Obama Announces Large-Scale Gun Grab That Will Affect 4.2 Million SSA Recipients


King Obama
Obama Announces Large-Scale Gun Grab That Will Affect 4.2 Million SSA Recipients
Saturday, July 18, 2015 18:50
http://beforeitsnews.com/opinion-conservative/2015/07/obama-announces-large-scale-gun-grab-that-will-affect-4-2-million-ssa-recipients-3033746.html

Via III Percent Patriots

Obama plans to extend gun background checks to Social Security. The administration will use the same strategy they use to confiscate guns from veterans who have others handle their financial affairs only this will affect a massive 4.2 million Americans. An inability to balance a checkbook could get them banned from owning a gun.]

This is the single most massive gun grab by this administration. If you are elderly, a veteran or disabled, you might have your gun taken away because of Obama’s big brush approach to gun control.

About 4.2 million adults receive monthly benefits that are managed by “representative payees” and they would all be subject to gun confiscation.

Gun rights activists, mental health experts, advocates for the disabled and others are critical of the plan, according to the LA Times.

Handling one’s financial affairs does not correlate to irresponsible gun ownership.

More @ Independent Sentinel

Source: http://freenorthcarolina.blogspot.com/2015/07/obama-announces-large-scale-gun-grab.html

CitiGroup Penalty “Largest of It’s Kind”! FINALLY Someone is Paying For Misleading Investors About Toxic Mortgages

Department of Justice

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/July/14-ag-733.html

Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, July 14, 2014

Justice Department, Federal and State Partners Secure Record $7 Billion Global Settlement with Citigroup for Misleading Investors About Securities Containing Toxic Mortgages

Citigroup to Pay the Largest Penalty of Its Kind – $4 Billion

The Justice Department, along with federal and state partners, today announced a $7 billion settlement with Citigroup Inc. to resolve federal and state civil claims related to Citigroup’s conduct in the packaging, securitization, marketing, sale and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) prior to Jan. 1, 2009.  The resolution includes a $4 billion civil penalty – the largest penalty to date under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA).  As part of the settlement, Citigroup acknowledged it made serious misrepresentations to the public – including the investing public – about the mortgage loans it securitized in RMBS.  The resolution also requires Citigroup to provide relief to underwater homeowners, distressed borrowers and affected communities through a variety of means including financing affordable rental housing developments for low-income families in high-cost areas.  The settlement does not absolve Citigroup or its employees from facing any possible criminal charges.

This settlement is part of the ongoing efforts of President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force’s RMBS Working Group, which has recovered $20 billion to date for American consumers and investors.  

“This historic penalty is appropriate given the strength of the evidence of the wrongdoing committed by Citi,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.  “The bank’s activities contributed mightily to the financial crisis that devastated our economy in 2008.  Taken together, we believe the size and scope of this resolution goes beyond what could be considered the mere cost of doing business.  Citi is not the first financial institution to be held accountable by this Justice Department, and it will certainly not be the last.”

 The settlement includes an agreed upon statement of facts that describes how Citigroup made representations to RMBS investors about the quality of the mortgage loans it securitized and sold to investors.  Contrary to those representations, Citigroup securitized and sold RMBS with underlying mortgage loans that it knew had material defects.  As the statement of facts explains, on a number of occasions, Citigroup employees learned that significant percentages of the mortgage loans reviewed in due diligence had material defects.  In one instance, a Citigroup trader stated in an internal email that he “went through the Diligence Reports and think[s] [they] should start praying . . . [he] would not be surprised if half of these loans went down. . . It’s amazing that some of these loans were closed at all.”  Citigroup nevertheless securitized the loan pools containing defective loans and sold the resulting RMBS to investors for billions of dollars.  This conduct, along with similar conduct by other banks that bundled defective and toxic loans into securities and misled investors who purchased those securities, contributed to the financial crisis.                                  

“Today, we hold Citi accountable for its contributing role in creating the financial crisis, not only by demanding the largest civil penalty in history, but also by requiring innovative consumer relief that will help rectify the harm caused by Citi’s conduct,” said Associate Attorney General Tony West.  “In addition to the principal reductions and loan modifications we’ve built into previous resolutions, this consumer relief menu includes new measures such as $200 million in typically hard-to-obtain financing that will facilitate the construction of affordable rental housing, bringing relief to families pushed into the rental market in the wake of the financial crisis.”

Of the $7 billion resolution, $4.5 billion will be paid to settle federal and state civil claims by various entities related to RMBS: Citigroup will pay $4 billion as a civil penalty to settle the Justice Department claims under FIRREA, $208.25 million to settle federal and state securities claims by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), $102.7 million to settle claims by the state of California, $92 million to settle claims by the state of New York, $44 million to settle claims by the state of Illinois, $45.7  million to settle claims by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and $7.35 to settle claims by the state of Delaware.

