Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $3.15 billion to resolve claims that it misled U.S. mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about risky mortgage securities it sold them before the housing market collapsed in 2007.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie, announced the settlement Friday with the Wall Street powerhouse.
Newly released court documents include excerpts from emails showing that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s recall election campaign team told him to instruct donors to give to a key conservative group that would run ads for Walker and distribute money to other conservative groups backing him.
The documents released Friday by a federal appeals court also show that prosecutors believe Walker personally solicited donations for conservative group Wisconsin Club for Growth to get around campaign finance limits and disclosure requirements as he fended off the recall attempt in 2012.
According to a new Consumer Reports investigative study published Thursday, there is rampant variation in the price of generic drugs as large U.S. pharmacy chains — including CVS, Rite Aid, and Target — mark up the prices of generic drug versions for common medications by as much as 18 times what wholesale chains like Costco charge. That price variance ends up costing Americans, who spend an average of $758 out-of-pocket on drugs every year, hundreds of dollars in unnecessary spending each month.
Dale Peterson, the Alabama Republican best known for his viral campaign videos railing against “thugs and criminals,” is calling his second shoplifting arrest in five months “so bizarre and so idiotic” and is suggesting his political enemies are somehow behind his woes.
Las Vegas Sands Corp said it “likely” violated the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which outlaws the bribery of foreign officials, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday.
The filing marks the first disclosure by the casino operator, controlled by founder and billionaire Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, that is was under investigation.
The SEC subpoenaed company documents in February 2011 relating to its compliance with the antibribery act while the U.S. Department of Justice also advised Sands it was conducting an investigation, the company said in its annual report filing.
“There were likely violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions of the FCPA,” the company said.
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick took money meant for seniors and children and drove up costs for taxpayers under a long-running criminal enterprise that forced contractors to reward his friends and family, a federal prosecutor said on Monday.
Voters had hoped Kilpatrick would reverse decades of decline in Detroit when he was elected the youngest mayor in city history in 2001. Instead, he faces 30 charges including racketeering conspiracy, bribery, extortion and tax fraud.
“Everything you need to know about this case is in this sentence: No deal without me,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta said in closing arguments on Monday to jurors in the five-month long trial in Detroit federal court.
ProPublica reported earlier this week that the co-op was looking into whether credit card companies, retailers such as Target, or other commercial interests might be interested in buying their data. The state parties collect voters’ names, addresses and party registrations from public records, but also gather their own records about voters’ political opinions and other data. The co-op, formed by state Democratic chairs in 2011, started off by selling its voter data to approved groups like the NAACP. But the group had begun looking for potential clients, including for-profit corporations, according to the co-op’s marketing expert, as well as a member of the co-op’s governing board. Although there were no firm plans to sell the data for commercial uses, Drew Brighton of TargetSmart Communications, which helps administer and market the co-op’s data, told ProPublica that he was planning to make the rounds with corporate prospects.
Good-ole Chicago politics:
It’s been nearly three months since Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from Congress, but now NBC News confirms that Jackson has signed papers in a plea deal within the past several days.
Jackson’s case is being handled by the US Attorney’s office in Washington DC. While no public announcement is expected today, those with knowledge of the investigation believe the loose ends now deal with Jackson’s wife, former Alderman Sandi Jackson, and whether or not she is ultimately charged.
Under the terms of the deal Jackson signed, he pleads guilty and his fate – as to jail time – would be in the hands of a federal judge, not yet assigned.
He would repay the government hundreds of thousands of dollars – for items like the $40,000 Rolex watch, travel expenses for a woman he described as a “social acquaintance” and furniture purchased for his home.
Converting campaign contributions for personal use is strictly prohibited by federal law. It opens Jackson up to “not more than 5 years” in prison.
But no one will go to jail, of course:
The Justice Department and state prosecutors intend to file civil charges alleging wrongdoing by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services in its rating of mortgage bonds before the financial crisis erupted in 2008, according to people familiar with the matter.
The allegations likely would be made in lawsuits by federal and state officials that are expected to be filed as soon as this week, the people said. The alleged wrongdoing by S&P, a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos., MHP -12.48% centers on allegations related to the model used by S&P to rate mortgage bonds.
On March 16, 2007, Morgan Stanley employees working on one of the toxic assets that helped blow up the world economy discussed what to name it. Among the team members’ suggestions: “Subprime Meltdown,” “Hitman,” “Nuclear Holocaust,” “Mike Tyson’s Punchout,” and the simple-yet-direct: “Shitbag.”Ha ha. Those hilarious investment bankers.
Then they gave it its real name and sold it to a Chinese bank.
We are never going to have a full understanding of what bad behavior bankers conducted in the years leading up to the financial crisis. The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have failed to hold big wrongdoers to account.