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Jun 5, 2015

Fraud convictions upheld for officials of failed Virginia bank

NEW YORK, June 5 (Reuters) – A U.S. federal appeals court
has upheld the convictions of three former officers of
Virginia’s failed Bank of the Commonwealth, saying there was
ample evidence to support a jury verdict that the men committed
a massive bank fraud.

One of hundreds of banks to collapse in the wake of the
2007-2008 housing crisis, Bank of the Commonwealth cost the U.S.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp about $268 million when it
failed, prosecutors said.

May 29, 2015

U.S. judge tosses racketeering lawsuit over Ocwen home inspections

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal judge has dismissed a class action lawsuit accusing Ocwen Financial Corp of fraudulently billing hundreds of thousands of homeowners for needless property inspections, saying the case amounts to no more than a breach of contract claim.

The order by U.S. District Judge Otis Wright in Los Angeles on Thursday ends one of several lawsuits across the country accusing mortgage servicers of charging excessive fees after homeowners miss mortgage payments, pushing them further into debt.

May 15, 2015

Judge tosses L.A’s mortgage discrimination suit against BofA

By Dena Aubin

(Reuters) – A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit by the city of Los Angeles accusing Bank of America of discriminatory mortgage lending, ruling that the municipality had offered no evidence that it was harmed by the bank.

In a ruling made public on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson said Los Angeles lacked standing to sue under the U.S. Fair Housing Act, which requires proof of a “concrete injury.”

Apr 16, 2015

U.S. judge finds Wells Fargo breached 2010 mortgage settlement

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wells Fargo Bank breached a nationwide 2010 legal settlement involving adjustable-payment mortgages, a federal judge ruled, finding that the bank did not properly evaluate homeowners who applied for help to avoid foreclosures.

In an order on Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg in northern California told Wells to meet with plaintiffs and find a way to remedy its violations, including steps to let some homeowners reapply for loan assistance.

Apr 1, 2015

U.S. board may delay sweeping accounting rule change for revenue

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The board that sets accounting rules for U.S. public companies proposed on Wednesday a one-year delay in sweeping new rules that would change the way companies recognize revenue, one of the most important numbers in corporate financial statements.

The revised timeline from the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) calls for the rules to take effect for public companies starting in 2018 and for nonpublic companies in 2019.

Apr 1, 2015

Advanced Micro Devices must face securities fraud lawsuit-ruling

NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) – U.S. chipmaker Advanced Micro
Devices must face claims that it committed securities
fraud by hiding problems with the 2011 launch of a new computer
processor that eventually led to a $100 million writedown, a
federal judge in Oakland, California, ruled.

In an order on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzales
Rogers said plaintiffs have supported their claims that Advanced
Micro officials misled them by stating in the spring of 2011
that problems with the new processor were in the past.

Mar 23, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court rejects singer Rundgren’s Chase suit appeal

By Dena Aubin

(Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to revive a lawsuit by singer-songwriter Todd Rundgren and his wife Michele accusing JPMorgan Chase of wrongfully attempting to foreclose on the couple’s Kilauea, Hawaii home.

The court’s rejection of the couple’s appeal lets stand a lower court’s dismissal of their claims for damages and an order to stop a foreclosure sale.

Mar 3, 2015

U.S. SEC seeks maximum penalties against BankAtlantic, CEO

NEW YORK, March 3 (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission has asked a court to impose a $5.2 million
penalty against BankAtlantic Bancorp, a Florida lender found
liable by a jury last year for defrauding investors at the start
of the U.S. financial crisis.

In a court filing on Monday, lawyers for the SEC also asked
for a $1.56 million penalty against Alan Levan, the chief
executive of BankAtlantic Bancorp, now known as BBX Capital Corp
. Both penalties would be the maximum provided under
securities laws.

Mar 2, 2015

IRS says U.S. corporate tax audits down sharply after budget cuts

NEW YORK, March 2 (Reuters) – Federal tax audits for U.S.
businesses were down 6 percent in the last fiscal year, ended on
Sept. 30, falling to their lowest level in eight years as the
Internal Revenue Service faced budget cutbacks and a decline in
enforcement staff, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a
statement on Monday.

The IRS examined just 57,211 business returns last year,
down from 61,020 in 2013 and 70,265 in 2012, according to data
released by the agency.

Feb 17, 2015

U.S. companies can avoid slow torture of Venezuela devaluations by taking one big hit

NEW YORK (Reuters) – American companies tired of seeing their earnings badly hurt by Venezuela’s crumbling bolivar currency system, can – with the stroke of a pen – get rid of much of the problem.

But it means writing down the value of their Venezuelan businesses to nothing or next to nothing. And that can come with a big one-time charge.