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OCC Settlement Checks Look Like a Scam... and Bounce

In a not-so-shocking turn of events, the previously botched OCC foreclosure fraud settlement has reached a new level of absurdity. As reported in the blogosphere, OCC Independent Foreclosure Review checks, sent by a paying agent of the name Rust Consulting, are being rejected by banks due to insufficient funds. To make matters worse, Rust Consulting is sending the checks out in scammy-looking envelopes, which bear a striking resemblance to a debt collection letter or bulk spam mail, have a lo...

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NASA Whistleblowers Report Data Exfiltration to China

According to a Federal News Radio article entitled FBI investigating NASA whistleblower reports of Chinese data breach, Congressman Frank Wolf informed the FBI that NASA whistleblowers “approached him, claiming that higher-ups had authorized the hiring of a contractor employee connected with an organization within China that federal agencies already had red-flagged as a potential national security threat.” Congressman Wolf stated that the subject contract employee was a Chinese national ...

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New Leak: Bank of America Spies on Political Opponents

In a report that surfaced today, members of the Anonymous collective report to have obtained information regarding surveillance efforts by Bank of America against activists. Sources report that activists of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Anonymous collective, and other private citizens were targeted by efforts of Bank of America and at least one other IT contractor by the name of TEKSystems. One of the most interesting details of this story is that no servers were hacked to obtain this ...

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OCC & FDIC Surrender Administration of Foreclosure-Fraud Settlement to Offenders

Recently leaked information indicating that a replacement to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) “Independent Foreclosure Review” has now been confirmed by the OCC and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). As the Huffington Post noted, there is clearly no longer a need for concern over the independence of the review, because it is now being managed by the very same entities who were supposed to be punished by the settlement. Lenders and servicers will now...

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On the Heels of the OCC’s Failed Foreclosure Review, Banks Close to $10B Settlement with Regulators

As the December 31, 2012 deadline for submission of foreclosure review claims under the OCC program has passed, more and more people are seeing the consultant-driven audit as “a ruse and a waste of time and money,” just as described by the former chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Sheila Bair. According to sources at the NY Times, the OCC review has already cost banks $1.5 billion, and yet aggrieved homeowners have yet to see any meaningful recovery under thi...

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Publix Leadership Ignore Farmworker Exploitation

  The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is a grassroots, workers’ rights organization that has been nationally recognized for its campaigns to combat exploitation and modern-day slavery of migrant farmworkers. Migrant farmworkers never received the basic rights secured by the long struggle of the labor movement, such as the right to a reasonable minimum wage or the right to organize and to bargain collectively. With limited legal recourse, the CIW resorted to direct action, including ...

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False Claims Act Cases Yield Record 2012 Profits

The federal government recovered nearly $5 billion from False Claims Act cases in 2012 according to a recent press release by the Department of Justice. “The False Claims Act is the government’s primary civil remedy to redress false claims for federal money or property, such as Medicare benefits, federal subsidies and loans and payments under contracts for goods and services, including military contracts.” The Act also encourages whistleblowers to speak out by promising them up to 30 pe...

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The Human Cost of Walmart Prices: Garment Workers Killed in Fire of Walmart-Supplying Factory

On November 24, 2012, a factory fire claimed the lives of over 112 Bangladeshi garment workers that produced garments for Walmart and other top retailers. Many trapped garment workers jumped to their deaths after encountering locked doors in the eight-story factory building, which lacked emergency exits or fire escapes. Within days, Walmart disavowed responsibility by claiming its supplier subcontracted with the factory without its knowledge and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh blamed sabot...

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HUD Announces Emergency Foreclosure Protection for Storm Victims

Shaun Donovan, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary, announced today that HUD is rapidly responding to the needs of the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The disaster aid referred to is primarily directed at homeowners and low-income renters forcibly displaced from their homes by the storm. President Obama has so far declared seven New York counties, including Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Richmond, Suffolk, and Queens, to be disaster areas covered by these aid programs. Here are some...

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National Whistleblowers Center Endorses Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act

Today, the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) endorsed the Senate version (S.753) of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act following the Senate’s removal of a provision that “would have given the Administrative Judges of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) the power to summarily dismiss whistleblower cases without a hearing.” According to Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, NWC Director and No FEAR Coalition President, “The MSPB has a long history of victimizing federal employe...

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