U.S. Sues Wells Fargo: Yet Another Bailed-Out Bank Accused of Fraud | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone
Wells Fargo is being sued by the State for vast fraud in the mortgage markets. The U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, yesterday brought a case against WF seeking "hundreds of millions of dollars" in damages for what it says is a decade of fraudulent behavior, in which WF wrongfully certified more than 100,000 mortgages as being eligible for federal mortgage insurance. Basically, Wells Fargo screwed the FHA and HUD by mass-approving loans without regard for whether they were defective or not. From the L.A. Times:
When Wells Fargo discovered problems with the loans, it failed to notify HUD, which administers the FHA program, as required, the suit said. The action alleges more than 10 years of misconduct.
"The extremely poor quality of Wells Fargo's loans was a function of management's nearly singular focus on increasing the volume of FHA originations – and the bank's profits – rather than on the quality of the loans being originated," Bharara's office said in a statement.
The action by the U.S. Attorney here in New York comes on the heels of another suit against Chase brought last week by Eric Schneiderman in Obama's Mortgage Fraud Task Force. That action alleges similar mortgage-related scumbaggery by Bear Stearns, which Chase acquired in another government-brokered, market-concentrating shotgun wedding in early 2008.
So in just a week, we've seen two pretty big actions brought against the Coke and the Pepsi of the American commercial banking world. We'll see how they pan out, but it's interesting, if nothing else.