The Thugs of Silicon Valley

Bunch of strange stuff has been going on in High-Tech for the last 5-10 years. I have discussed previously the use of H1 Visa employees from other countries to steal American engineering jobs, paying H1’s  half or less than what a qualified American Engineer would get.  Resulting in several hundred thousand American kids who did the right thing, and got a college education in the Tech field…Being unable to get a job.

Then there was the outright age/salary discrimination against experienced and older workers. Resulting in the strange situation where the very guys who invented much of the current technology in the first place…becoming pariahs in the view of company HR.

If that wasn’t criminal enough, now we find that some of the biggest names in the Tech business have participated in a conspiracy, the result of which is to eliminate the ability of American workers to find a new job.

One of the things Unions did back in the days of the Robber Barrons was to break this sort of “restraint of free trade” up. One of the reasons conservatives are so anxious to destroy unions is they know if Unions move from the manufacturing of physical devices into the High-Tech development world…

Theirr clients won’t be able to get away with this shit.

The Techtopus: How Silicon Valley’s most celebrated CEOs conspired to drive down 100,000 tech engineers’ wages

In early 2005, as demand for Silicon Valley engineers began booming, Apple’s Steve Jobs sealed a secret and illegal pact with Google’s Eric Schmidt to artificially push their workers wages lower by agreeing not to recruit each other’s employees, sharing wage scale information, and punishing violators. On February 27, 2005, Bill Campbell, a member of Apple’s board of directors and senior advisor to Google, emailed Jobs to confirm that Eric Schmidt “got directly involved and firmly stopped all efforts to recruit anyone from Apple.”

Later that year, Schmidt instructed his Sr VP for Business Operation Shona Brown to keep the pact a secret and only share information “verbally, since I don’t want to create a paper trail over which we can be sued later?”

These secret conversations and agreements between some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley were first exposed in a Department of Justice antitrust investigation launched by the Obama Administration in 2010. That DOJ suit became the basis of a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of over 100,000 tech employees whose wages were artificially lowered — an estimated $9 billioneffectively stolen by the high-flying companies from their workers to pad company earnings — in the second half of the 2000s. Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied attempts by Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe to have the lawsuit tossed, and gave final approval for the class action suit to go forward. A jury trial date has been set for May 27 in San Jose, before US District Court judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the Samsung-Apple patent suit.

In a related but separate investigation and ongoing suit, eBay and its former CEO Meg Whitman, now CEO of HP, are being sued by both the federal government and the state of California for arranging a similar, secret wage-theft agreement with Intuit (and possibly Google as well) during the same period.

The secret wage-theft agreements between Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, and Pixar (now owned by Disney) are described in court papers obtained by PandoDaily as “an overarching conspiracy” in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act, and at times it reads like something lifted straight out of the robber baron era that produced those laws. Today’s inequality crisis is America’s worst on record since statistics were first recorded a hundred years ago — the only comparison would be to the era of the railroad tycoons in the late 19th century.

Shortly after sealing the pact with Google, Jobs strong-armed Adobe into joining after he complained to CEO Bruce Chizen that Adobe was recruiting Apple’s employees. Chizen sheepishly responded that he thought only a small class of employees were off-limits:

I thought we agreed not to recruit any senior level employees…. I would propose we keep it that way. Open to discuss. It would be good to agree.

Jobs responded by threatening war:

OK, I’ll tell our recruiters they are free to approach any Adobe employee who is not a Sr. Director or VP. Am I understanding your position correctly?

Adobe’s Chizen immediately backed down:

I’d rather agree NOT to actively solicit any employee from either company…..If you are in agreement, I will let my folks know.

The next day, Chizen let his folks — Adobe’s VP of Human Resources — know that “we are not to solicit ANY Apple employees, and visa versa.” Chizen was worried that if he didn’t agree, Jobs would make Adobe pay:

if I tell Steve [Jobs] it’s open season (other than senior managers), he will deliberately poach Adobe just to prove a point. Knowing Steve, he will go after some of our top Mac talent…and he will do it in a way in which they will be enticed to come (extraordinary packages and Steve wooing). Continue reading

Q Sues Michael Jackson Estate

Quincy Jones ‘ musical direction took Michael Jackson from being a star to being an international superstar, Had there been no Q – the production quality of Jackson’s three biggest albums would have been different, and arguably less stellar.