Citigroup will pay out the remaining $2.5 billion in the form of relief to aid consumers harmed by the unlawful conduct of Citigroup.  That relief will take various forms, including loan modification for underwater homeowners, refinancing for distressed borrowers, down payment and closing cost assistance to homebuyers, donations to organizations assisting communities in redevelopment and affordable rental housing for low-income families in high-cost areas.  An independent monitor will be appointed to determine whether Citigroup is satisfying its obligations.  If Citigroup fails to live up to its agreement by the end of 2018,  it must pay liquidated damages in the amount of the shortfall to NeighborWorks America, a non-profit organization and leader in providing affordable housing and facilitating community development.  

The U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern District of New York and the District of Colorado conducted investigations into Citigroup’s practices related to the sale and issuance of RMBS between 2006 and 2007.

“The strength of our financial markets depends on the truth of the representations that banks provide to investors and the public every day,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh for the District of Colorado, Co-Chair of the RMBS Working Group.  “Today’s $7 billion settlement is a major step toward restoring public confidence in those markets.  Due to the tireless work by the Department of Justice, Citigroup is being forced to take responsibility for its home mortgage securitization misconduct in the years leading up to the financial crisis.  As important a step as this settlement is, however, the work of the RMBS working group is far from done, we will continue to pursue our investigations and cases vigorously because many other banks have not yet taken responsibility for their misconduct in packaging and selling RMBS securities.”

“After nearly 50 subpoenas to Citigroup, Trustees, Servicers, Due Diligence providers and their employees, and after collecting nearly 25 million documents relating to every residential mortgage backed security issued or underwritten by Citigroup in 2006 and 2007, our teams found that the misconduct in Citigroup’s deals devastated the nation and the world’s economies, touching everyone,” said U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch.  “The investors in Citigroup RMBS included federally-insured financial institutions, as well as a host of states, cities, public and union pension and benefit funds, universities, religious charities, and hospitals, among others.  These are our neighbors in Colorado, New York and around the country, hard-working people who saved and put away for retirement, only to see their savings decimated.”

This settlement resolves civil claims against Citigroup arising out of certain securities packaged, securitized, structured, marketed, and sold by Citigroup.  The agreement does not release individuals from civil charges, nor does it release Citigroup or any individuals from potential criminal prosecution. In addition, as part of the settlement, Citigroup has pledged to fully cooperate in investigations related to the conduct covered by the agreement.

 Michael Stephens, Acting Inspector General for the Federal Housing Finance Agency said, “Citigroup securitized billions of dollars of defective mortgages, after which investors suffered enormous losses by purchasing RMBS from Citi not knowing about those defects. Today’s settlement is another significant step by FHFA-OIG and its law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who committed acts of fraud and deceit in the lead up to the financial crisis, and is a necessary step toward reviving a sound RMBS market that is crucial to the housing industry and the American economy.  We are proud to have worked with the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in the Eastern District of New York and the District of Colorado. They have been great partners and we look forward to our continued work together.”

The underlying investigation was led by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard K. Hayes, Kevin Traskos, Lila Bateman, John Vagelatos, J. Chris Larson and Edward K. Newman, with the support of agents from the Office of the Inspector General for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, in conjunction with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force’s RMBS Working Group.

The RMBS Working Group is a federal and state law enforcement effort focused on investigating fraud and abuse in the RMBS market that helped lead to the 2008 financial crisis.  The RMBS Working Group brings together more than 200 attorneys, investigators, analysts and staff from dozens of state and federal agencies including the Department of Justice, 10 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HUD’s Office of Inspector General, the FHFA-OIG, the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Federal Reserve Board’s Office of Inspector General, the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and more than 10 state Attorneys General offices around the country.

The RMBS Working Group is led by its Director Geoffrey Graber and its five co-chairs: Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division Stuart Delery, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Leslie Caldwell, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement Andrew Ceresney, U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado John Walsh and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Learn more about the RMBS Working Group and the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force at: http://www.stopfraud.gov .

Once Upon a Time…. I Thought the Worst We Had To Face Was Foreclosure Hell, I WAS WRONG!

Ya know, I used to think that Foreclosure Hell was the worst thing we in this Country had to face.  Wow, Was I Wrong!

I didn’t realize that just like in Japan, they will cook us to death with radiation, and not even bother to tell us.  I have condemned the Japanese for nuking the world and not telling us the truth about it, but fuck me, this country is doing the same thing.

While most people go about their daily business, they never think about the fact, that a pleasure of getting rained on is killing them.  We are the walking dead, and being asleep to the fact is just fucking us up more.

I would apologize for my slang, no, crude language, but something needs to wake these sleeping zombies up!

So, they are not only going to take every house they can get their grimy paws on, but they are going to continue the slow kill of humankind from the planet.  

It is not the kids growing up now that will suffer so much, it is like the butterfly test in Fukushima.  It is the children’s children that will be riddled with deformities. 

No matter what they try to tell us, we cannot be stupid, and believe that radiation is ok.  The thought of believing that, well, it is, stupid.  The sheeple that make up this country now, is amazing.  If the government says the radiation is not hurting us, we’ll just believe them.  Because the government says so?  Yall need to get out from under the rock, and out of the sun, cause damn!  You been drinking too much water with fluoride in it, for too long, and it has made you dumb!  I take that back, it has made you dumber than dirt!

