Posts tagged charges
Another Oligarch Wrist Slap: Citigroup Settles in Secret on Housing Fraud Charges
Guess what just happened? In case you forgot, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) had previously accused Citigroup of violating securities laws and making misrepresentations of billions of mortgage bonds. Unsurprisingly, Citigroup settled, which is just a euphemism for an “oligarch wrist slap.” What’s really disturbing is that the settlement amount will remain a secret, which takes cronyism to yet another despicable level. After all, take a look at the man who runs the Treasury Department. From Bloomberg:
The conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was eager for publicity in September 2011 when it sued 17 financial institutions, accusing them of ripping off the two government-backed housing financiers. It isn’t so enthusiastic anymore.
This week the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency told a federal judge it had settled its case against Citigroup Inc. The agency won’t say how much money Citigroup is paying. Neither will Citigroup, which survived the financial crisis only because it got multiple taxpayer bailouts. The parties agreed to keep the terms confidential. The government has decided this is none of the public’s business.
The agency had accused Citigroup of violating securities laws and making misrepresentations about $3.5 billion of mortgage bonds that it sold to Fannie and Freddie during the housing bubble, before they were seized by the government. This is the second such lawsuit to be resolved so far. In January, the agency dropped its suit against General Electric Co. after reaching a deal over mortgage bonds sold to Freddie Mac. In that case, too, the terms weren’t disclosed.
This should make every American’s blood boil. The government is devoting taxpayer resources to pursue these claims in court. The public is entitled to know the results. It’s that simple.
How well did the government and its lawyers do their jobs? There’s no way to know, because they are denying us the information we need to draw informed conclusions.
Let me guess, it’s a matter of “national security.” After all, terrorists might get us if we learn the truth about our fraudulent financial system.
Full article here.
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A stay-at-home mom from La Porte has filed a lawsuit against the city’s police department, an unknown officer and one of her neighbors. Tammy Cooper said she…
Jury Nullification Supporters Rally Behind CopBlock.org Founder, Who Faces 21 Years in Prison for Reporting Police Brutality
Keene, New Hampshire – August 4, 2012 – The controversial felony wiretapping charges journalist and CopBlock.org founder Adam ‘Ademo’ Mueller is facing will go to trial, a situation that has stirred up a hornet’s nest of free speech advocates in New Hampshire. The “Free Ademo” supporters are planning to show their support en masse at Hillsboro County Superior Court when jury selection for the trial begins at 9 a.m. Monday, August 6. This will be the first time an activist has taken a case this serious to trial since the state passed HB 146, a jury nullification law that ensures the defense’s right to inform the jury of their right to issue “not guilty” verdicts when they disagree with the application of the law in question.
A man who was allegedly angry about criminal charges crushed multiple police cruisers with a farm tractor.
A former US cabinet minister investigated over a hit-and-run over three crashes in California will not face charges, prosecutors have said.
John Bryson, 68, said he had suffered a seizure and resigned from his post as commerce secretary on 21 June, days after being found slumped at the wheel of his car.
The ex-utilities boss said his health issues could distract him from his job.
At the time, police said drugs or alcohol were not involved.
The situation in Iceland is something those of us outside of the volcanic island nation hear about far too little, and when one examines the story of how Iceland triumphed over massive debts, it makes a lot of sense why this is the case.
Earlier this year, the Icelandic Financial Services Association published a report showing that since the end of 2008, Icelandic banks have forgiven the equivalent of 13 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product in loans.
This has directly lifted the crushing burden of debt form the shoulders of over one quarter of the Icelandic population, something which many people around the world – but especially in the United States, Greece, Spain, Italy and other nations struggling with massive debts – would likely appreciate greatly.
In 2008, Icelandic banks defaulted on a whopping $85 billion in loans, yet the nation has taken steps to recover and they are already proving to be effective.
“You could safely say that Iceland holds the world record in household debt relief,” Lars Christensen, the chief emerging markets economist at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen, explained.
“Iceland followed the textbook example of what is required in a crisis. Any economist would agree with that,” he added.
Then why wouldn’t other nations follow a similar model instead of pouring even more money into the black hole of debt, hoping that it will somehow fix itself?
That is a question which cannot be answered with any degree of certainty, but Iceland has proven that endless bailouts are not the only way we can turn countries around from the brink of collapse.
The Icelandic economy will outgrow the eurozone in 2012 and is set to outgrow the entire developed world on average, according to estimates from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
This growth is reflected in the fact that many polls are showing that the people of Iceland have no interest in joining the European Union, which continues to be wracked by a debt crisis the likes of which have never been seen.
The solution Iceland implemented involved an agreement between the banks and the government, which entailed forgiving debt exceeding 110 percent of home values.
This is commonly known as “under water” mortgages (or more technically “negative equity”), which have become far too common place, especially in the United States.
