Bank Investigations Cheat Sheet: ProPublica

by Marian Wang, ProPublica – May 13, 2010

Here’s our attempt to lay out exactly what’s known about which banks are being investigated by whom and for what. We’re going to keep updating this page, so please send usstories or details we’ve missed. Related: Covering the Bank Investigations: A Cautionary Tale

  What has been reported What the bank has said
 
Citigroup
Citing “a person familiar with the matter,” The Wall Street Journal has reported that Citigroup is under “early-stage criminal scrutiny” by the Department of Justice. Also citing unnamed sources, Fox Business reported on May 12 that the SEC has an active civil investigation into Citigroup and has subpoenaed the firm, but has not issued any Wells notices. A report on May 12th by the Journal cited unnamed sources saying that the Department of Justice is scrutinizing a few CDO deals that Morgan Stanley bet against–but which were underwritten by Citigroup and UBS. Neither the SEC nor the Justice Department have confirmed these reports.

Citing two anonymous sources, The New York Times has reported that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating eight banks to determine whether they misled rating agencies in order to get higher ratings for their mortgage-related products; Citigroup has been named as one of the banks. Subpoenas were issued on May 12, according to the Times and the Dow Jones Newswires, both of which relied on anonymous sourcing for their reports.

Citigroup has declined to comment to us and other outlets.

Credit Agricole
Credit Agricole has also been named as one of the banks that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating separately. Credit Agricole did not immediately respond to the Times’ request for comment and has not yet responded to ours.

Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse has also been named as one of the banks that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating. Credit Suisse declined to comment to the Times about the New York attorney general’s investigation.

Deutsche Bank
Citing “a person familiar with the matter,” The Wall Street Journal has reported that Deutsche Bank is under “early-stage criminal scrutiny” by the Department of Justice. Also citing unnamed sources, Fox Business reported on May 12 that the SEC has an active civil investigation into Deutsche and has subpoenaed the firm, but has not issued any Wells notices. Neither agency has confirmed these reports.

Deutsche Bank has also been named as one of the banks that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating separately.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment to Fox, the Journal, and the Times about possible investigations.

Goldman Sachs
The SEC has brought a civil fraud lawsuit against Goldman, alleging that the investment bank made “materially misleading statements and omissions” when it allowed a hedge fund to help create and bet against a CDO, called Abacus, without disclosing the hedge fund’s role to investors.

The Wall Street Journal, citing “people familiar with the probe,” reported in April that the Justice Department has been conducting a criminal investigation into Goldman’s CDO dealings following a referral from the SEC. Neither agency has confirmed this, but the AP, citing another unnamed source, has reported the same thing. Since then, many news organizations–including the The New York TimesABC News and the Washington Post–have also reported on the criminal probe, citing unnamed sources. No charges have been brought.

Goldman Sachs has also been named as one of the banks that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating separately.

Goldman called the SEC’s accusations “unfounded in law and fact.

After the reports of a criminal investigation, a Goldman Sachs spokesman declined to confirm that the bank had been contacted by the DOJ but also told several news outlets that “given the recent focus on the firm, we’re not surprised by the report of an inquiry. We would cooperate fully with any request for information.”

The bank has declined to comment to us on the New York attorney general’s investigation.

 
JP Morgan Chase
Citing “a person familiar with the matter,” The Wall Street Journal has also reported that JPMorgan Chase has received civil subpoenas from the SEC and is under “early-stage criminal scrutiny” by the Department of Justice. Neither the SEC nor the Justice Department has confirmed these reports. A JPMorgan spokesman told the Journal that the bank “hasn’t been contacted” by federal prosecutors and isn’t aware of a criminal investigation.

Merrill Lynch (now part of Bank of America)
Merrill has not been named in any SEC investigations. But as we pointed out, a lawsuit brought by a Dutch bank asserts that Merrill Lynch did a CDO deal that was “precisely” like Goldman’s. The SEC has declined to comment on whether it is investigating the deal.

