Friday, June 3, 2016

The Good Crime Discount

Bank of America has been able to reduce a multi-billion dollar mortgage fraud penalty imposed by the Justice Department by giving millions of dollars to liberal groups approved by the Obama administration.

The bank has wiped about $194 million off its record $16.6 billion 2014 mortgage settlement by donating to nonprofits and legal groups. Thanks to little-known provisions in the settlement, the bank only had to make $84 million in donations to do that.

The bank wasn't exploiting any loophole. It's a key part of the deal the Justice Department offered to get it to settle in the first place. For every dollar the bank has given the nonprofits — none of which were victims of fraud themselves — it has claimed at least two dollars off the settlement. The deal ensured the Obama administration that a certain part of the settlement funds would go to friendly liberal groups, bypassing the normal congressional appropriations.

Among the groups receiving the money were Hispanic civil rights group the National Council of La Raza ($1.5 million), the National Urban League ($1.1 million) and the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America ($750,000).
It's too late do anything about this in this administration. But it should be one of the things that Republicans add to their agenda should they win the White House. I can imagine all the NGOs, as well as democratic business moguls caught in violation of the laws governing their behavior by a Republican DOJ being force to pay some of their ill gotten boodle to the NRA, the Federalist Society, and Heritage Foundation. It would only take minutes for the media to write hundred of outraged editorials, and urging a ban on the practice.

In the meantime, remember: The Justice Department is resisting a judge’s order to provide ethics training for its lawyers
The Justice Department is resisting a judge’s order to provide ethics training for its lawyers and is objecting to turning over to the court the names of illegal aliens who were granted what amounts to administrative amnesty (“deferrals”) in stark violation of an injunction issued by the court.

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