So this one is a bit of a shocker.

Quincy Jones sues Michael Jackson’s estate

Quincy Jones sued Michael Jackson’s estate on Friday claiming he is owed millions in royalties and production fees on some of the superstar’s greatest hits.

Jones’ lawsuit seeks at least $10 million from the singer’s estate and Sony Music Entertainment, claiming the entities improperly re-edited songs to deprive him of royalties and production fees. The music has been used in the film “This Is It” and a pair of Cirque du Soleil shows based on the King of Pop’s songs, the lawsuit states.

Jones also claims that he should have received a producer’s credit on the music in “This Is It.” His lawsuit seeks an accounting of the estate’s profits from the works so that Jones can determine how much he is owed.

The producer worked with Jackson on three of his most popular solo albums, “Off the Wall,” ”Thriller” and “Bad.”

Jackson’s estate wrote in a statement that it was saddened by Jones’ lawsuit. “To the best of its knowledge, Mr. Jones has been appropriately compensated over approximately 35 years for his work with Michael,” the statement said.

An after-hours message left at Sony Music’s New York offices was not immediately returned.

Jackson’s hits “Billie Jean,” ”Thriller” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” are among the songs Jones claims were re-edited to deprive him of royalties and his producer’s fee. Jones’ lawsuit states the producer’s contracts called for him to have the first opportunity to re-edit or alter the songs, in part to protect his reputation.

 

Shopping While Black…Again!

What it is beginning to look like is the high end store section in NYC has been the victim of some heavy duty professional shoplifters. Whether because of budget concerns or stupidity, the Security Chief there went out on the cheap and hired George Zimmerman Security…

Resulting in a solution more expensive than having someone stand at the door to hand out free bags to the shoplifters.

 

Macy’s Also Gets Slapped With Racial Discrimination Lawsuit By Black Shopper

Barneys isn’t the only store being accused of racial discrimination. Now, Macy’s has been slapped with a lawsuit implicating the luxury store of racial profiling.

The New York Post reports that actor Robert Brown, who’s most known for his starring role opposite Sean Connery in the film “Finding Forrester,” has filled a civil suit for an unspecified sum against the luxury retail store and the New York Police Department, citing that he was unlawfully searched by undercover police officers on June 8, 2013.

The 29 year old, who is black, was stopped after making a purchase at the Sunglass Hut store located inside Macy’s flagship location in New York’s Herald Square.

According to the Manhattan Supreme Court suit, Brown presented his ID to the cops but “was told that his identification was false and that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase.” The Brooklyn resident says he was then arrested and detained by cops for over an hour before finally being released without any charges.

This isn’t the first time Macy’s has dealt with a racial discrimination lawsuit. In 2005,the company paid New York state $600,000 to settle a complaint that its New York department stores were racially profiling shoppers and unlawful handcuffing them while they were being detained on suspicion of shoplifting.

Army Drill Sergeant Sues Army Over Discrimination

The Army’s first woman drill sargeant is suing the Army over racial and sexual discrimination by her two superiors…

Command Sgt. Maj. Teresa King

Army drill sergeant boss Teresa King takes legal action to get job back, alleges racism, sexism

The first woman to command the Army’s drill sergeant training took legal action Monday to reclaim her job, alleging she was improperly suspended last year because of sexism and racism and demanding that two of her superiors be investigated for abuse of their authority.

Command Sgt. Maj. Teresa King still does not know what exactly her superiors were investigating when they suspended her Nov. 29, according to her attorney, James Smith. He said the Army has declined to say specifically what it was looking into, beyond a general statement that it involved her conduct.

Smith on Monday filed a legal complaint with the Army against two of King’s superiors, and wants to have King reinstated to her position. Smith is also asking South Carolina’s two senior members of Congress, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. James Clyburn, for a congressional probe of King’s treatment.

Army officials said they wanted to study the complaint first before commenting.

King, who is black, made headlines in 2009 when the Army named her as the first woman to head the Drill Sergeant School at Fort Jackson, the Army’s largest training installation.

Smith has statements from King’s deputy at the school and an Army colonel who worked with King contending she is a victim of sexism and racism on the part of soldiers who resented her promotion and the national attention it drew.

