If there is a knock on your door and you are not in the U.S. illegally, it may be the Feds to ask you a few questions about any dubious real estate transactions you may have been involved in between 2004 and 2007. In March “Operation Malicious Mortgage” produced 144 cases nationwide with approximately 400 individuals charged, including real estate developers, brokers, agents, appraisers, lenders, lawyers and so-called straw buyers. Also, 19 companies, including mortgage lenders, investment banks, hedge funds, credit-rating firms are being investigated. Three types of crimes are targeted: lending fraud, foreclosure rescue fraud and mortgage related schemes. The two party guys over at the now defunct Bear Stearns, known for their Vodka toasts when they knew the 1.8 billion dollars in funds were evaporating, are celebrating their first 24 hours after being arrested for various types of fraud. J. P. Morgan Chase bought the 80 year old firm for pennies on the dollar, with a little nudging from the Fed in May. Money Magazine voted Bear Stearns “The Most Admired Securities Firm” in 2005. They were admired for their “quality of management and business innovations”. The two funds the party guys managed were directly tied to the subprime market and affected various retirement and mutual funds from us, everyday people. Maybe they should have tried tequila.
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