide raised alarms about the Hustle before it launched, but that Mairone and the division’s president “ignored” those warnings.

Once the new system was up and running, one concerned executive had underwriters run checks on the loans. Mairone allowed the checks, but said they should be run in parallel to the loan funding process so, according to the suit, they didn’t “‘slow the swim lane down.'”

The tests found a “staggering rate of defects,” the suit says, but Mairone did not “alter or abandon the Hustle model.” Instead, the suit alleges, she “prohibited” underwriters from circulating the results outside of the lending division. “As warnings about the Hustle went unheeded,” the complaint alleges, “Countrywide knowingly churned out loans with escalating levels of fraud and other serious material defects and sold them to” Fannie and Freddie.

The Hustle continued “through 2009,” the Justice Department alleges, well after Bank of America acquired Countrywide. The scheme led to more than $1 billion in losses at Fannie and Freddie as borrowers defaulted, according to the suit.

The government took over Fannie and Freddie in 2008, and since then taxpayers have pumped in $187.5 billion to keep them afloat.

The federal suit was first brought under seal as a qui tam suit under the False Claims Act by a former Countrywide and Bank of America executive, Edward O’Donnell, who says he tried to stop the Hustle. A qui tam suit allows a private citizen to sue on behalf of the government and receive a portion of the settlement or judgment if the suit is successful. The Justice Department joined O’Donnell’s suit in October in Southern District of New York, filing its own complaint and trumpeting it in a press release.

A Bank of America spokesman disputed allegations in the suit that it had refused to repurchase the faulty “Hustle” loans from Fannie Mae after they defaulted in large numbers. “Bank of America has stepped up and acted responsibly to resolve legacy mortgage matters,” said spokesman Lawrence Grayson. “At some point, Bank of America can’t be expected to compensate every entity that claims losses that actually were caused by the economic downturn.”

A Career Spans the Crisis

Mairone’s career has spanned the entire life cycle of the foreclosure crisis.

After working for Countrywide and Bank of America’s lending divisions, Mairone moved to the bank’s servicing division in 2009. There, at the height of the crisis, she was in charge of deciding how to deal with homeowners who could not pay their mortgages and wanted to modify the terms of their loans.

It didn’t go well. The big banks all signed up for the government’s main foreclosure prevention program and agreed to provide modifications for qualified borrowers. But as we’ve reported over the years (we even interviewed Mairone herself in early 2011), the biggest banks often botched loan modifications and regularly subjected customers to errors and abuses, some resulting in mistaken foreclosures. The big banks in general did a poor job, but analyses have shown that Bank of America performed the worst of all. Homeowners had less of a chance of getting a modification from Bank of America than any other major mortgage servicer, studies show.

Such failings eventually led to government efforts to compensate homeowners for the banks’ errors and abuses. The Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency launched the Independent Foreclosure Review in late 2011. About 4.4 million homeowners are eligible for the review, and those who are determined to have been harmed can receive up to $125,000 in cash compensation.

Regulators required each of the banks to hire an outside consultant to independently conduct the review, but as ProPublica has reported, there is abundant evidence that the banks themselves are playing a large role. The program has also been marked by low participation by borrowers and a lack of transparency.

Regulators have said the banks are only playing a supporting role in the review, and that the consultants are entirely responsible for deciding how borrowers are compensated.

Mairone’s current employment at Chase was first reported by The Street, an online news service that covers finance, but the story did not say Mairone was working on the bank’s Independent Foreclosure Review. She oversees hundreds of Chase employees who gather documents for the reviews, according to the former Chase employee. Chase declined to say how many employees Mairone oversees or detail her job responsibilities.

Chase’s main regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, said its policy is not to comment on specific individuals or ongoing litigation. “The OCC and the Federal Reserve are monitoring the conduct of the Independent Foreclosure Review to ensure reviews are conducted fairly and thoroughly,” said spokesman Bryan Hubbard.

Jonathan Gandal, a spokesman for Deloitte, the consultant Chase hired for the review, said, “We are conducting an independent review of the files and it is our review and analysis alone that will drive our recommendations. Beyond that, we are not at liberty to discuss matters pertaining to our services.”

 

Wells Fargo to Pay up to $50,000 per person in bias case against blacks, Hispanics

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Editor’s Notes:  

The point here, besides the obvious bias, is that they were targeting people who were unsophisticated and if it all possible had language problems. Why would they go to so much trouble to find hapless people who are not going to be able to pay for the loans? ANSWER: Because every time a loan fails it gives them another opportunity to make even more money than they did before. Since they were playing with investor money, the risk of loss was not factored in making the loans.