For years, they have been doing things with the weather, with our food, with our prescriptions, our health!  They have taken healthy human beings and turned them into out of shape, fat slugs that have lives that are meant for cattle.  Chemtrails is no lie either.  What about HARP?  I guess that you also believe that 911 was not an inside job.

No, I am not a conspiracy theorist, I believe in taking what is put before me, studying it, seeing it for what it is, listening to scientists, listening to experts, and deducing my own opinion.  You see, we woke up.  We quit drinking the tap water.  We quit watching the regular news.  The news media is brainwashing you sheeple, which is not hard for them to do.

Terrorists are here, they are going to get you, so we have to militarize the Police forces.  These false flag shootings, are to outrage you sheeple, so that you will agree that guns are bad, and they can confiscate our guns.  We are told that our rights have to be taken, so that we can be protected from the terrorists, etc.,

If you are so blind you cannot see your nose on your face, you will not notice that Fannie Mae, and the banks are throwing our elderly out on the street.  Right now, in Goodyear, Arizona, and 83 year old woman and her 86 year old husband are being thrown out of their home.  No one cares.  In Colorado Springs, CO, an 82 year old woman is being thrown out of her home.  No one cares.

What the hell is wrong with you sheeple?  It’s not you, so it is Ok?  The Bank With the Most Homes in the End Wins, Get Used to It!!!

Sheeple Awaken! 

KEEPING AMERICANS IN FEAR

 25 April, 09:05

HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER CLAIMS BOSTON BOMBING WAS A “FALSE FLAG ATTACK”

Hollywood producer claims Boston bombing was a "false flag attack"

Thanks to:      http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_04_25/The-Boston-bombing-was-a-false-flag-attack-Nathan-Folks-7658/
 
Play
Current Time0:00
/
Duration Time0:00
Loaded: 0%
Progress: 0%
00:00
 
00:00
Mute

Download audio file

Crisis actors, smoke bombs, fake blood and literal “smoke and mirrors” were all part of what was the false flag terrorist attack called the Boston Marathon Bombing. To anyone who saw the pictures and footage of fake blood, make- up artists and smiling “victims”. It was obvious that something was not right. For those involved in filmmaking and in the know the discrepancies were obvious. We spoke to famous Hollywood filmmaker, producer and director Nathan Folks about why he is certain the Boston Marathon Bombing was a false flag terrorist attack.

Hello, this is John Robles. I’m speaking with Mr. Nathan Folks, he is a well known US based film and TV director and producer. He is also one of the organizers of the Worldwide Wave of Action and a truth seeker. This is part one of a longer interview.

PART 2

Robles: Hello Sir.

Folks: Hi, how are you?

Robles: I’m very well. How are you?

Folks: Very good.

Robles: That’s nice to hear especially after everything you have been through. Now your story is going way-back. It started with the Boston Bombing. If you can tell our listeners a little bit about what you know about that “event” and what has happened to you since.

Folks: Back in 2013 I was watching the events unfold and as a producer, you can pinpoint very specific things that didn’t seem right. And I started to realize that we are watching yet another false flag event unfold. And as I started putting the pieces together I realized that we are up against an environment that is trying to create a fear factor in the media. And the fear factor is to keep us scared and to keep us in fear as long as they can.

And the events that I know to be true, including the “Boston hero” who was a person in my last film, “The prosecution of an American president” and his wife, I started to recognize that this was not an event that was at all 100% true.

Robles: What about this Boston hero? What role did he play?

Folks: He is actually a father that had lost a son in the Iraq War and he was part of our film and a part of the movement, you know, of exposing the truth about Iraq and talking about the things that the Bush Administration did during those years of his administration.

And I was blown away at the fact that he was essentially being used to act in this fake environment, this hyper-reality scene of a terrorism that never happened.

Robles: Now, can you tell us three things here if you could. You used the term “Hyper-Reality” what is that and how is it used? And what is a “Crisis Actor”? Many people may still not know what that is. And if you could, detail for the listeners, some of the things that you saw as far as screens being put up as for the false stages being set up where things were filmed and stuff?

Folks: I will start up by saying that if there was an injury or a death in the event that unfolded my heart goes out to those families. But from the people that I know that were involved, from the people that were in the scenes that we call Hyper-Reality Filmmaking, which is a very common thing you do in the military.

It’s where filmmakers, or people, create a hyper-reality scene so that the military can be well-adjusted to a real scene in Iraq or any other kind of war zone.

This is where these people are actually able to see and feel and help what they think is a real injured person whereas it is really just an amputee that is playing as a crisis actor, and (in this case) a crisis actor being someone that had lost their limbs but a makeup artist has been able to re-enact a bloody scene with “no leg blown off” and this hyper reality scene, so that when we are now on the ground, they actually see and feel like they are in a war zone.