Merrill Lynch has also been named as one of the banks that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating.

Merrill has said its CDO deal was not like Goldman’s, calling Goldman’s Abacus deal an “entirely different transaction.”

The bank did not immediately return the Times’ request for comment about the investigation by Coumo, but when we called and asked, a spokesman from Bank of America, which merged with Merrill, said, “We are cooperating with the attorney general’s office on this matter.”


Morgan Stanley
Citing “people familiar with the matter,” The Wall Street Journal reported on May 12 that the Justice Department has been conducting a criminal investigation into Morgan Stanley’s CDO dealings, including its role in helping design and betting against two sets of CDOs from 2006 known as Jackson and Buchanan. The Justice Department declined to comment. No charges have been brought, and according to the Journal, the probe is “at a preliminary stage.” A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman said the bank had “no knowledge of a Justice Department investigation into these transactions.” The Journal reported that the SEC has subpoenaed Morgan Stanley on several occasions, but the bank says it has received no Wells notices, which would indicate pending SEC charges.

Morgan Stanley has also been named as one of the banks that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating.

A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman said on May 12that the firm has “not been contacted by the Justice Department about the transactions being raised by The Wall Street Journal, and we have no knowledge of a Justice Department investigation into these transactions.”

The investment bank declined to comment to the Times about the Coumo’s investigation.


UBS
Citing “a person familiar with the matter,” The Wall Street Journal reported that UBS has received civil subpoenas from the SEC and is under “early-stage criminal scrutiny” by the Department of Justice. In a report on May 12, the Journal reported that the Justice Department is scrutinizing a few CDO deals that Morgan Stanley helped design and bet against–but which were marketed by Citigroup and UBS. Neither the SEC nor the Justice Department has confirmed these reports. The firm has not disclosed that it has gotten any Wells notices.

UBS has also been named as one of the banks New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating.

A UBS spokesman has declined to comment on any of the investigations.

Advertisements

Moooove Over SLACKERS!! NY AG CUOMO probing 8 banks over securities

AP Source: NY AG probing 8 banks over securities

NEW YORK — The New York attorney general has launched an investigation into eight banks to determine whether they misled ratings agencies about mortgage securities, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

finance-20100513-US.Wall.Street.InvestigationAttorney General Andrew Cuomo is trying to figure out if banks provided the agencies with false information in order to get better ratings on the risky securities, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation has not been made public.

Cuomo’s office is investigating Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, UBS AG, Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Credit Agricole and Merrill Lynch, which is now part of Bank of America Corp.

Representatives from Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Credit Agricole declined to comment. Others were not immediately available comment.

During the housing boom, Wall Street banks often packaged pools of risky subprime mortgages together. The securities were then typically given top-notch ratings and investors purchased them, in part, because of their high ratings.

The ratings, given out by Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, are used as a guide for investors to judge how risky an investment might be.

As the housing market collapsed and more customers fell behind on repaying their mortgages, the securities began to fail.

The securities have been widely blamed for exacerbating the credit crisis and costing investors and the banks themselves billions of dollars in losses. The ratings agencies have come under fire for having given such high ratings to securities that soured.

The attorney general’s probe comes as federal regulators are investigating whether some of the banks misled investors when marketing and selling the securities and other investments that were tied to mortgages.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Goldman Sachs with fraud over its packaging of mortgage securities. Goldman is facing a separate criminal investigation into the same securities. Goldman has denied the charges and plans to defend itself.

Earlier this week it was reported that federal prosecutors are investigating whether Morgan Stanley misled investors about its role in a pair of $200 million derivatives whose performance was tied to mortgage-backed securities.

The increased scrutiny over how banks managed, packaged and portrayed mortgage securities and derivatives comes as Congress discusses a major overhaul of financial regulations. Politicians have said an overhaul would add more transparency to investments and trading.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow the Trail —Don’t get lost in the documents

Posted on March 25, 2010 by Neil Garfield

I THOUGHT THIS COMMENT WAS WORTHY OF MAKING INTO A POST.