Remember that in Florida alone it was discovered than more than 10,000 people were newly licensed mortgage brokers, each of whom was a convicted felon for economic crimes. They needed people who would say anything to close the deal, NOT people who were looking out for the bank or its depositors because there were no depositors in most cases and even when a depository institution initiated the loan origination, they were not using their own money or credit. Nobody after that EVER paid one cent for any of the transfers, assignments, indorsements, or allonges. All the transactions were fake descriptions of transactions that never occurred.

And they are STILL trading on the bad loans even if they were long ago “foreclosed” and even if there was an eviction. They are trading the synthetic derivatives that were based upon the derivatives whose value was derived from the mortgage bonds whose value was derived from the home. All the trades are bogus. While all Americans suffer, the banks continue to generate “profits” that don’t actually exist because they are more than offset by an unstated liability for selling “forward” an asset that they know they never had and which has been lost through the foreclosure.

Nobody in mainstream media has YET picked up on this because of its obvious complexity. But when they, do, all hell will break loose. It will be discovered that the original loan was paid in full at the moment of origination and that all trades after the fake transaction used as the basis of the contents of the “closing documents” were faked, which is why they couldn’t come up with real documents and were submitting fabricated, robo-signed, surrogate signed, forged documents and recording them.

And that is the tip of the iceberg on the degree of corruption of our title system. Because all those trades, foreclosures and evictions can and should be reversed. And the economic collapse should and would be restored to normal economic activity with the wealth back where it belongs — in the hands of people who were cheated, deceived and discriminated against by the banks.

Justice Dept: Wells Fargo to pay $175M to settle allegations of bias against blacks, Hispanics

WASHINGTON — Wells Fargo Bank will pay at least $175 million to settle accusations that it discriminated against African-American and Hispanic borrowers in violation of fair-lending laws, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest residential home mortgage originator, allegedly engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers from 2004 through 2009.

At a news conference, Deputy Attorney General James Cole said the bank’s discriminatory lending practices resulted in more than 34,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers in 36 states and the District of Columbia paying higher rates for loans solely because of the color of their skin.

Cole said that with the settlement, the second largest of its kind in history, the government will ensure that borrowers hit hard by the housing crisis will have an opportunity to access homeownership.

The bank will pay $125 million in compensation for borrowers who were steered into subprime mortgages or who paid higher fees and rates than white borrowers because of their race or national origin rather than because of differences in credit-worthiness.

Wells Fargo also will pay $50 million in direct down payment assistance to borrowers in areas of the country where the Justice Department identified large number of discrimination victims. Those areas are Washington, D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia, Oakland and San Francisco, New York City, Cleveland, Riverside, Calif., and Baltimore.

“The department’s action makes clear that we will hold financial institutions accountable, including some of the nation’s largest, for lending discrimination,” Cole said.

The settlement will bring “swift and meaningful relief” to African-American and Hispanic borrowers who received subprime loans when they should have received prime loans or who paid more for their loans, said Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil rights division.

Perez said that because of the bank’s practices “an African-American wholesale customer in the Chicago area in 2007 seeking a $300,000 loan paid on average $2,937 more in fees than a similarly qualified white applicant. And these fees were not based on any objective factors relating to credit risk. These fees amounted to a racial surtax. A Latino borrower in the Miami area in 2007 seeking a $300,000 paid on average $2,538 more than a similarly qualified white applicant. The racial surtax for African Americans in Miami in 2007 was $3,657.”

Wells Fargo noted in a statement that it has denied the claims.

“Wells Fargo is settling this matter solely for the purpose of avoiding contested litigation with the DOJ,” it said, “and to instead devote its resources to continuing to provide fair credit services and choices to eligible customers and important and meaningful assistance to borrowers in distressed U.S. real estate markets.”

The part of the settlement for $125 million deals with mortgages that were priced and sold by independent mortgage brokers through Wells Fargo’s wholesale channel. The financial institution said that it is discontinuing financing mortgages that are originated, priced and sold by independent mortgage brokers through the mortgage wholesale channel.

“Through our separate decision to no longer fund mortgages through independent mortgage brokers, we can control how that commitment” to serving home ownership needs “is met on every mortgage that Wells Fargo makes,” said Mike Heid, president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.