And I’m watching this unfold on the streets of Boston and thinking, one: how were they able to get away with that? And two: watching the edits and the supposedly live television broadcasting we were seeing, it wasn’t “live” at all, it was edited.

Robles: How you know? What did you see? What were the clues you saw?

Folks: Well, there were a lot of things. In live footage you don’t see cuts. You know, cutting from one scene to another and in live footage you don’t have, especially now, this wasn’t in 2013 HD technology, this was in old technology from 2002, because it is grainer and you can’t see the edits as well.

As a filmmaker that what I would do if I was trying to reenact something like that and…

Robles: I’m sorry. Can you be more specific? I didn’t quite follow that. So it was made using old technology?

Folks: It’s using an older technology that is grainer. So you can’t see the very true HD quality and you are watching… If you look back at any old footage from early 2000 or even the 1990s, it is very grainy and when you are watching it on a new technology television with latest plasma and HD and any kind of new technology you can see that it was edited.

Robles: So television stations at that time, they were using modern technology?

Folks: They were definitely using modern technology last year. It’s just when you see pictures from 2013 that were in HD and then you look at clips and cuts of the footage from television, it is very obvious that it was used on purpose.

Robles: Can you tell us a little bit about some of the scenes. I’m sure a lot of people who were interested in what really happened, they saw some of the pictures, for example: the amputee with sticks, apparently sticking out of his legs or something, and blood that looked like paint, I mean, I have seen blood, I worked in a hospital, I know what blood looks like, it’s dark, it’s brownish red and this was this bright red paint. Can you tell us about that?

Folks: I think even more of an obvious situation is that: you get your legs blown off you are not going to be out in front of millions of people celebrating Boston at a hockey game or any type of arena. I think the emotional impact of losing your legs would probably keep you out of the public eye for at least a year. And that was the biggest obvious example to me, but as far as anyone that has been in the paramedics or nursing would know, that if you blow your legs off, you are not supposed to moved.

If someone’s falls here on Wilshire, just falls down, they tell you not to move, they are not supposed to move them. They could have broken a bone or a neck; their spine could be dislocated. You don’t move them and you certainly don’t put them in a wheelchair and run them down the road.

And it is just taking this to a whole different comical level that the fact that they think we all buy this, and that we are all going to sit here and watch it happen over and over again, you know, they have another thing coming. That’s why I joined forces with the Worldwide Wave of Action because you know; the truth has to come out. And people are not going to sit here and watch them make a mockery of ourselves.

Everybody around the world knows Boston Bombing was a joke; everyone in the US has been fed lies and lies after lies and it started in 9-11 and it hasn’t stopped.

Robles: Can you tell us… you sent me some pictures of these screens that you could actually see the road like “moving up”, it was like a mirror or something. Can you tell us about those?

Folks: You mean as far as the 3D… the Green Screen that they used at the Boston Bombing?

Robles: Yeah, can you detail all that?

Folks: From what I understand, they… it looks to me like they used a second street in order to re-enact the scene, over and over, to get it right and by using Green Screen they were able to show the buildings that were actually on Boylston Street and when you use a Green Screen it is a lot like Titanic. In the movie Titanic in 1997 we are watching the film and we are watching this boat sink and we are watching the water fill into the boat and we see people falling off the boat. That is obviously not happening in real life, we are watching it on Green Screen. They are putting a digital layer behind the screen of real action people. And we are watching a boat sink in the background and that is what they did in this example.

They just did it on television. We are watching green screen on television to re-enact a street scene that happened for real, but just a smoke bomb but when they re-enacted the people that were hurt they had to add the blood and the amputees and to put one the makeup.

You can see the person putting makeup on these people the entire scene; I call her “The Woman in Pink”. She has literally got a makeup bag and she is going to each victim, she is not helping them! She is putting make up on them!

So I’m sorry, I’m not fooled and I’m not going to let everyone else be fooled. Someone has to speak out against it. And they can follow me, they can do whatever they want but at the end of the day the truth has to come out some time. They can’t get away with it anymore.

Robles: Now please tell us, you have been persecuted, you have been through hell, I can’t think of any other way to put it. If I can tell our listeners: you contacted me right after it happened and after that a lot of terrible things started happening to you. Can you tell us some of those things?

Folks: Well, obviously, you can’t prove anything because I was very sick. I have never been sick in my life, I have never been in the hospital, but in the days after this event and weeks after this event and me talking about it, I was in the hospital for a total of 22 days over the course of three months.

And they really couldn’t determine what it was and I couldn’t hold water, I couldn’t hold food, it was some type of poison.

I can’t say for sure that I was poisoned by someone but I can say that I had some type of poison that nearly killed me.

And it took me good 3 to 6 months to kind of rehabilitate and get back on my feet and I figured if they are trying to scare me off or they are trying to keep me down from speaking: then it was a good try but it didn’t work.

Robles: Could you tell us what has happened to some other people? There was one guy, he wrote an article, you said, questioning the reality of the Boston Bombing Marathon. And you told me about some other people who had gotten sick as well.