“It’s abundantly clear that there was nothing to warrant her removal. The Army should reinstate her and restore her honorable name,” Smith said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The attorney said King, 50, has declined to comment on the actions, saying the complaint stands on its own. But in a rebuttal to the Army, King wrote her superiors, “My instincts tell me that if I were a male, that none of this would have happened.”

Smith said he believes the Army is delaying its investigation in order to force King to take retirement when she becomes eligible later this year.

Smith, who has handled military legal cases as an executive officer in the National Guard, said Army regulations require that investigations must be handled “expeditiously” and the one against King has gone on far too long.

After she took charge of the training program, reporters and TV crews descended on King, making much of her background as the daughter of a North Carolina sharecropper who dispensed stern discipline to his 12 children. She was featured on national TV, on newspaper front pages and in women’s magazines, sometimes with photos of her car sporting “noslack” vanity plates. (more)

Vatican Threatens to Sue Benetton Over “Kissing” Ad

Benetton’s stock in trade has been “shock” ads for a while. This time, I think they went way overboard!

Some of the offensive pics can be seen here. No word yet from the Muslim Iman (Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb) in the pic. I can’t imagine Sunni followers are thrilled, either.

While more tolerant of the slings and arrows than some Religions - The Catholic Church is taking this one seriously.

Vatican Pledges Legal Action Against Benetton

The Vatican is taking legal action against the Benetton clothing company to prevent the circulation of an ad featuring a fake photo montage of Pope Benedict XVI kissing a top Egyptian imam on the lips.

The Vatican said Thursday the image is “offensive not only to the dignity of the pope and the Catholic Church, but also to the sensibilities of believers.”

Benetton withdrew the ad immediately after its debut Wednesday once the Vatican denounced it as an unacceptable provocation.

Benetton had said its “Unhate” campaign was aimed at fostering tolerance, but the Vatican’s daily newspaper Thursday called it “an insult to believers in the name of profit.”

The campaign’s fake photos feature a half-dozen purported political nemeses in lip-locked embraces, including President Barack Obama and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

The photo of the pope kissing Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb of Cairo’s al-Azhar institute, the pre-eminent theological school of Sunni Islam, was on Benetton’s website all day Wednesday but was pulled about an hour after the Vatican’s protest.

Al-Azhar suspended interfaith talks with the Vatican earlier this year after Benedict called for greater protections for Egypt’s minority Christians.

Shock ads have long been a part of Benetton’s publicity strategy, with photographer Oliviero Toscani’s famous campaigns for them featuring death row inmates and people dying of AIDS.

In a statement, the Treviso, Italy-based clothing manufacturer said it was sorry that its image had offended the faithful and that as a result “we have decided with immediate effect to withdraw this image from every publication.”

The other images, including the one of Obama, are still on its website.

Is Herman Cain Another Clarence Thomas?

Image: Herman Cain

Who...Me?

Those who remember the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, recall the Anita Hill affair…

Seems Clarence had a problem with the ladies.

Reports are coming out now that Herman Cain may indeed have the same problem. To be fair, this is still in the category where it could be a smear…

But Cain’s response below does leave a few questions.

Herman Cain denies report of sexual harassment

Herman Cain, a businessman whose rise to the top of the Republican presidential polls has stunned the U.S. political establishment, was on the defensive Monday after a report he had faced sexual harassment accusations in the 1990s.

Cain planned to make several scheduled appearances in Washington on Monday following the report that alleges he was twice accused of sexual harassment while he was the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

In a statement to The Associated Press on Sunday, his campaign disputed a report on the website Politico that said Cain had been accused of sexually suggestive behavior toward at least two female employees.

Cain — a self-styled outsider relatively new to the national stage — is facing a new level of scrutiny after a burst of momentum in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. He’s been steadily at or near the top of national surveys and polls in early presidential nominating states, competitive with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

The report said the women signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them five-figure financial payouts to leave the association and barred them from discussing their departures. Neither woman was identified.

The report was based on anonymous sources and, in one case, what the publication said was a review of documentation that described the allegations and the resolution.

Cain’s campaign told the AP that the allegations were not true, and amounted to unfair attacks.

“Inside-the-Beltway media have begun to launch unsubstantiated personal attacks on Cain,” spokesman J.D. Gordon said in a written statement. “Dredging up thinly sourced allegations stemming from Mr. Cain’s tenure as the Chief Executive Officer at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, political trade press are now casting aspersions on his character and spreading rumors that never stood up to the facts.”

