Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 2 Share on Facebook 2 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (4 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   No comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

When It Comes To The DoJ And Wall Street, Don't Call It "Justice"

By       Message Richard Eskow     Permalink
      (Page 3 of 5 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   News 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 9/13/12

Author 77715
Become a Fan
  (12 fans)
- Advertisement -

The racketeers even built a phony shell company and an electronic database to expedite their fraud.

As it turns out, Housing and Urban Development audits of banks involved in the settlement showed that all of them had hindered investigation into their misdeeds. That makes the deal even more of a travesty than it initially seemed to be, since it means the banks made it impossible to know how much criminality they were guilty of -- or how high in the organization the culpability went -- before the deal was done.

- Advertisement -

Investigators were polite in their language -- always saying "failed to maintain controls" while describing ongoing patterns of deliberate misrepresentation, and taking banks at their word sometimes when bankers claimed they couldn't locate vital records -- but the picture they paint is clear. It consistently includes phrases like "Probable violations of the False Claims Act" in addition to providing descriptions of better known crimes.

And while the False Claims Act is a civil statute, the politically connected lobbying and law firm Arent Fox correctly notes that "there are many criminal statutes ... that are close analogs ... it is essential to consider if there is any basis present for possible criminal liability as well."

The audits even include remarkable sentences like this one: "Wells Fargo told us that we could not interview the other (employees) because they had reported questionable affidavit signing or notarizing practices when it interviewed them."

Oh, well in that case, never mind.

- Advertisement -

We've provided excerpts from the audits below: Read 'em and weep.

Drone Fraud

But then, Wells Fargo bankers weren't even indicted for laundering money from the Mexican drug cartels that have murdered 65,000 people (use detail from that piece). Why would they worry about indictments for obstructing justice, or for something as trivial as defrauding the US taxpayer? (That's what the False Claims Act addresses.)

It was a dead giveaway when the so-called "Justice" Department declined to prosecute Goldman Sachs for its apparent defrauding of customers, or for what appeared to be perjury when senior executives appeared before Senate investigating committees.

Why has the Justice Department let all these wrongdoers go free? There's been a shifting panoply of excuses. There was the "no laws were broken" excuse, dutifully echoed by both Barack Obama and Tim Geithner, but there's overwhelming evidence of lawbreaking to refute that claim.

There's also many billions of dollars paid out in fraud settlements. But then, the crooks themselves don't pay those settlements and fines. Their shareholders do -- sometimes for acts of fraud against the shareholders themselves. That aside, did these multi-billion-dollar frauds commit themselves?

That suggests a new concept: "drone fraud," a form of crime which takes place without any individuals present to commit it.

- Advertisement -

What Real Prosecutors Can Do

The Justice Department is also fond of complaining that getting convictions in financial fraud cases is too hard because the details are complicated. Leaving aside the absurdity of the excuse-making -- what would townsfolk do if their police chief said "I'd arrest those crooks, but it's pretty hard work chasing those boys" -- there are thousands of convictions to disprove this argument. There are, for example:

More than 1,000 convictions obtained (mostly be Republican Justice Departments) in the far smaller Savings and Loan scandal.

Nineteen executives who were convicted or offered guilty pleas in the Enron scandal.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


- Advertisement -

Must Read 1   News 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

How to Fix the Fed: Dismiss Dimon, Boot the Bankers, and Can the Corporations

The Top 12 Political Fallacies of 2012

Pawn: The Real George Zimmerman Story

What America Would Look Like If Libertarians Got Their Way

"F" The Bureaucracy! The White House Can Help Homeowners Right Now

"His Own Man's" Man: Jeb Bush and the Return of Wolfowitz