Folks: Yeah, there is a gentlemen that runs a website called “Natural News” and he was coming out with very similar examples that I was during that time. And just now finding out that they wrote an article about how he has gotten sick from the food, he talks about. And they took his article down and re-wrote it in the third person.

And I don’t know if he is even able to speak, but I do know that after finding some of these examples of people that were coming out at same time that I was, that they were sick and poisoned as well, makes me realize that something is going on.

Robles: When you were in the hospital you also told me some other people close to you… (Can you talk about that?) that there were some other people you knew that got sick.

Folks: Yeah, I don’t think I can go into any detail but there were several other people that had gotten sick, and that seems to be part of this coming out. Anyone that has come out about this, got sick or disappeared.

Robles: How many people have disappeared, since then?

Folks: Well, I can say that everybody that reacted to this Boston bombing, the millions and millions of people that came out on the websites, came out about the scene and about the situation, essentially were silenced because there wasn’t a word about it this year. And that just gives me more of a comforting notion that it has been silenced for someone who has gone out and done something to the people that did come out about it…

Robles: You said that Internet before we started, you said that your Internet shut down in the US, it is on lockdown or something…

Folks: I mean strange things like in one day I have a Verizon Wireless Internet and in one day over 200 GB was taken from my service, ran up 35 hundred dollar bill in a 24-hour period. And then when you contact Verizon saying that it is obviously not something that I did, they ignore me and say that I have to pay if I want my service back on. So not many people want to just pay $3,500 for no reason.

Obviously, I never turned my Internet back on. I have been working on different types of Internet on different phones but it was designed to create a situation that I would shutdown. It was a warning probably of some sort. It was so that I would stop speaking about things that I’m knowledgeable about.

Robles: You gave me a good example about Boston False Flag, if someone who did a search on Google. Can you tell us about this false bomb?

Folks: Yeah, it is just that nobody is speaking about the Boston bombing. There is nobody speaking about false flags. And in this country our web searches seem to be completely deleted. You know, during that time I downloaded everything I knew and everything I saw and I have it on hard drive and the fact that all of that is now gone and I have them on hard drive.

Robles: Everything is gone?

Folks: Somebody is trying to take it away, make it disappear. It was very bad; whoever was in charge of the Boston Bombing Campaign did a very lousy job. They need to consult with some real Hollywood producers if they are going to do anything like that again and maybe make sure that they don’t fool the nation in their process because this is absurd.

Robles: They are not very creative in doing the same thing again and again and again.

Folks: They keep getting away with it, they are getting used to be able to get with it and they are getting sloppy and eventually and as this Worldwide Wave of Action is able to expose the truth more and more, I think we are going to stop this evil that is now taking over the US and is trying to keep people in fear and using fear mongering techniques on our media.

CNN and FOX and all these media sources are not telling the truth anymore. They are more interested in talking more about artists like Justin Bieber and Lindsay Lohan going to jail than potential war in Crimea.

I mean, this is, don’t even get me starting on that because I think we all know who is behind the taunting of that situation.

So it is just becoming obvious and even though people are not speaking about it because they are scared off or because they are scared to make a name and come out and talk about it.

This is our time to re-live the 60s, this is my generation’s time to stand up and say “No more!”

And we are not going to sit here and be poisoned and be lied to and listen to this “essentially crap” that they are feeding us in our media, this is not going to happen anymore. We have to stand up and make a change.

Surveillance vans parked outside of Folks’ home.

This is John Robles, you were listening to an interview with Nathan Folks, he is a well-known US film and TV director and producer. He is also the organizer of the Worldwide Wave of Action. You can find the rest of this interview on our website voiceofrussia.com. Thank you very much for listening!

That was the end of part one.

Whistleblower Michael Winston Screwed By the Appeals Court

POLICY: LAW

http://washingtonexaminer.com/a-whistleblowers-worst-nightmare/article/2546069

A whistleblower’s worst nightmare

BY DIANE DIMOND | MARCH 21, 2014 AT 2:52 PM

TOPICS: 2007 HOUSING CRISIS WHISTLEBLOWERS LAW

Photo – Sadly, there is not enough space here to tell you the entire 7-year saga of whistleblower Michael Winston, but the bottom line is this: He got royally screwed by the California judicial system.

Sadly, there is not enough space here to tell you the entire 7-year saga of whistleblower Michael…

Justice is supposed to be blind. But what happens when it turns out to be blind, deaf and dumb?

Sadly, there is not enough space here to tell you the entire 7-year saga of whistleblower Michael Winston, but the bottom line is this: He got royally screwed by the California judicial system.

Winston, 62, is a mild-mannered Ph.D. and a veteran leadership executive who has held top jobs at elite corporations such as McDonnell Douglas, Motorola and Merrill Lynch. After taking time off to nurse his ailing parents, Winston was recruited by Countrywide Financial to help polish their corporate Image. He was quickly promoted — twice — and had a team of 200 employees.