Asked if Cain’s campaign was denying the report, Gordon said, “Yes.”

“These are baseless allegations,” Gordon said in a second interview later Sunday evening. “To my knowledge, this is not an accurate story.”

Cain plans to continue with several planned appearances in Washington on Monday. He is slated to discuss his tax plan at the American Enterprise Institute, appear at the National Press Club and hold a healthcare briefing on Capitol Hill.

The former pizza company executive has been pointing to his long record in business to argue that he has the credentials needed to be president during a time of economic strife.

In its report, Politico said it confronted Cain early Sunday outside of the CBS News Washington bureau, where he had just been interviewed on “Face the Nation.”

“I am not going to comment on that,” he told Politico when asked specifically about one of the woman’s claims.

When asked if he had ever been accused of harassment by a woman, he responded, Politico said, by asking the reporter, “Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?”

Atlanta Woman Arrested and Jailed Wrongly For 2 Months

It took the Police 2 months to figure out this woman wasn’t the suspect they were after?

While the news crew apparently had no problem finding the woman they were after!

Apparently the Police didn’t even bother to confirm the identity of the woman they had arrested, Ms. Culpepper, with the victim to make sure that they had arrested the right person.

Woman spends 53 DAYS in jail because she was ‘mistaken for another woman with the same first name’

A woman has claimed she was jailed for almost two months because of a mix-up with another woman with the same first name.

Teresa Culpepper was locked up after police suspected her of being involved in an aggravated assault.

Despite not having the same surname as the alleged suspect, as well as a different birth date, she was held for 53 days.

Her lawyer Ashleigh Merchant said police in Atlanta held her simply because her first name matched that of their prime suspect.

‘She had medical records. She had numerous other documents that showed her name and proved her actual identity, but nobody bothered to check, and they arrested her and took her to jail,’ said Ms Merchant.

‘Her birth date didn’t match. Her address didn’t match. Her description didn’t match. Other than the name Teresa, nothing matched.’

Ms Culpepper was released after the victim of the alleged assault appeared in court to reveal Ms Culpepper was not the person who assaulted her. Continue reading

Worse than Waterboarding!

Think the International Court should step in on this one and try this scumbag cop at the Hague!

Worse than Waterboarding - Forced to Listen to Drugbo!

Texas woman sues PD for forcing her to listen to Rush Limbaugh

Talk about your Monday from hell. Not only did Bridgett Nickerson Boyd’s car break down on her way to work, but when she pulled over to the side of the freeway, a sheriff’s deputy named Mark Goad pulled behind her, wrote her a ticket for driving on the shoulder, decided to arrest her, followed her to the hospital when her suddenly racing heart prompted a call to paramedics, then took her into custody again after she was treated by doctors and finally drove her to jail.

To make matters worse, Boyd claims in a lawsuit that the handcuffs were put on her wrists painfully tight – she claims she explained to the officer she had just had surgery on her hand – and that she was forced to listen to Rush Limbaugh “make derogatory comments about black people” all the way to the jail. Boyd is African-American.

Because of the incident, which occurred on Oct. 4, 2010, Boyd filed a federal lawsuit Monday against Goad and Harris County alleging defamation, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, assault and battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

”Deputy Goad was aware that Boyd had not committed a crime and her arrest was without probable cause,” according to the lawsuit filed in Houston.

The magistrate who saw her while jailed apparently agreed and dismissed all charges.

A spokesman for Sheriff Adrian Garcia declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Boyd’s attorney, Troy Pradia, said she had never been in legal trouble and thought the deputy had pulled up behind her car to help her. She had moved to the shoulder along Beltway 8 near U.S. 288 after her engine started smoking.

Pradia added that he and Boyd, who works in a bank, had hoped the matter would be settled by the sheriff’s department after she filed a complaint about Goad’s actions.

”They finally said the complaint was not sustained, meaning that it was not disproved but that nothing was proved to have happened,” Pradia said. “I don’t know why. We’re not privy to that.”

Pradia said that Boyd had signed the ticket and pointed as much out to the deputy, but that he chose to arrest her regardless.

”The taxpayers pay money for crime prevention,” Pradia said. “I don’t think she was committing any crime.”

Van Jones Challenges Glenn Beck

Uhhhhhhh… Van – Been meaning to talk to you about that “timing” thing…

You are about a year late on this one.

