Toothless tiger

Voice of the People by James J. DevineGlen W. Albanese, 43, of Manalapan, New Jersey, pleaded guilty November 21, 2013 before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan to an information charging him with conspiring to steal $1 million from Needham & Co. and a year later, he was sentenced to 33 months in prison.

Two of his conspirators, Vincent Sarubbi, 44, of Manalapan, and Eric Siegel, 39, of New York, were respectively sentenced to serve eight months and 14 months of home confinement.

These convictions resulted from President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, and were hailed as the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat financial crimes with more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and state and local partners.

They also represent the greatest failure to pursue justice in the history of law enforcement.

Bid rigging and fraudulent schemes could land 10 individuals and two companies who have pleaded guilty in Alabama with maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for illegal profits at the expense of financial institutions and struggling homeowners.

An owner of two community mental health centers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was sentenced to 90 months in prison and ordered to pay $43.5 million for a $258.5 million Medicare fraud scheme involving partial hospitalization psychiatric (PHP) services, a net profit of $28 million per year in jail after charging patients at three mental health centers for psychotherapy treatment they did not receive.

Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants, including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants.

None of those charges were lodged against the genuine perpetrators of actions that led to the global economic meltdown that jeopardized the entire world financial system.

The banks once labeled ‘too big to fail’ have grown larger.

The Federal Reserve Banks that construbuted to the financial scandal have yet to be audited.

President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force has busied law enforcement and prspecutors with minor league crimes while the worst financial criminals remain unscathed.

Many of the most reckless financial practices that led to the Great Rescession were never illegal. They were morally wrong and repugnant, but owing to the massive corrupt influence of money in politics, laws wee written to make it perfectly okay for brokers to mislead and rob their clients and customers.

No crime occurred when mortgage dealers put middle class families on a course for diaster with home loans they simply could not afford. Homeowners were put onto the streets without the life savings they worked to accumulate over decades, but those who profitted were insulated by legal protections.

The cumulative value of lost equity and stollen money was about was nearly $22 trillion by some estimates.

President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force has zeroed in on crooks who flim-flammed millions, at most.

When Lehman Bros fell due to reckless lending, excessive risk and a lack of transparency that froze the financial system it almost caused the world economy collapse.

None of those conditions have been alleviated in today’s high-rolling financial system.

Another global financial crisis is immenent because financial reform didn’t work, banks today are bigger than ever, and they continue to trade in derivatives with unknown risks on a larger scale than before the crash.

JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon lost $6 billion on irresponsible trading, then got a pay hike.

The world’s biggest banks manipulating the the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) benchmark interest rate and ripped off consumers of mortgages, student loans, derivatives, and other financial products.

UBS helped 20,000 U.S. taxpayers hide about $20 billion in assets from the IRS.

Merrill Lynch understated its risky mortgage holdings by hundreds of billions of dollars.

Public comments made by Angelo R. Mozilo, the chief executive of Countrywide Financial, praising his mortgage company’s practices were at odds with derisive statements he made privately in e-mails as he sold shares; the stock subsequently fell sharply as the company’s losses became known.

Executives at Lehman Brothers assured investors in the summer of 2008 that the company’s financial position was sound, even though they appeared to have counted as assets certain holdings pledged by Lehman to other companies, according to a person briefed on that case.

At Bear Stearns, the first major Wall Street player to collapse, a private litigant says evidence shows that the firm’s executives may have pocketed revenues that should have gone to investors to offset losses when complex mortgage securities soured.

Justice Department has decided not to pursue some of these matters and Obama signed legislation recently approved by Congress that weakened reforms intended to prevent another financial crash.

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