It’s almost unheard of for a top-tier executive turning whistleblower, but that’s what Winston became after he noticed many of his staff were sickened by noxious air in their Simi Valley, California, office. When the company failed to fix the problem, Winston picked up the phone and called Cal-OSHA to investigate. Retaliation was immediate. Winston’s budget was cut and most of his staff was reassigned.

Sign Up for the Politics Today newsletter!

Several months later, Winston says he refused Countrywide’s request to travel to New York and, basically, lie to the credit ratings agency Moody’s about corporate structure and practices. That was the death knell for Winston’s stellar 30-year-long career.

When Countrywide was bought out by Bank of America in 2008 — following Countrywide’s widely reported lead role in the sub-prime mortgage fiasco that caused the collapse of the U.S. housing market — Winston was out of a job.

In early 2011, after a month-long trial, a jury overwhelmingly found that Winston had been wrongfully terminated and awarded him nearly $4 million. Lawyers for Bank of America (which had assumed all Countrywide liabilities) immediately asked the judge to overturn the verdict. Judge Bert Gennon Jr. denied the request saying, “There was a great deal of evidence that was provided to the jury in making their decision, and they went about it very carefully.” Winston and his lawyer maintain they won despite repeated and egregious perjury by the opposition.

Winston never saw a dime of his award, and nearly two years later, B of A appealed. In February 2013, the Court of Appeal issued a stunning reversal of the verdict. The court declared Winston had failed to make his case.

“This never happens … this isn’t legal,” Cliff Palefsky, a top employment lawyer in San Francisco told me during a phone conversation. “The appeals court is not supposed to go back and cherry-pick through the evidence the way this court did. And if there is any doubt about a case, they are legally bound to uphold the jury’s verdict.”

None of the legal eagles I spoke to could explain why the Court of Appeal would do such an apparently radical thing.

The Government Accountability Project, a whistleblower protection group in D.C., has been watching the Winston case closely. Senior Counsel Richard Condit says he believes the appeal judge wrongly “nullified” the jury’s determination.

“This case is vitally important,” Condit told me on the phone. “Seeing what happened to Winston, who will ever want to come forward and reveal what they know about corporate wrongdoings?” GAP and various legal academicians are trying to figure out a way to get Winston’s case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

There have been whispers about the possible malpractice of Winston’s trial lawyer failing to file crucial documents that might have satisfied the appeal court’s questions. His appellate lawyer didn’t even tell him when the appeals court was hearing the case and Winston was out of town. The LA District Attorney and the Sheriff’s Department refused to follow up on evidence that Countrywide witnesses, including founder Angelo Mozilo, had blatantly committed perjury on the stand. Some court watchers speak of the, “unholy alliance” between big corporations and the justice system in California.

Winston, who says he spent $600,000 on legal fees, further depleted his savings by appealing to the California Supreme Court. That court refused to hear his case.

During one of our many hours-long phone conversations, Winston told me, “So, here I sit,” the whistleblower. The good guy loses. And the bad guys, officials at the corporation that cheated and lied and nearly caused the collapse of the U.S. economy — win.”

There’s a lot of talk out of Washington these days about “economic equality.” But seven years have passed since the housing crisis and the feds have not prosecuted one key executive from any of the financial giants that helped fuel the economic crash. Too big to fail — and too big to jail, I guess.

Bank of America has spent upward of $50 billion in legal fees, litigation costs and fines cleaning up the Countrywide mess. Their latest projections indicate they’ll spend billions more before it’s over. To my mind, a stiff prison sentence for the top dogs who orchestrated the original mortgage schemes would go much further than agreeing that they pay hefty fines. That’s no deterrent to others since they all have lots of money.

A recent email I got from Michael Winston, a proud man who has been unemployed for four years, said: “I have just received (a) court order mandating that I pay to Bank of America over $100,000.00 for their court costs. This will be in all ways — financial, emotional, physical and spiritual — painful.”

If a top-tier executive can’t prevail blowing the whistle on a corrupt company, if the feds fail to pursue prison terms, and if a jury’s verdict can be over-turned without the opportunity to appeal — what kind of signal does that send to the dishonest?

You know the answer. We’re telling them it is OK to put profit above everything else. We’re telling them to continue their illegal behaviors because there will be no prison time for them. At worst, they may only have to part with a slice of their ill-gotten gains.

This is not the way the justice system is supposed to work.

 

DIANE DIMOND, a Washington Examiner columnist, is nationally syndicated by Creators Syndicate.

