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Archive for August, 2013

Federal Government Throws Its Weight at Individuals Who Dare to Defraud a Bank, Rather Than Prosecuting Bankers for Defrauding Homeowners, Investors and Courts

August 30, 2013 164 comments

The Real Housewives of New Jersey – The Fears Come Out

In the video clip above from season 5 episode 14, Joe Giudice admits in front of everyone in a therapy session at Miraval Spa in Arizona in March 2013 that he is worried about legal issues (at the time, he was dealing with identity theft charges in the state of New Jersey for allegedly obtaining a driver’s license with his brother’s ID – the federal indictment for money fraud was not handed down until July 29, 2013, four months after episode 14 was taped). Joe tells the therapist: “I just think everybody has a little fear of something, you know what I mean? I just got lawyers involved and stuff like that.”

The following is a partial transcript of another video clip (below) from season 5 episode 14, where Teresa and Joe discuss the earlier therapy session.

Teresa to Juicy: I have to say that was really big of you to say that, like, in front of everyone, what your fear was.

Teresa’s TH: It takes a man to talk about issues that they normally don’t talk about. My husband is a truthful guy, and he doesn’t deserve any of this.

Joe: Yeah, you know, it’s always there. You get up thinking about it. And, so, um, when you let that out, you’re a little relieved, you know what I mean?

Joe: It’s not like I’m a fuckin’ criminal, where I’ve been in prison, you know, a million fuckin’ times. Never killed nobody, never fuckin’ did anything, you know, to hurt anybody, so I don’t belong there and I don’t fuckin’ wanna go there.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey – Joe Doesn’t Belong in Prison

Joe Giudice is distraught at the idea of having to go to prison. Meanwhile, the banks—who have lied to homeowners, courts, investors, and bankruptcy trustees—have escaped prosecution entirely (most of the mortgage brokers have avoided jail, too).

The amount of false documents peddled by the banks in various foreclosure fraud scandals easily number in the millions, if not tens of millions. And yet no bank executive faces a maximum penalty of 180 years in prison for mortgage fraud the way the Giudices do.

Eleven leading banks illegally foreclosed on as many as 244,000 borrowers, who had either not actually defaulted on their loans, were approved for a loan modification, or were supposed to be protected by various federal laws. And in nearly all of these cases, the banks proved their standing to foreclose in court by presenting false documents, exactly what the Giudices stand accused of.

Mega-banks like JPMorgan Chase have been accused in class action lawsuits of producing false evidence in “tens of thousands” of bankruptcy proceedings. Banks have been found to systematically lie to bankruptcy courts, yet they commit these crimes with impunity.

During the Obama Administration’s two terms, a commitment to fighting mortgage fraud has mostly meant a commitment to prosecuting people who lie to banks. In the case of the Giudices, four separate agencies contributed to their indictment – the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Inspector General, the IRS, the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee and the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey. Are the resources spent on prosecuting the Giudices outsized compared to the resources spent on prosecuting bankers for defrauding homeowners, investors and courts? I don’t see how you could say no.

But no bank executive has spent a day in jail for systematic abuses which, by the way, helped sink the economy and prolong the misery of the foreclosure crisis. If banks get cited for their myriad crimes at all, they buy their way out of trouble with settlements for negligible sums.

The focus on small fry in financial fraud enforcement serves two purposes. First, it gives the Justice Department a talking point, however cockeyed, to prove their worthiness in prosecuting financial malfeasance… this sends a subtle yet chilling message that the federal government will throw its weight at anyone who dares to defraud a bank, rather than securing justice against banks that defraud customers.

A high-profile indictment like the Giudices will produce lots of headlines and send the message loud and clear that cheating banks is not tolerated in America. The federal government is telling us that the real “irresponsible” parties of the financial crisis are homeowners who lied on loan applications, not mortgage brokers who sold what were actually called “liars’ loans” and committed documented falsification of applications to fool underwriters.

Everyone has an obligation to tell the truth when standing before the courts, paying taxes and dealing with loans or mortgages…but the fact is, the federal government enforces this obligation on everyone except the largest financial institutions in America.

The following is the full article by David Dayen from which the excerpts above were taken; a video of an interview with Truman Wolfe, author of Crisis By Design: The Untold Story of the Global Financial Coup and What You Can Do About It; and an article on the effect the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 and the enactment of the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000 had on the financial industry (as well as the price of food and gas).

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Categories: Money Fraud Charges

The Teresa Giudice Legal Defense Fund

August 29, 2013 173 comments

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In December 2008, Al Manzo hosted a fund-raiser at The Brownstone to raise money for Bernie Kerik’s legal defense – Bernie was scheduled to face trial in October 2009 for federal charges of fraud but instead pleaded guilty in November 2009.

In August 2013, a month after Teresa and Joe were indicted for money fraud, Teresa considered taking the same route as Bernie by scheduling a fundraiser at the Maliblue Oyster Bar to “collect donations to support her legal defense,” but when she was called out on it by bloggers, she claimed the press release was a PR stunt to drum up business for the restaurant.

On August 28, 2013, Teresa Giudice tweeted that she would be making an appearance at the Maliblue Oyster Bar in Lido Beach, NY from 7:30 to 8:30 PM on August 29, 2013 – she misspelled the name of the restaurant in her tweet:

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Although neither Teresa’s tweet or the ad stated that the event was a fundraiser for her defense, the press release clearly stated it was for her defense fund. Plus, the name of the restaurant also was misspelled in the press release (it was misspelled in the same way as it was in Teresa’s tweet).

The following is the press release:

NEW YORK, Aug. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — A group of bartenders and staff from a legendary Long Island beach resort and catering facility are collecting donations to support the legal defense of Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice.