Glenn Beck has already self-destructed.

What exactly do you hope to gain by debating a corpse?

Van Jones Considers Legal Action Against Fox News, Demands Glenn Beck Retraction

After challenging Glenn Beck to a debate over the weekend at Netroots Nation and in a MoveOn.org-sponsored ad Monday, Van Jones may have taken his beef with Beck a step further.

Jones, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who resigned from his job as White House “green jobs” czar following the conservative host’s repeated claims that he was a subversive and a Communist, is considering legal action against Beck-employer Fox News.

Jones’ attorney sent a cease and desist letter Monday to Dianne Brandi, the network’s executive vice president for legal & business affairs, claiming that “a series of sensational and inflammatory charges” have been made against Jones on Fox News shows. The statements, his attorney Joseph Sandler argues, are “demonstrably, unequivocally and absolutely false.”

In a six-page letter, the letter says that Jones has been called “radical revolutionary” (Beck), “an avowed Communist and 9/11 truther” (Sean Hannity), and a “far left kook, Communist guy” (Bill O’Reilly), to name just a few of the disputed allegations.

“Mr. Jones is not a member of any Communist Party or Marxist organization whatsoever, and has not expressed any support for any form of Communist or Marxist ideology for many years,” Sandler wrote. He added that such statements are “demonstrably and unequivocally false” and were made to “injure Mr. Jones in his professional and community standing.”

“They are actionable as a matter of law,” Sandler writes. (more)

More Dirty Money – Did Madoff Pay Off SEC Lawyers?

Former SEC General Counsel David M. Becker, Accused of profiting from Madoff Scheme to Look the Other Way

Yet another story of dirty money making it’s way into the hands of the folks who are supposed to protect our system. Not sure how you prosecute these guys when you have bought judges on the Supreme Court who also are taking bribes. Seems to me that level of corruption brings down the whole system.

Irving Picard hits Securities and Exchange Commission’s top lawyer with Bernie Madoff lawsuit

The family of the top lawyer at the Securities and Exchange Commission invested with Bernie Madoff and earned more than $1.5 million in ill-gained profits, according to trustee Irving Picard, who has named the lawyer, David M. Becker, as a defendant in a clawback lawsuit, a Daily News investigation has found.

The apparent conflict of interest raises significant questions about the watchdog commission’s failure to stop Madoff and his $65 billion Ponzi scheme, despite repeated red flags and investigations into his operations.

Becker, 63, who is leaving his post as general counsel and senior policy director of the SEC in five days to return to the private sector, has never publicly disclosed his family’s ties to Madoff. He and his two brothers, who are also defendants in the suit, were named executors of their mother’s estate, which included a Madoff account, after her death in 2004. They liquidated the account in 2005, withdrawing $2,042,845, and are being sued as co-executors of the estate and individually.

David Becker was the SEC’s general counsel from 2000-2002 and again from 2009 until this month. He joined the agency in 1998 as deputy general counsel.

A spokesman for the SEC, John Nester, confirmed Tuesday that Becker received the complaint several days ago.

“He had no involvement with his parents’ financial affairs, and no recollection of his parents’ account with Madoff prior to his mother’s death and subsequent liquidation of the account,” Nester said on behalf of Becker.

 

 

 

“You’ve Been Served!” – Sherrod Serves Lawsuit Papers to Brietbart at CPAC

Lat year Andrew Brietbart posted a doctored video of Shirley Sherrod resulting in her losing her job, and a huge scandal when it was exposed the video was selectively edited…

Mrs. Sherrod’s Process Server was on hand to meet Mr. Brietbart at CPAC.

Sherrod Sues Breitbart For Damaged Reputation

Blogger Andrew Breitbart has been sued by former U.S. Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod who contends her reputation was damaged by Breitbart’s posting last year of an edited video.

The New York Timesreports today Breitbart was served with the lawsuit at CPAC Saturday. Sherrod contends in the suit that a video clip he posted last year “has damaged her reputation and prevented her from continuing her work.”

Breitbart, who first posted the clip on July 19, 2010, at his BigGovernment.com site, had been under scrutiny after it was revealed the clip misrepresented Sherrod’s message during a speech in March 2010 before a group of NAACP members.

Fox then posted an online article reporting on the clip, linking to Breitbart’s video. Breitbart did not seek comment from Sherrod prior to his report; Fox News also gave no indication that they had done so. She was forced to resign later that day.