Hearsay on Hearsay Livinglies Neil Garfield

 

Hearsay on Hearsay: Bank Professional Witnesses Using Business Records Exception as Shield from Truth

by Neil Garfield

http://livinglies.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/hearsay-on-hearsay-bank-professional-witnesses-using-business-records-exception-as-shield-from-truth/

Wells Fargo Manual “Blueprint for Fraud”

Well that didn’t take long. Like the revelations concerning Urban Lending Solutions and Bank of America, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the the intermediary banks were hell bent for foreclosure regardless of what was best for the investors or the borrowers. This included, fraud, fabrication, unauthorized documents and signatures, perjury and outright theft of money and identities. I understand the agreement between the Bush administration and the large banks. And I understand the reason why the Obama administration continued to honor the agreements reached between the Bush administration and the large banks. They didn’t have a clue. And they were relying on Wall Street to report on its own behavior. But I’m sure the agreement did not even contemplate the actual crimes committed. I think it is time for US attorneys and the Atty. Gen. of each state to revisit the issue of prosecution of the major Wall Street banks.

With the passage of time we have all had an opportunity to examine the theory of “too big to fail.” As applied, this theory has prevented prosecutions for criminal acts. But more importantly it is allowing and promoting those crimes to be covered up and new crimes to be committed in and out of the court system. A quick review of the current strategy utilized in foreclosure reveals that nearly all foreclosures are based on false assumptions, no facts,  and a blind desire for expediency that  sacrifices access to the courts and due process. The losers are the pension funds that mistakenly invested into this scheme and the borrowers who were used as pawns in a gargantuan Ponzi scheme that literally exceeded all the money in the world.

Let’s look at one of the fundamental strategies of the banks. Remember that the investment banks were merely intermediaries who were supposedly functioning as broker-dealers. As in any securities transaction, the investor places in order and is responsible for payment to the broker-dealer. The broker-dealer tenders payment to the seller. The seller either issues the securities (if it is an issuer) or delivers the securities. The bank takes the money from the investors and doesn’t deliver it to an issuer or seller, but instead uses the money for its own purposes, this is not merely breach of contract —  it is fraud.

And that is exactly what the investors, insurers, government guarantors and other parties have alleged in dozens of lawsuits and hundreds of claims. Large banks have avoided judgment based on these allegations by settling the cases and claims for hundreds of billions of dollars because that is only a fraction of the money they diverted from investors and continue to divert. This continued  diversion is accomplished, among other ways, through the process of foreclosure. I would argue that the lawsuits filed by government-sponsored entities are evidence of an administrative finding of fact that closes the burden of proof to be shifted to the cloud of participants who assert that they are part of a scheme of securitization when in fact they were part of a Ponzi scheme.

This cloud of participants is managed in part by LPS in Jacksonville. If you are really looking for the source of documentation and the choice of plaintiff or forecloser, this would be a good place to start. You will notice that in both judicial and non-judicial settings, there is a single party designated as the apparent creditor. But where the homeowner is proactive and brings suit against multiple entities each of whom have made a claim relating to the alleged loan, the banks stick with presenting a single witness who is “familiar with the business records.” That phrase has been specifically rejected in most jurisdictions as proving the personal knowledge necessary for a finding that the witness is competent to testify or to authenticate documents that will be introduced in evidence. Those records are hearsay and they lack the legal foundation for introduction and acceptance into evidence in the record.

So even where the lawsuit is initiated by “the cloud” and even where they allege that the plaintiff is the servicer and even where they allege that the plaintiff is a trust, the witness presented at trial is a professional witness hired by the servicer. Except for very recent cases, lawyers for the homeowner have ignored the issue of whether the professional witness is truly competent,  and especially why the court should even be listening to a professional witness from the servicer when it is hearing nothing from the creditor. The business records which are proffered to the court as being complete are nothing of the sort. There documents prepared for trial which is specifically excluded from evidence under the hearsay rule and an exception to the business records exception.

Lately Chase has been dancing around these issues by first asserting that it is the owner of a loan by virtue of the merger with Washington Mutual. As the case progresses Chase admits that it is a servicer. Later they often state that the investor is Fannie Mae. This is an interesting assertion which depends upon complete ignorance by opposing counsel for the homeowner and the same ignorance on the part of the judge. Fannie Mae is not and never has been a lender. It is a guarantor, whose liability arises after the loss has been completely established following the foreclosure sale and liquidation to a third-party. It is also a master trustee for securitized trusts. To say that Fannie Mae is the owner of the alleged loan is an admission that the originator never loaned any money and that therefore the note and mortgage are invalid. It is also intentional obfuscation of the rights of the investors and trusts.

The multiple positions of Chase is representative of most other cases regardless of the name used for the identification of the alleged plaintiff, who probably doesn’t even know the action exists. That is why I suggested some years ago that a challenge to the right to represent the alleged plaintiff would be both appropriate and desirable. The usual answer is that the attorney represents all interested parties. This cannot be true because there is an obvious conflict of interest between the servicer, the trust, the guarantor, the trustee, and the broker-dealer that so far has never been named. Lawsuits filed by trust beneficiaries, guarantors, FDIC and insurers demonstrate this conflict of interest with great clarity.

I wonder if you should point out that if Chase was the Servicer, how could they not know who they were paying? As Servicer their role was to collect payments and send them to the creditor. If the witness or nonexistent verifier was truly familiar with the records, the account would show a debit to the account for payment to Fannie Mae or the securitized trust that was the actual source of funds for either the origination or acquisition of loans. And why would they not have shown that?  The reason is that no such payment was made. If any payment was made it was to the investors in the trust that lies behind the Fannie Mae curtain.