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BOA PAYING $335 MILLION TO MINORITY HOMEOWNERS FLIM-FLAMMED BY BOGUS MORTGAGES

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EDITOR’S COMMENT: OK think about it. BOA is going to pay hundreds of millions to those minorities who were steered into either high interest rate loans or sub prime loans that were loaded with exotic features, including high interest rates. ” High Interest” means an interest rate that was significantly higher than the one the borrower was qualified to receive. Countrywide targeted the least sophisticated Borrowers in order to get away with these shenanigans. The higher the interest, the higher the payments. The higher the payments, the more likely the loan would fail. And by definition these were loans that SHOULD have been given to these people at more affordable rates and terms.
WHY WOULD A TRUE LENDER PRESS UNSOPHISTICATED BORROWERS INTO LOANS THAT WERE MORE LIKELY TO FAIL THAN THE LOAN TERMS THOSE SAME BORROWERS WERE QUALIFIED TO RECEIVE?
Now when some minority homeowner is in court, the Bank will say that the matter has been settled or at least partially paid through the settlement. The answer from the homeowner should be that they did receive some money from the DOJ action but that didn’t cover their damages or their case. In fact, it goes to corroborate their argument that the amount demanded is wrong and that the lien very likely never attached to their real property, leaving the “creditor” with nothing more than an unsecured loan that could be discharged in bankruptcy. Such litigants should hope and prey that the Bank makes that argument.
If the Bank argues payment in a collateral case from a collateral source (remember that the forecloser is mostly the so-called trusts, not the Banks) the homeowner’s response should be that the Bank has now admitted that third party and collateral source payments should be counted, to wit: such payments are (a) subject to an accounting and (b) do set off the amount due to the extent paid.
THAT MEANS PAYMENTS RECEIVED FROM INSURANCE, CDS, AND CREDIT ENHANCEMENTS MUST OFFSET THE AMOUNT DUE FROM BORROWER TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH MONEY WAS RECEIVED BY THE CREDITOR OR ON BEHALF OF THE CREDITOR. THIS ASSUMES THAT THAT THERE IS EVEN A CREDITOR IN EXISTENCE BECAUSE REPORTS RECEIVED BY LIVINGLIES INDICATES THAT THE SPVS (trusts) HAVE BEEN DISSOLVED LEAVING HALF, AT BEST, OF THE TRUSTS STILL IN EXISTENCE, WHICH MEANS THE INVESTORS HAVE SETTLED OUT.
THE CREDITOR HAS BEEN PAID BUT THE BANKS KEEP ASSERTING A CLAIM AGAINST THE BORROWER FOR THE FULL AMOUNT WITHOUT SET OFF FOR PAYMENTS RECEIVED FROM BAILOUT, INSURANCE, CREDIT DEFAULT SWAPS ETC.
BUT WHY DID THEY WANT TO MAKE LOANS THAT WERE TOXIC TO ANYONE, LET ALONE MINORITIES? Because that is where they made their money, the really big money, that is hiding off shore now, siphoned off from the the U.S. Economy, from consumers, homeowners and borrowers without any accounting because the government decided that ” balance sheet” transactions were both legal and did not need to be disclosed.
They took a loan that was nominally valued at $200,000 and sold it to the investor pools for $300,000 and called it ” trading profits.” In truth it was pure theft. It’s like allowing them to sell your own car to you, take a profit, and then tell you that you have a loss, now, which is their profit.
They took the investor’s money, bought crap, slapped a value on it that was inconceivably wrong, and then sold it back to the investor for 100 cents on the dollar that the investors gave them. Their cost for the crap (a bad $200,000 loan that over valued, and used an overvalued appraisal to establish a false value of the collateral) they funded (from investor money) was $200,000, and it was only worth $100,000, so the investor put up $300,000 and got at best a $100,000 asset. After that it went down from there diminished by falling markets, fees from the intermediaries etc.
The investment Bank took the difference between the amount the investor paid for the bogus mortgage bonds and the amount actually used for funding mortgages and booked the transactions as trading profits and fees.

Maybe someday the government experts will understand what we already know —- we were all lied to and screwed —- taxpayers, insurance companies, investors, and homeowners. But because the learning curve is so steep and the path so convoluted, by the time government actually publishes how we were screwed and why the foreclosures were totally wrong, the tsunami of foreclosures divesting at least 12 million families of their homes, their lifestyles and even their lives, the economy will be down the drain. Stop the foreclosures, and we stop the drain. Allow these illegal, improper and foolish foreclosures and you are sealing the fate of America and all it’s citizens.

