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Archive for January 30th, 2012

Justice Dept. Unit to Probe Mortgage-Backed Securities

By Kevin Johnson
USA Today

WASHINGTON – The U.S. government dispatched 55 prosecutors, FBI agents and analysts Friday to a new financial crimes enforcement unit focusing on home mortgage abuses that fueled the 2008 economic collapse.

For the first time since the crisis, federal investigators will be joined by state law enforcement officials as part of a working group that, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said, would launch the “broadest, deepest investigation into what blew up the economy.”

The unit, first referenced earlier this week by President Obama in the State of the Union, is expected to plunge deeper into the causes of “massive market failures” that continue to harm homeowners, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said.

To read more click here.

 

OTHER STORIES OF INETERST:

School Lunch Director Convicted in Bribery Probe

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Lunch just won’t be the same.

The director of a public school lunch program in the American Samoa was convicted on Thursday in Washington of obstructing a federal grand jury and law enforcement investigations into a bribery plot, reports the Pacific News Center. Paul Solofa was convicted after a four-day trial, after which a federal jury found him guilty on a count of witness tampering and a count of obstruction of justice.

Early in 2008, feds began an investigation into tips that cash bribes and kickbacks were being paid by vendors of school bus parts and services to officials with the American Samoa Government, according to evidence shown at trial.

The evidence showed that Solofa met with a vendor on April 3, 2009. When the vendor told Solofa the FBI wanted to interview him, Solofa, in a recorded meeting, said to the vendor “they cannot do anything with cash. Nothing. They cannot do anything with cash. They cannot track down you on cash. Because even if you say you gave me cash I’ll tell them ‘no.’ They cannot take your word on cash. Because that’s hearsay.”

To read more click here.