They strongly believe Teresa will be vindicated soon and will be collecting funds to aid her defense. They are seeking donations from compassionate fans of the reality TV star, who has four young children. The Bartenders, servers and other wait staff work at Malibu Beach Club, where Teresa is making a special appearance tomorrow night, Thursday, August 29, 2013.

Malibu Beach Club is an iconic New York area oceanfront facility where the biggest names in show business have performed over the last 50 years including Sammy Davis Jr., Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra, U2 and Pat Benatar.

The group is dedicated to helping Teresa stay out of prison and also help pay any fines or other restitution that Teresa and Joe are ordered to pay.

Teresa and her husband Joe Giudice are facing 39 counts of fraud, which could result in up to 50 years in jail. The Giudices are charged with an alleged conspiracy to defraud lenders and illegally obtain mortgages. In addition, they are also accused of hiding assets and income while declaring bankruptcy.

“I am committed to my family and intend to maintain our lives in the best way possible, which includes continuing my career. As a result, I am hopeful that we will resolve this matter with the Government as quickly as possible,” stated Teresa Giudice.

For interviews or further information please contact the Teresa Giudice Legal Defense Fund at 646-571-3131.

SOURCE Malibu Beach Club

After bloggers caught onto the story, Teresa went on Twitter on August 29, 2013 at about 4:30 PM EST to say, “I am just hearing this – what???,” and denied any involvement in raising money for her defense, claiming that staff from the restaurant, without her knowledge, released the press release. Instead, she encouraged people to support her by donating to a charity she promotes, the Nephcure Foundation (notice how she correctly spelled the restaurant name in her tweet on August 29):

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PR agent Johnny Donovan also went on Twitter shortly after Teresa, saying that her appearance was a “meet and greet to kick off Labor Day weekend” and claimed that other press about the event was “false information”:

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With the name of the restaurant being misspelled in both Teresa’s tweet and the press release, you have to wonder if she was behind it since, obviously, the restaurant knows how to spell its name, unlike Teresa’s team.

The other ad for the event on Maliblue Oyster Bar’s Facebook page shows a full line-up for the Labor Day weekend – Teresa is among several others scheduled to make an appearance at the restaurant.

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Melissa Gorga Sings Her New Single “Never Let Me Go” Live Without Autotune and Attends VMAs; Giudice’s Friends and Relatives “Cause Ruckus” on Ship Bottom Beach Over $5 Per Person Beach Fee

August 27, 2013 466 comments

Melissa Gorga’s Live Performance Without Autotune of “Never Let Me Go” on XL106.7

During her appearance on XL106.7′s morning radio show with Johnny House in Orlando, Florida on June 28, 2013, Melissa Gorga sang her new single “Never Let Me Go,” which was released on August 25, 2013.

Play the video above to watch her dance and listen to her sing without autotune, or click on the link below for the actual interview as well as her live performance (8:50 mark):

http://videobam.com/QFEkR (like all the other copies, this one has also been taken down by demand)

For some reason the radio station waited until two weeks ago to upload the video – perhaps they were trying to spare her the embarrassment. However, it is more likely that someone at the radio station wanted us to hear her real voice instead of her singing along to a backing track, where her vocals are barely heard over the autotuned recording. Before the video was uploaded, the track with her vocals must have been isolated so it could be heard over the backing track she was singing along to – thank you XL106.7 for allowing us to hear the real Melissa Gorga, without autotune!

UPDATE 1: The video uploaded to youtube.com by the radio station XL106.7 was taken down on August 28, 2013 shortly after this story was published at FW.

UPDATE 2: The copy of the video at dailymotion.com also has been removed as of 1:45 AM on August 29, 2013.

UPDATE 3: Another copy of the video at youtube was taken down around 3 PM on August 29, 2013. Melissa doesn’t want people to know how bad she sings without autotune – she even demanded it be removed from youtube by the radio station that recorded the live performance (however, she has no problem with the dubbed over version of the performance in the video below).

Another version of the video was uploaded two months ago by one of the backup dancers – the auto-tuned recording of the song is dubbed over Melissa singing live (see video below).

Melissa Gorga’s Live Performance Dubbed Over With Auto-tuned Recording

FW published a story on July 13, 2013 (link below) about Melissa’s trip to Orlando, where she also sang off key with a backing track at Red, Hot and Boom:

Melissa Sings Off Key with a Backing Track at Red, Hot and Boom in Orlando

Joe and Melissa Gorga attended MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMAs) on August 25, 2013 – Melissa boasted that Justin Timberlake’s manager, Johnny Wright, who has been managing Melissa’s music career since October 2012, gave her tickets (seat fillers), which she shared with her two sisters (what kind of parking lot favors have Melissa and her sisters promised Johnny?!).

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“Joe and I got to go to MTV’s Video Music Awards last night in Brooklyn. It was my very first time at the VMAs. The energy there is amazing and vibe is so relaxed. Fans were screaming at their favorite celebs going down the red carpet and everyone had a smile on their face! All of the performances were great, but there is no denying that Justin Timberlake blew the roof off. His performance gave me chills. He is one of the most humble and sweetest guys out there. He deserved his special award on so many levels. He was beyond amazing. God Bless him. I’ve been watching the VMAs for as long as I can remember, and to be there was more than I could have ever asked for. Thank you Johnny Wright for making it happen.” – Melissa Gorga’s Bravo blog, Melissa’s Trip to the Emergency Room, Season 5 Episode 13, August 26, 2013

Click the link below for a compilation of the ‘Real Housewives’ singing without autotune:

http://jezebel.com/heres-a-compilation-of-real-housewives-singing-witho-1434721496

Us Weekly, the magazine Bravo is using to push Melissa to the forefront, included a photo of Melissa in their coverage of the VMAs. RadarOnline (shocker!) and OK! magazine put her on their “best dressed” lists for the event.

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