NAACP, NCLR laud Bank of America for Countrywide settlement

by Kerri Panchuk, HousingWire

SEE FULL ARTICLE ON HOUSINGWIRE.COM

Bank of America’s (BAC: 5.3893 +3.05%) $335 million fair-lending settlement with the Justice Department drew praise from two groups who applaud the banking giant for resolving inherited issues from Countrywide Financial Corp.

The bank agreed to pay millions in restitution to compensate Hispanic and black borrowers who were steered into subprime mortgages and home loans with higher fees during the origination process.

“To its credit, Bank of America — which was not named in the investigation — immediately shut down Countrywide’s harmful practices when it acquired the company in 2008,” said the National Council of La Raza in a statement.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also released a statement saying Bank of America “takes one more important step toward creating a fairer lending environment for consumers.”

The NAACP went on to say that BofA’s acquisition of Countrywide allowed it to rectify what the organization considers Countrywide’s “most egregious practices.”

“These included ending: no documentation loans, pay option adjustable-rate mortgages and exploding adjustable rate mortgages,” the NAACP said. “Additionally, in March 2011, Bank of America became one of the first financial institutions to endorse the NAACP’s responsible mortgage lending principles, which deal directly with the issues in the lawsuit by setting standards of non-discrimination, fairness and transparency in ways that help ensure our nation and all our communities will continue to move forward towards a day of greater shared economic strength and stability.”

The lawsuit resolved by Wednesday’s settlement is the result of Countrywide lending practices that occurred between 2004 and 2008, impacting more than 200,000 black and Hispanic borrowers.

Write to: Kerri Panchuk.

US SUES DEUTSCH: Bank and MortgageIT “repeatedly lied”

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EDITORIAL NOTE: Reading and writing with one eye is a challenge. Let me confine my remarks to this. It’s about time that the United States government acknowledged that we have been livinglies promulgated by Wall Street and has now accused them pf just that in an actual legal proceeding.

U.S. Sues Deutsche Bank Over Mortgages

By DEALBOOK
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Federal prosecutors on Tuesday filed a civil mortgage fraud lawsuit against Deutsche Bank and its MortgageIT unit, accusing the bank of “reckless lending practices.”

The complaint, filed in United States District Court in Manhattan, contends that the bank and its subsidiary “repeatedly lied to be included in a government program to select mortgages for insurance by the government.”

“Once in that program, they recklessly selected mortgages that violated program rules in blatant disregard of whether borrowers could make mortgage payments. While Deutsche Bank and MortgageIT profited from the resale of these government-issued mortgages, thousands of American homeowners have faced default and eviction.”

The complaint seeks treble damages and penalties under the False Claims Act, which could amount to more than $1 billion.

“We believe the claims against MortgageIT and Deutsche Bank are unreasonable and unfair, and we intend to defend against the action vigorously,” a bank spokeswoman said in an e-mail to Bloomberg News.

Shares of Deutsche Bank tumbled in Frankfurt following word of the complaint.

Prosecutors allege that Deutsche Bank and MortgageIT “repeatedly lied” in order to participate in a Federal Housing Administration program that insures mortgages.

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Lenders in the program are required to have a quality control plan and resources, and are “entrusted with safeguarding the public from taking on risks that exceed statutory and regulatory limits.”

But the complaint says MortgageIT underwriters falsely certified that they had performed the required due diligence on the mortgages they endorsed.

In one instance cited in the complaint, an outside vendor was hired in 2004 to conduct quality control reviews of closed F.H.A.-insured loans. The vendor prepared letters detailing the underwriting violations it found. But no one at MortgageIT read the letters, the complaint says. Instead, the letters were stuffed, unopened, in a closet in the company’s Manhattan headquarters.

Between 1999 and 2009, MortgageIT endorsed more than 39,000 mortgages for F.H.A. insurance, totaling more than $5 billion in underlying principal obligations, the complaint says.

MortgageIT mortgages accounted for more than $386 million in F.H.A. insurance claims and costs.

Deutsche Bank acquired MortgageIT for $429 million in July 2006.