Indeed, a CNBC article from November of last year stated that one out of two U.S. mortgages is effectively underwater.
In addition to the debt forgiveness, the Icelandic Supreme Court ruled in June 2010 that loans indexed to foreign currencies were legal, which means that Icelandic households were no longer expected to cover krona (the Swedish currency) losses.
The most important factor of their approach, however, is that every step of the way they have put their own people before the markets. This is essentially the polar opposite of what we have seen so many other nations do in response to debt crises.
The Icelandic government basically left international creditors to deal with their failed loans on their own, removing all responsibility from their own people.
Now Iceland is proceeding to actually prosecute some of their formerly most powerful bankers and the Icelandic special prosecutor has stated that it very well may indict some 90 people.
Meanwhile, over 200 people, including the former chief executives of Iceland’s three biggest banks, face criminal charges for their activities.
Maybe some other nations should take a page out of Iceland’s book and think about their people before the banks that caused the crisis in the first place.
Graham Rayman at the Village Voice brings us more on officer Adrian Schoolcraft, the modern day Serpico who was sent to a psych ward for reporting on corruption in the NYPD. While working out of the 81st precinct in Brooklyn, Schoolcraft became aware of a pattern of crime victims getting caught up in bureaucratic hurdles that seemed to have purposely been set up to make it hard to report serious crimes. Schoolcraft reported a number of these incidents to investigators. That’s where things take a turn for the insane:
In October 2009, Schoolcraft met with NYPD investigators for three hours and detailed more than a dozen cases of crime reports being manipulated in the district. Three weeks after that meeting-which was supposed to have been kept secret from Schoolcraft’s superiors-his precinct commander and a deputy chief ordered Schoolcraft to be dragged from his apartment and forced into the Jamaica Hospital psychiatric ward for six days.
Officer Schoolcraft is the same man that released two years of recorded roll calls at NYPD precincts, leading to the award winning series by Rayman that has revealed incompetence and corruption in the NYPD. The story of Officer Schoolcraft’s forcible psych detainment was recently released in a 95 page report that vindicated Officer Schoolcraft, who has been suspended without pay for more than two years. He has since filed a lawsuit. The report was actually completed two years ago, and the NYPD has tried to keep it under wraps.
More from Rayman:
In the wake of our series, NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly ordered an investigation into Schoolcraft’s claims. By June 2010, that investigation produced a report that the department has tried to keep secret for nearly two years.
The Voice has obtained that 95-page report, and it shows that the NYPD confirmed Schoolcraft’s allegations. In other words, at the same time that police officials were attacking Schoolcraft’s credibility, refusing to pay him, and serving him with administrative charges, the NYPD was sitting on a document that thoroughly vindicated his claims.
Schoolcraft’s complaints focused on the NYPD’s alleged habit of juking crime stats to appear more effective. Anybody who has watched The Wire is familiar with the practice of turning felonies into misdemeanors or not reporting some crimes to make it appear is if the precinct had lower crime rates. Reports Rayman, “Officers were told to arrest people who were doing little more than standing on the street, but they were also encouraged to disregard actual victims of serious crimes who wanted to file reports.” Both Mayor Bloomberg and NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly have denied these allegations, but the newly released paper seems to confirm them.
Investigators concluded that “an atmosphere was created discouraging members of the command to accurately report index crimes.”
By Kyle Rogers, Charleston Conservative Examiner
Just days ago, CBS national news printed new details about Department of Justice operation ”Fast & Furious.” Internal memos show that agents actually discussed using the operation as a “false flag” to justify taking away the 2nd amendment rights of US citizens.
Congress is currently investigating Fast & Furious. Attorney General Eric Holder has already been caught making at least one false statement under oath.
Gun rights advocates have been asking why Republicans aren’t calling for criminal charges against Eric Holder. Many have criticized FOX News for giving the story little coverage. CBS national news has been breaking most of the new details related to Fast & Furious. Recently Eric Holder yelled at a reporter at an event in DC. He blamed the media for public outrage over Fast & Furious, and told a reporter “you guys need to stop it.”
Today, Texas Congressman Ron Paul became the first GOP president candidate to call for criminal charges against Eric Holder.
Speaking to syndicated radio talk show host Alex Jones, Paul called for Holder to be ”immediately fired.” Paul went on to say “I think it was criminal,” and called the operation a ”false flag.” He said that there needs to be an immediate investigation into Holder himself, and said Holder ”deserves charges.”
Paul went on to discuss a now infamous memo from White House lawyers who claim Obama has the right to assassinate American citizens anywhere in the world. Paul stated that Obama is trying to ”legalize Martial law.”
Paul also mocked the FBI’s claim of uncovering an Iranian assignation plot against the Saudi ambassador. He said the man arrested ”may never be tried because they don’t want the truth to come out.”