See for Deutsch bank references Prospectus offered all over the world: Anyone who had a Deed of Trust with: Indymac, Wells Fargo, Countrywide, GMAC, Ocwen, American Home, Residential Funding Company, Washington Mutual Bank, BofA, and many others you might want to check this link out.

Editor’s Note: The only thing I would add is that the obligation arose when the borrower executed a note, but the creditor got a securitized bond with different terms, deriving its value from your note and thousands of others. Once you realize that the obligation is NOT the same as the Note, which is only EVIDENCE of the obligation, and that the MORTGAGE is NOT the obligation, it is only incident to the note, THEN you will understand that following the money means following the obligation, not the note or the mortgage. And figuring out what effect there was on the obligation at each step that the note was transferred, bought or paid, is the key to understanding whether the note became a negotiable instrument, and if it did, if it retained that status as a negotiable instrument.

FROM Jan van Eck
dutchman4753@gmail.com

to foreclosurefight:

What you are missing in your attempt to analyze this is that you are trying to follow the “mortgage,” not the Note. the reason you are doing this is that only the “mortgage,” as the Security Instrument, is being recorded on the land records – so it is all you get to see.

the reason your adversaries, whoever they really are, “withdrew” from the relief from Stay Motion in the BK Court is that they do not have the Note. Somebody else does. And you have no clue as to who that is.

You have to start by determining what has happened to the Note, and how the Indorsements on the Note flow. And you have not seen the Note, not in years, so the raw truth is that you have no clue.

the “mortgage” never went into any “Trust.” Mortgages do not go into trusts. Only the Note (“maybe”) went into a trust – and only if it had proper Indorsement. Since Deutsche is involved, you can safely bet that it did not. Deutsche is NOTORIOUS for perpetrating fraud on the Courts and by fabricating documents. You may assume that EVERYTHING that Deutsche shows up with is a fraud, and has been fraudulently fabricated, typically in their offices on Liberty Street in Downtown Manhattan NY.

What is missing in your convoluted chain of title is that there was a ton of other parties involved in setting up that “Trust”, including some Delaware sham entity known as the “Depositor,” and then another sham known as the “Seller,” and more. When you burrow through that Prospectus you will find those entities listed. Now you have to dig out the Note, and find if those entities are individually and sequentially listed on the Note by consecutive Indorsements. Since Deutsche had their sticky fingers in the pie, you already know that they did not.

What State are you in? Yes, you need new counsel. You should never have gotten into this with old counsel.

You can still defeat them, but you probably will have to go file in District (Federal ) Court. You will have to sue Deutsche. Think in terms of suing them in the USDC for the Sou.Distr. NY, in White Plains, NY. Now you are not tangled up in the State-Fed politics of your local judges.

You cannot ask for Quiet title as you are asking for that in the State Court. You have to go in with entirely new grounds or they will not hear your case. So you sue them for fraud in interstate commerce. Try the “Commerce Clause” in the US Constitution (Amendment 16? I forget), to try to get “jurisdiction.” You get “venue” easily as Deutsche Bank is in NY. You do not need to show up; you just file and do your papers by mail. If yo ask for enough money, e.g. 40 million, then DB has something to start worrying about.

Right now, DB has no downside. If they lose, all they lose is some paper on some worthless piece of property in some state that is flooded with empty foreclosed houses that nobody can sell. So what do they care? DB probably does not even know or care that your lawsuit is going on; you are just dealing with lawyers that are running up their tab with DB, and DB has so many tabs that they do not try to keep track of it all. So you have to expose them to some serious hurt. A gigantic lawsuit is a good place to start.

You may assume that everything DB and those attys produce is utterly fraudulent. I have seen documents produced where the entire Trust Agreement was fabricated, and notarized by a notary who did not even get his first commission until two years after he swore that the parties were standing in front of him. Welcome to Wall Street banks – the international predator banks.

Besides Deutsche, Credit Suisse is also notorious for this type of flagrant fraud upon our Courts.