The United States attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, has scheduled a news conference for 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

U.S. v. Deutsche Bank and MortgageIT

“Keep your fingers crossed but I think we will price this just before the market falls off a cliff,” a Deutsche Bank manager wrote in February 2007

Internal emails indicate Deutsche Bank knew they were bankrolling toxic mortgages by Ameriquest and others

Internal emails indicate Deutsche Bank knew they were bankrolling toxic mortgages by Ameriquest and others

iWatch

In 2007, the report says, Deutsche Bank rushed to sell off mortgage-backed investments amid worries that the market for subprime loans was deteriorating.

“Keep your fingers crossed but I think we will price this just before the market falls off a cliff,” a Deutsche Bank manager wrote in February 2007 about a deal stocked with securities created from raw material produced by Ameriquest and other subprime lenders.

Deutsche Bank Analyst: Overpay For Our Assets, Or You’ll Regret It

By Zachary Roth – February 12, 2009, 3:49PM

For a while now, it’s seemed like Wall Street’s message to government has been: We screwed up. But if you don’t rescue us on our terms, you’re all gonna be in trouble.

But you don’t usually see that expressed quite as clearly as it was in a research memo sent out yesterday by a senior Deutsche Bank analyst, and obtained by TPMmuckraker.

In the memo — one of Deutsche’s daily “Economic Notes” sent out to the firm’s clients, and to some members of the press — Joseph LaVorgna, the bank’s chief US economist, essentially, appears to warn that if the government doesn’t pay high prices for the toxic assets on the books of Deutsche and other big firms, there will be massive consequences for the US economy.

Writes LaVorgna:

One main stumbling block to the purchasing of troubled assets has been pricing, specifically how does the government price a diverse set of assets in a way that does not put the taxpayer on the hook. However, this should not be the standard by which we judge the efficacy of the plan, because a more prolonged deterioration in the
economy will result in a higher terminal unemployment rate and a greater deterioration of the tax base. As such, the decline in tax revenues will crimp many of the essential services provided by the government. Ultimately, the taxpayer will pay one way or another, either through greatly diminished job prospects and/or significantly higher taxes down the line to pay for the massive debt issuance required to fund current and prospective fiscal spending initiatives.

We think the government should do the following: estimate the highest price it can pay for the various toxic assets residing on financial institution balance sheets which would still return the principal to taxpayers.

One leading economist described the memo to TPMmuckraker as a “ransom note” to the US government. And David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors, who writes such research memos for his own clients, acknowledged that the memo, like all such communications, could be interpreted as an attempt to influence policy-makers.

Still, seeing the memo as a threat to the government to drive the softest of bargains wouldn’t be entirely fair. Kotok that cautioned that the effects of a single analyst’s memo are limited: “Joe LaVorgna doesn’t have enough clout to hold the US government hostage.”

LaVorgna himself was blunt: “I don’t write editorials,” he told TPMmuckraker.

At the very least, the memo can be seen as a frank statement of position from the chief economist of a major bank: if the government doesn’t cave and buy up all the banks’ toxic assets at inflated prices, the country will suffer.

Nice fix we’ve got ourselves into.


Justice Department Probing Foreclosure Processes

Justice Department Probing Foreclosure Processes

Published: Wednesday, 6 Oct 2010 | 6:33 PM ET

The U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday it was probing reports that the nation’s top mortgage lenders improperly evicted struggling borrowers from their homes as part of the devastating wave of foreclosures unleashed by the financial crisis.

Foreclosed Home
Repres
There has been a push by federal and state officials to suspend foreclosures after reports that banks signed large numbers of foreclosure affidavits without conducting a proper review.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department would look into media reports that loan servicers improperly have used “robo-signers” to process foreclosure orders, stepping into a controversy that has forced at least three banks to halt eviction proceedings and prompted calls for an industry-wide moratorium on home repossession until the problems are fixed.

The move, coming before November’s congressional elections, takes aim at one of the most visible signs of the U.S. economic crisis, which saw hundreds of thousands of families lose their homes.

But it could risk further slowing the fragile U.S. economic recovery, leaving banks unsure about whether they will ever claw back their losses and the struggling housing market overshadowed by a mounting inventory of homes still likely to face foreclosure in future.

 

Key Points

Banks’ use of “robo-signers” under scrutiny by Justice Department.Wells Fargo agrees to offer loan modifications.North Carolina joins calls to suspend repossessionsOhio Attorney General sues GMAC, Ally Financial

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democrats wrote to Holder earlier this week asking the Justice Department look into the matter after receiving reports from thousands of homeowners about their foreclosure woes.

