I want to thank a regular reader for prompting me to tune into 60 Minutes last evening. Watching CBS’s Scott Pelley evidence how Wall Street banks knowingly and fraudulently engaged in forging mortgage documents made me cringe and vomit as I thought of just how low these financial institutions have sunk in terms of corporate integrity.
As state attorneys general prepare to pursue these Wall Street banks for the activity of forging these documents, I would raise the question whether this coordinated forging activity rose to the level of racketeering. Did these Wall Street banks violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act? Let’s navigate.
Before I delve into the questions surrounding the potential violation of the RICO Act, I STRONGLY encourage you to take the 5 minutes to review this summary video of the 60 Minutes’ piece last evening.
For the overachievers in the crowd who care to watch the entire outstanding 14 minute piece, I am happy to provide the link here.
I have long believed that a significant segment of the mortgage origination, securitization, and now foreclosure process was knowingly and actively engaged in a concerted fraud. The fraud encompassed not only those issuing and securitizing the mortgages but also those taking out the mortgages. While regulators and legal authorities have shown little willingness to pursue the obvious fraudulent activity, the blatant fraud involved in the forging of foreclosure documents is the ultimate insult to the indescribable injury.
I ask the following very simple question. Did this activity violate the RICO Act? In what manner might the the RICO Act have been violated? Try the following on for size:
1. Mail and wire fraud.
2. Extortionate credit transactions.
3. Obstruction of justice.
4. Interference of commerce.
5. Laundering of monetary instruments.
6. Monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activities.
7. Relating to trafficking in goods and services bearing counterfeit marks.
8. Fraud in the sale of securities.
I am no lawyer but I am not so sure you need to be in order to connect the dots involved in this ongoing housing nightmare. On behalf of every citizen and taxpayer in our nation, I call upon each and every attorney general in our nation to ask the question at the head of this commentary.
For those who truly love capitalism and the never ending pursuit of truth, transparency, and integrity our nation deserves nothing less than a full and total exposition of the obvious fraud involved in this entire mortgage travesty.
Who amongst our attorneys general have got the balls and the character to raise the question as to whether Wall Street did violate the Racketeering Act?
Thank you again to the reader who prompted me regarding last evening’s episode of 60 Minutes.
Larry Doyle, Business Insider