Breitbart has recently claimed that Sherrod was not fired because of his video but because of her part in the 11-year-old Pigford case, in which black farmers sued for discrimination against the Agriculture Department.

He stated such a claim again on Thursday in an interview with Media Matters, in which he admitted he had no proof of the assertion, revealing it was a theory.

Breitbart responded to Sherrod’s lawsuit Saturday with an online statement that said, in part:

I find it extremely telling that this lawsuit was brought almost seven months after the alleged incidents that caused a national media frenzy occurred. It is no coincidence that this lawsuit was filed one day after I held a press conference revealing audio proof of orchestrated and systemic Pigford fraud. I can promise you this: neither I, nor my journalistic websites, will or can be silenced by the institutional Left, which is obviously funding this lawsuit. I welcome the judicial discovery process, including finding out which groups are doing so.

Sherrod could not immediately be reached for comment Sunday.

Here’s hoping she also goes after Faux News for aiding and abetting in the crime.

Of Used Car Salesmen and Cell Phone Companies

Cell Phone companies are definitely the used car salesmen of the modern age. If it weren’t for banks, they would be the least trusted business in America. It is hard to find anyone, who at some time hasn’t had a billing “surprise” or an issue with their Cell Phone company over billing.

So it isn’t really a surprise that the big carriers get sued. What is unusual is when the litigant has the resources to make a case.

Lawsuit claims AT&T cheats iPhone, iPad owners on data

AT&T has “systematically” overcharged iPhone and iPad owners with capped data plans by inflating the amount of data they download and adding “phantom traffic,” a lawsuit claimed last week.

AT&T said it would “vigorously” fight the suit.

The complaint, filed by Patrick Hendricks in federal court in California, claims that a “significant portion” of AT&T’s $1.1 billion of wireless revenue gains last quarter came from the bogus charges and overbilling.

Hendricks’ lawyers asked a judge to grant the lawsuit class-action status, which if approved, would open up the case to millions of iPhone and iPadowners in the U.S.

Citing evidence obtained by a consulting firm hired by Henricks’ attorneys, the lawsuit said that AT&T regularly overstates incoming data between 7% and 14%, and in some cases by as much as 300%. Continue reading

Taco Bell Sued for Faux Beef

I hope this isn’t what happened to the Taco Bell dog…

The issue here isn’t that there isn’t beef in the Taco Bell “beef” filling…

It’s that the filling (By the litigant claim) is only 36% beef, which by FDA rules doesn’t qualify as being advertised as either beef,,, or “Taco filling”…

Leaving the question as to what is the other 64%?

Years ago, an untrue Urban Legend about Jack in the Box serving Kangaroo Meat in their tacos and burgers nearly tanked the franchise. I think Taco Bell had better be very careful about handling this one…

Where, Indeed...Is the Beef?

 

Arizona Nevada Sue Bank of America For Fraud

Seems that Bank of America has been defrauding customers (what else is new?) in a whole new way. The current scam involves getting delinquent customers to continue to pay with promises that their payments will forestall foreclosure…

And then foreclosing anyway.

B of A even did “Press Releases” -

Bank of America Helps 125,000 Homeowners With “Making Home Affordable” Loan Modifications

Starting November 1st, Bank of America’s will have surpassed its goal of providing 125,000 trial loan modifications through the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).  These modifications, part of the Making Home Affordable Program, aim to resolve loan issues by offering an incentive for banks to accept modifications to a loans terms, rather than simply foreclosing on the home.

This is the same bank which for years ran the scam of cascading customer checking accounts to maximize the overdraft penalties, and who set up a late payment structure on their credit cards which taxed consumers $35 a month regardless of when they made the payment.

So it really isn’t a surprise that this is what they really did…

Two States Sue Bank of America Over Mortgages

The attorneys general of Arizona and Nevada on Friday filed a lawsuit against Bank of America, accusing it of engaging in “widespread fraud” by misleading customers with “false promises” about their eligibility for modifications on their home mortgages.

In withering complaints filed in state courts in both states, the attorneys general accused Bank of America of assuring customers that they would not be foreclosed upon while they were seeking loan modifications, only to proceed with foreclosures anyway; of falsely telling customers that they must be in default to obtain a modification; of promising that the modifications would be made permanent if they completed a trial period, only to renege on the deal; and of conjuring up bogus reasons for denying modifications.

