2 : An action that constitutes an offense punishable by law which could be criminally prosecuted by a state's attorney, but because the perpetrator is wealthy, powerful or a corporation, the state's attorney office will not prosecute, leaving only a lawsuit in the United States civil court system as remedy for the victim of the crime.
3 : An improvised term to explain why Wall Street crime is not being prosecuted.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Surely Gramm, who retired from the bank last year, must know something about the nefarious activities conducted over a time span when he was helping to manage the firm. This latest scandal, involving the rigging of a major trusted banking interest rate, might finally test the theories that he has long written into law that assume banks are best when regulated by themselves—a now obviously dumb idea.
As The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday: “U.S., U.K. and Swiss authorities alleged a vast conspiracy led by UBS AG to rig interest rates tied to trillions of dollars in loans and other financial products, indicating the practice was far more pervasive than previously known.” But what did Gramm know about this criminal behavior at a bank he helped govern, and when did he know it?
Saturday, December 15, 2012
The fear, one that has been echoed in the United States, is that the indictment could hurt confidence in the wider financial services industry.
“It would be a very destabilizing issue. It’s another version of ‘too important to fail,’” Mr. Bailey told The Telegraph, a British newspaper.
A number of British banks, including HSBC and Barclays, have recently been forced to pay large fines connected to illegal activity by some of their employees. Mr. Bailey said the size of many financial institutions made it difficult to take legal action against firms.
Monday, December 10, 2012
The settlement with Europe's biggest bank - which could be announced as soon as next week - will likely involve HSBC entering into a deferred prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The potential settlement, which has been in the works for months, is emerging as a test case for just how big a signal U.S. prosecutors want to send to try to halt illicit flows of money moving through U.S. banks.
An HSBC spokesman said: "We are cooperating with authorities in ongoing investigations. The nature of discussions is confidential."
HSBC said on Nov. 5 that it set aside $1.5 billion to cover a potential fine for breaching anti-money laundering controls in Mexico and other violations, although Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said the cost could be "significantly higher."
In regulatory filings, HSBC has said it could face criminal charges. But similar U.S. investigations have culminated in deferred prosecution deals, where law-enforcement agencies delay or forgo prosecuting a company if it admits wrongdoing, pays a fine and agrees to clean up its compliance systems. If the company missteps again, the Justice Department could prosecute.
Friday, November 30, 2012
When Breuer says, "well, it's just soooooooooo hard to prove criminal intent," I mean, put it to him:
(1) How do you account for Blll Black jailing over 1000 financial executives with a 90% conviction rate after the S&L crisis? Is the man a sorcerer?
(2) Has the burden of proof in criminal trials changed in the last 500 years? Why do you keep harping on criminal intent, proof of which has posed the same legal hurdle for centuries?
(3) Isn't it true that with networks and computers capturing every corporate communication for the last 15-20 years, prosecutions should be a lot easier since the paper trail is now a paper superhighway?
(4) Tell us exactly what evidence you'd need to see in order to prosecute everyone at MF Global between Jon Corzine and the person who authorized the illegal transfer of $1.6 billion in customer funds? What additional evidence--if you can even think of any--do you need to bring Corzine up on a violation of Sarbannes-Oxley?
(5) With respect to robo-signing, forged affidavits are on file in courts all over the country, complete with names, titles, and signatures of the criminals. Why are there not 100,000 people in jail for this? Do you not believe, sir, that fraud on the court is a crime? (And don't even mention Taylor Bean & Whittaker, because we know that Neil Barofsky shamed you into bringing that case, which you did only reluctantly.)
(6) Didn't your law firm create MERS, which is part of the foreclosure crisis? Does this fact account for the DOJ's wholesale failure to prosecute robo-signing crimes?
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The real-life Countrywide Financial, however, was not known for its subtlety. In 2007, as the mortgage market was collapsing, Countrywide, now part of Bank of America, used the hustle -- officially, a program it called the "High Speed Swim Lane" -- to eviscerate lending standards in order to keep pumping out home loans, even though many were fraudulent, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. government last month.
Despite the abuses alleged in this lawsuit, described as "spectacularly brazen in scope" by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the federal government accused no individual bank executives with wrongdoing in the case. Nor have authorities singled out individuals in recent civil lawsuits against Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase or Credit Suisse, the three other banks sued in the last two months by members of a high-profile task force created by President Barack Obama this year to investigate mortgage fraud.