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Jul 30, 2014

Bank of America ordered to pay $1.27 billion for ‘Hustle’ fraud

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Bank of America Corp to pay a $1.27 billion (£750.75 million) penalty for fraud over shoddy mortgages sold by the former Countrywide Financial Corp.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan ruled after a jury last October found the second-largest U.S. bank liable for the sale by Countrywide of defective loans to government-controlled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Jul 30, 2014

Bank of America ordered to pay $1.27 bln for Countrywide fraud

NEW YORK, July 30 (Reuters) – A federal judge on Wednesday
ordered Bank of America Corp to pay $1.27 billion of
damages after a federal jury found the second-largest U.S. bank
liable for fraud over defective mortgages sold by its
Countrywide unit.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan ruled nine
months after jurors found Bank of America and former Countrywide
executive Rebecca Mairone liable for defrauding
government-controlled mortgage companies Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac through the sale of shoddy loans by
the former Countrywide Financial Inc in 2007 and 2008.

Jul 30, 2014

U.S. charges SK Madison commodity pool executives with fraud

NEW YORK, July 30 (Reuters) – Two principals of now-defunct
SK Madison Commodities LLC have been criminally charged with
fraudulently soliciting more than $1.3 million from investors
for their Manhattan-based commodities pool, and pocketing
$700,000 for themselves.

Former President Michael James Seward, 35, of Largo,
Florida, was charged with commodities fraud, securities fraud,
wire fraud and conspiracy. His business partner Yan Kaziyev, 36,
of Jamaica, New York, pleaded guilty last month to the same
charges and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Jul 29, 2014

U.S. charges Canadian antiques dealer with smuggling wildlife

NEW YORK (Reuters) – An antiques dealer in British Columbia was indicted by a U.S. grand jury on Tuesday for smuggling into Canada more than $500,000 of wildlife items, including rhinoceros horns and sculptures made from elephant ivory and coral, U.S. prosecutors said.

Xiao Ju “Tony” Guan, 39, was accused of buying the goods through a Manhattan-based online auction house, and with the help of others smuggling them out of the United States.

Jul 29, 2014

BP, Shell, Morgan Stanley seek end of oil price-fixing lawsuit

NEW YORK (Reuters) – BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Morgan Stanley and other companies urged a U.S. judge to dismiss nationwide litigation claiming they conspired for 12 years to fix prices of Brent crude oil, a benchmark for the cost of gasoline and heating oil.

In papers filed on Monday night in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the defendants said there was no evidence they colluded to manipulate spot prices or intended to do so, in violation of U.S. commodity and antitrust laws.

Jul 28, 2014

Smith & Wesson settles SEC bribery case over firearms sales

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – Smith & Wesson Holding Corp has agreed to pay $2.03 million to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges its employees and representatives bribed foreign officials to supply firearms to military and law enforcement departments overseas.

The SEC said on Monday that sales staff at the Springfield, Massachusetts-based company engaged in a “pervasive” effort to win contracts from 2007 to 2010 by authorizing or making illegal payments or providing gifts to government officials in Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Jul 25, 2014

Chubby Checker, HP settle lawsuit over penis-measuring app

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – The singer Chubby Checker has settled a lawsuit in which he accused Hewlett-Packard Co of using his trademarked name without permission on a software app that purported to measure the size of a man’s penis.

HP denied liability in agreeing to settle with Checker, whose given name is Ernest Evans, but agreed not to make future use of his stage name, likeness or related trademarks.

Jul 24, 2014

U.S. judge declines to void ex-Sentinel CEO’s fraud conviction

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – A Chicago federal judge has refused to overturn the conviction of Eric Bloom, the former chief executive of money management firm Sentinel Management Group Inc, for defrauding customers out of more than $500 million.

Rejecting Bloom’s request for an acquittal or a new trial, U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzmán said the jury “clearly” had enough evidence to find that Bloom intended to cheat customers.

Jul 24, 2014

U.S. judge won’t void five ex-Madoff employees’ convictions

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The federal judge who oversaw the trial of five associates of imprisoned swindler Bernard Madoff on Thursday refused to overturn their convictions for helping their former boss run one of the world’s biggest Ponzi schemes.

U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain found sufficient evidence for jurors on March 24 to have convicted back-office director Daniel Bonventre, portfolio managers Annette Bongiorno and Joann Crupi and computer programmers Jerome O’Hara and George Perez after the five-month trial.

Jul 24, 2014

Chiquita wins dismissal of U.S. lawsuits over Colombian abuses

July 24 (Reuters) – Chiquita Brands International Inc
has won the dismissal of U.S. lawsuits by more than
4,000 Colombians who sought to hold the produce company liable
for the deaths of relatives killed in their country’s bloody
civil war.

By a 2-1 vote, a panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals in Miami said on Thursday that U.S. courts lack power to
review the claims because all relevant conduct took place
outside the country and Chiquita’s mere presence in the United
States did not confer jurisdiction.

    • About Jonathan

      "I cover legal and regulatory matters, and am based in New York. I have covered banking, finance, Warren Buffett and corporate bonds."
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