… been forced to disgorge all of the funds that were improperly garnered from the bribery and other chicanery in Jefferson County Alabama?
Jefferson County, Ala., officials are huddling with state legislators to discuss how the county, home to Birmingham, Alabama’s largest city, can avoid having to file for the largest municipal bankruptcy in history after losing a significant source of tax revenue.
The county, which has said its expenses will exceed its income in July, has been battling bankruptcy for about three years, thanks to $3.2 billion in debt resulting from a series of corrupt and disastrous decisions in financing a sewer-improvement project. Several former officials have been convicted of bribery and fraud in connection with the sewer financing.
Right. Now who was involved in all that garbage?
Some of our biggest financial institutions. And while it is true that a number of former officials were convicted of bribery and fraud the financial institutions involved got to keep the loot.
In the general sense the fruit of a poison tree isn’t yours to keep. If I gain a million dollars as a consequence of you selling crack on the corner, and you get caught, the money is confiscated as fruits of a poison enterprise. Right or wrong this is what happens to everyone except for these major financial institutions.
Ditto when banks got caught money laundering for Mexican drug gangs. Anyone else would have had the entirety of that which was laundered confiscated. These banks? Nope – just a fine.
Jefferson County and its residents should not be the ones who suffer from this series of acts. The financial institutions that collected these fees and wrote these contracts should be forced to disgorge all of it – not just their “profits”, but every dime involved in the fraud. That’s the standard that is employed against everyone else who participates in an illegal act like this, and there’s no reason to hold our large financial institutions to less of a standard.