And if the “investor” had in fact received loss sharing payment from the FDIC, insurance or other sources how would the witness have known about that? Of course they don’t know because they have nothing to do with observing the accounts of the actual creditor. And while I agree that only actual payments as opposed to hypothetical payments should be taken into account when computing the principal balance and applicable interest on the loan, the existence of terms and conditions that might allow or require those hypothetical payments are sufficient to guarantee the right to discovery as to whether or not they were paid or if the right to payment has already accrued.

I think the argument about personal knowledge of the witness can be strengthened. The witness is an employee of Chase — not WAMU and not Fannie Mae. The PAA is completely silent about  the loans. Most of the loans were subjected to securitization anyway so WAMU couldn’t have “owned” them at any point in the false trail of securitization. If Chase is alleging that Fannie Mae in the “investor” then you have a second reason to say that both the servicing rights and the right to payment of principal, interest or monthly payments in doubt as to the intermediary banks in the cloud. So her testimony was hearsay on hearsay without any recognizable exception. She didn’t say she was custodian of records for anyone. She didn’t say how she had personal knowledge of Chase records, and she made no effort to even suggest she had any personal knowledge of the records of Fannie and WAMU — which is exactly the point of your lawsuit or defense.
 

If the Defendant/Appellee’s argument were to be accepted, any one of several defendants could deny allegations made against all the defendants individually just by producing a professional witness who would submit self-serving sworn affidavits from only one of the defendants. The result would thus benefit some of the “represented parties” at the expense of others.

Their position is absurd and the court should not be used and abused in furtherance of what is at best a shady history of the loan. The homeowner challenges them to give her the accurate information concerning ownership and balance, failing which there was no basis for a claim of encumbrance against her property. The court, using improper reasoning and assumptions, essentially concludes that since someone was the “lender” the Plaintiff had no cause of action and could not prove her case even if she had a cause of action. If the trial court is affirmed, Pandora’s box will be opened using this pattern of court conduct and Judge rulings as precedent not only in foreclosure actions, disputes over all types of loans, but virtually all tort actions and most contract actions.

Specifically it will open up a new area of moral hazard that is already filled with debris, to wit: debt collectors will attempt to insert themselves in the collection of money that is actually due to an existing creditor who has not sold the debt to the collector. As long as the debt collector moves quickly, and the debtor is unsophisticated, the case with the debt collector will be settled at the expense of the actual creditor. This will lead to protracted litigation as to the authority of the debt collector and the liability of the debtor as well as the validity of any settlement.

Foreclosure Hell, Keeps on Rollin

     Foreclosure filings were reported on 124,419 U.S. properties in January 2014, an 8 percent increase from December but still down 18 percent from January 2013.  Foreclosure filings were reported on 1,361,795 U.S. properties in 2013, down 26 percent from 2012 and down 53 percent from the peak of 2.9 million properties with foreclosure filings in 2010.  But still, 9.3 million U.S. residential properties were deeply underwater representing 19 percent of all properties with a mortgage in December 2013, down from 10.7 million homes underwater in September 2013.[1] 

            In 2006 there were 1,215,304 foreclosures, 545,000 foreclosure filings and 268,532 Home Repossessions.  By 2007 foreclosures had almost doubled – up to 2,203,295 with 1,260,000 foreclosure filings and 489,000 Home Repossessions.  2008 saw an even further increase to 3,019,482 foreclosures, 2,350,000 Foreclosure filings and 679,000 Home Repossessions.  In 20093,457,643 foreclosures, 2,920,000 foreclosure filings, and 945,000 Home Repossessions.  2010:  3,843,548 foreclosures, 3,500,000 foreclosure filings, and 1,125,000 Home Repossessions.  2011:  3,920,418 foreclosures, 3,580,000 foreclosure filings, and 1,147,000 Home Repossessions.  Then January to September 20121,616,427 foreclosures 1,382,000 foreclosure filings and 572,844 Repossessions.  The remainder of 2012 – September through December saw an additional 2,300,000 foreclosures, 2,100,000 foreclosure filings and 700,000 Repossessions.  In other words, from 2006 through 2012, there were a total of  21,576,117 foreclosures; 17,637,000 foreclosure filings; 5,926,376 Home Repossessions.  The foreclosures added to the repossessions is equal to:  27,502,493[2].  The numbers are staggering.

            Many of the homes have been wrongfully foreclosed upon, where either the party had not been in default, or the foreclosing party lacked standing to foreclose.  It has become almost as lawless as the wildwest, or comparable to a shark feeding frenzy.


[1] All of the foreclosure figures came from RealtyTrac:  http://www.realtytrac.com/content/foreclosure-market-report

[2] http://www.statisticbrain.com/home-foreclosure-statistics/                                                                 Statistic Verification  Source: RealtyTrac, Federal Reserve, Equifax