Separately on Wednesday, Wells Fargo [WFC  25.685  -0.265  (-1.02%)   ] agreed to pay eight states $24 million after allegations of deceptive marketing practices at its home loan unit. The firm said it would also alter its foreclosure prevention practices that could benefit struggling homeowners by more than $700 million.

The bank’s chief financial officer, Franklin Codel, told Reuters in an interview that Wells Fargo Home Mortgage did not cut corners to speed up the foreclosure process, and said he was “confident that the paperwork is being properly produced.”

In the aftermath of the financial crisis and ensuing recession, banks are expected to take over a record 1.2 million homes this year, up from about 1 million last year and just 100,000 as recently as 2005, according to real estate data company RealtyTrac.

There has been a push by federal and state officials to suspend foreclosures after reports that banks signed large numbers of foreclosure affidavits without conducting a proper review.

Banks and loan servicers, companies that collect monthly mortgage payments, reportedly have used “robo-signers” — middle-ranking executives who signed thousands of affidavits a month claiming they were knowledgeable of the cases.

States Take Action

The issue on improper handling of foreclosures came to the fore last month when Ally Financial, formerly known as GMAC, revealed that officials had signed thousands of affidavits without having personal knowledge of the borrower’s situation.

Ally suspended evictions and post-foreclosure proceedings in 23 states last month. JPMorgan Chase [JPM  39.81  0.50  (+1.27%)   ] and Bank of America [BAC  13.169  -0.011  (-0.08%)   ] later said they were suspending some foreclosures in 23 states while they reviewed their practices.

Lenders are scrambling to defend and improve foreclosure procedures under scrutiny in state courts and from regulators.

The foreclosure issue and the battered state of the U.S. housing market have weighed on the Obama administration ahead of the November congressional elections in which the Democrats already face the possibility of big losses.

The administration has a $50 billion war chest to fight foreclosures, but disbursements have been limited because the program is narrowly tailored to help responsible borrowers.

Any broader push to resolve the crisis, such as the wholesale forgiveness of principal debt of struggling homeowners, is unlikely to find support among lawmakers because of the cost and the potential for political backlash from any move seen as rewarding reckless behavior by banks or borrowers.

The focus on bank procedures has thrown a new twist into the saga.

North Carolina’s attorney general, Roy Cooper, on Wednesday became the latest state official to ask lenders to suspend home repossessions as he expanded a probe into improper foreclosure processes.

Senator Robert Menendez earlier this week raised the idea of a national foreclosure moratorium, saying it was “simply inexcusable” that proper oversight procedures were not in place for actions that deprived families of their homes.

Menendez and Senator Al Franken, a fellow Democrat, also called for congressional investigators to look into reports of misconduct in the foreclosure practices of Ally, JPMorgan and Bank of America.

Ally Financial and its GMAC Mortgage unit also were targeted by Ohio’s attorney general on Wednesday. Attorney General Richard Cordray announced a lawsuit alleging fraud and violations of Ohio’s consumer law.

Cordray also said he has sought meetings with Citibank, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo to try to ascertain whether their foreclosure processes include any of the “mass” signing of official papers that are the subject of the suit against GMAC Mortgage.


TBW Taylor Bean Chairman Arrested On Fraud Charges

“The fraud here is truly stunning in its scale and complexity,” said Lanny A. Breuer, assistant attorney general in the criminal division of the Department of Justice. “These charges send a strong message to corporations and corporate executives alike that financial fraud will be found, and it will be prosecuted.”

Once they determined that that approach might be difficult to conceal, they started selling mortgage pools and other assets to Colonial Bank that they knew to be worthless, officials said. Mr. Farkas and his partners relied on this technique to sell more than $1 billion of fraudulent assets over the course of several years, even covering up the fraud by recycling old fake assets for new ones, according to the complaints.

Editor’s Note: TBW has been high on my list of incompetent fraudsters. I always thought it was a stupid risk to “sell” mortgages and “sell” the servicing rights (probably to their own entity), and then take the servicing back. Stupid maybe, but they had no choice. The entire Taylor Bean operation wreaks of fraud and inconsistencies.

Bottom Line: If you have a TBW as the originating “lender” this article indicates, as we have known all along, that they were using OPM (Other People’s Money) and they were NOT the lender even though they said they were. It is highly likely that few, if any, of the loans were actually “securitized” because the loans were either nonexistent as described, never accepted by any pool (even though there might be a pool out there that claims ownership) and that none of the assignments were ever completed.