“Bank of America’s callous disregard for providing timely, correct information to people in their time of need is truly egregious,” Catherine Cortez Masto, the attorney general of Nevada said in a statement.

Many Nevada homeowners continued “to make mortgage payments they could not afford, running through their savings, their retirement funds or their children’s education funds.”

The lawsuit comes as top prosecutors nationwide are investigating whether the paperwork that banks used to support foreclosure cases often was egregiously sloppy, sometimes relying on robo-signers — employees who signed hundreds of documents a day — to sign sworn court documents.

Tom Miller, Iowa’s attorney general who is heading the multistate investigation into foreclosure fraud allegations, said the two states’ lawsuits would not dilute his inquiry. “It is clear that attorneys general in Arizona and Nevada believe that it is in their two states’ best interests to pursue coordinated civil cases against Bank of America,” he said in a statement.

A Bank of America spokesman, Dan Frahm, said bank officials were disappointed that the lawsuits were filed “at this time,” given the bank’s cooperation with the multistate investigation.

Mr. Frahm disputed the allegations in the lawsuit, saying the bank was committed to making sure no property was foreclosed until the customer had a chance to modify the loan or, if ineligible for a modification, to pursue another solution.

He said the attorneys general didn’t acknowledge the many improvements the bank had made, like providing a single point of contact for customers who have started the modification process and increasing staff to support “homeownership retention initiatives.”

Arizona and Nevada are among the states hardest hit by the housing downturn, and the state attorneys general said their lawsuits were prompted by hundreds of complaints by consumers who sought modifications of their mortgages.

The complaints in the lawsuit in many ways echoed problems encountered by homeowners nationwide who have tried with little luck to obtain mortgage modifications from banks, often through a federal program set up for that purpose. Thousands of homeowners complain that banks repeatedly lose their documents, fail to return calls or foreclose when a homeowner believes he or she is still negotiating a modification.

Indeed, according to the lawsuits, Bank of America’s efforts were the most anemic of the big banks and were not confined to the Western states but rather “reflect a pervasive nationwide pattern and practice of conduct.” The lawsuit noted that Bank of America ranked last in “virtually every homeowner experience metric” monitored in a monthly report on the federal home loan modification program.

Ms. Masto of Nevada said her office’s findings were confirmed by interviews with consumers, former employees, third parties and documents. Former employees said that Bank of America’s modification staff was “chaotic, understaffed and not oriented to customers,” according to a news release. One former employee said, “The main purpose of the training is to teach us how to get customers off the phone in less than 10 minutes.”

Another employee said, “When checking on a borrower’s status, I often found that the modification request had not been dealt with or was so old that the request had become inactive. Yet, I was instructed to inform borrowers that they were ‘active and in status.’ One time I complained to a supervisor that I felt I always was lying to borrowers.”

 

Surprise! Surprise! In the Bag Republican Judge Rules Against Health Care

Nothing like having “special” judges to rule for “special” people…and in this case to toe the Party line.

A Bush appointed judge agreed with the right wing Kook – now isn’t that a surprise?

With all of the problems we have right now in terms of unemployment, the foreclosure scams, and a host of other issues…

WTF is this POS wasting Virginia’s money on this?

Va AG Ken "The Kook" Cuccinelli

The Right Wing Ideologue Judge - Henry Hudson

 

Federal Judge Declares Health Care Reform Unconstitutional

A federal judge declared the Obama administration’s health care law unconstitutional today, siding with Virginia’s attorney general in a dispute that both sides agree will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court. US District Judge Henry E. Hudson on is the first federal judge to strike down the law, which has been upheld by two others in Virginia and Michigan. Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli filed the lawsuit challenging the law’s requirement that citizens buy health insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014.

Cuccinelli argued that the federal government doesn’t have the constitutional authority to impose the requirement. Hudson, a Republican who was appointed by President George W. Bush, sounded sympathetic to the state’s case when he heard oral arguments in October, and the White House expected to lose this round. Officials told reporters last week that a negative ruling would have virtually no impact on the law’s implementation, noting that its two major provisions—the coverage mandate and the creation of new insurance markets—don’t take effect until 2014. Other lawsuits are pending, including one filed by 20 states in a Florida court; Virginia is not part of that lawsuit.

 

 

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