Thus your claims against TBW (including appraisal fraud, predatory loan practices, deceptive loan practices, fraud etc.) are properly directed, to wit: TBW still owns the paper, although the obligation is subject to an equitable unsecured claim from investors who funded the loan.

June 16, 2010

Executive Charged in TARP Scheme

By ERIC DASH

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday accused the former chairman of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker, once one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, of masterminding a fraud scheme that cheated investors and the federal government out of billions of dollars and led to last year’s sudden failure of Colonial Bank.

The executive, Lee B. Farkas, was arrested late Tuesday in Ocala, Fla., after a federal grand jury in Virginia indicted him on 16 counts of conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud and securities fraud. Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought civil fraud charges against Mr. Farkas in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

Prosecutors said the fraud would be one of the biggest and most complex to come out of the housing collapse and the government’s huge bailout of the banking industry. In essence, they described an elaborate shell game that involved covering up the lender’s losses by creating fake mortgages and passing them along to private investors and government agencies.

Federal officials became suspicious after Colonial BancGroup, the main source of financing for Mr. Farkas’s company, tried to obtain $553 million in bailout money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The TARP application, filed in early 2009, was contingent on the bank first raising $300 million from private investors.

According to the S.E.C. complaint, Mr. Farkas and his partners said they would contribute $150 million, two private equity firms would each contribute $50 million, and a “friends and family” investor group would contribute another $50 million. “In truth, neither of the $50 million investors were private equity investors and neither ever agreed to participate,” the complaint said.

Mr. Farkas pocketed at least $20 million from the fraud, which he used to finance a private jet and a lavish lifestyle that included five homes and a collection of vintage cars, prosecutors said.

But the case is likely to expand beyond Mr. Farkas. The complaints cite the involvement of an unnamed Colonial Bank executive and other co-conspirators in the suspected fraud, and prosecutors said they might hold others accountable down the road.

“The fraud here is truly stunning in its scale and complexity,” said Lanny A. Breuer, assistant attorney general in the criminal division of the Department of Justice. “These charges send a strong message to corporations and corporate executives alike that financial fraud will be found, and it will be prosecuted.”

Officials said the many layers of the scheme resulted in more than $1.9 billion of losses to investors; a $3 billion loss to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which guaranteed many of the loans that Mr. Farkas’s company sold; and a $3.6 billion hit to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which had to take over Colonial Bank and pay its depositors after many of the bank’s assets were found to be worthless.

The complaints also list BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank, which provided financing to Mr. Farkas’s company, as victims of the suspected fraud. Together, they lost $1.5 billion.

According to the complaints, the fraud started as early as 2002 with an effort to conceal rising operating losses at Taylor, Bean & Whitaker, a mortgage lender founded by Mr. Farkas. The first stage involved an attempt to hide overdrafts on a credit line the company had with Colonial Bank. As those overdrafts grew, prosecutors contend, Mr. Farkas and his associates started selling fake mortgage assets to Colonial Bank in exchange for tens of millions of dollars.

Once they determined that that approach might be difficult to conceal, they started selling mortgage pools and other assets to Colonial Bank that they knew to be worthless, officials said. Mr. Farkas and his partners relied on this technique to sell more than $1 billion of fraudulent assets over the course of several years, even covering up the fraud by recycling old fake assets for new ones, according to the complaints.

The transactions were “designed to give the false appearance that the loans were being sold into the secondary mortgage market,” Mr. Breuer said. “In fact, they were not.”

By 2008, prosecutors contend, the scheme had entangled the federal government. Investigators in the Office of the Special Inspector General for TARP took notice of the size of Colonial Bank’s bailout application and became suspicious of the accuracy of the bank’s statements.

That led investigators to alert other federal officials and draw a connection between Colonial Bank and Taylor, Bean & Whitaker, whose offices were raided by federal agents in August 2009. Both companies would soon stop operating.

“We knew it was a longstanding and close relationship between Colonial and T.B.W., and we decided that we needed to take a much closer look,” Neil M. Barofsky, the TARP special inspector general, said at a news conference on Wednesday. Investigators also discussed the situation with Treasury officials to “make sure the money would not go out the door.”

Federal officials have conducted nearly 80 criminal and civil investigations into companies that accepted TARP money, but so far they have filed charges in only one other case. In March, the head of Park Avenue Bank in Manhattan was accused of trying to defraud the government bailout program.

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