ALERT:

H.R.3482 New Co-sponsors– Congressman Michael Burgess [R-TX26] and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter [D-NH1} have signed onto support H.R. 3482 – Restoring Main Street Investor Protection and Confidence Act.

If your congressional representative has not yet signed on to H.R.3482 (click here for list of current co-sponsors), please call and write your representative urging they take action and sign on. Visit www.fixsipcnow.org to submit your letter on-line and for your representative’s contact information.

S.1725 New Co-sponsors – Senator Mark Pryor [D-AR] and Senator Bill Nelson [D-FL] have signed onto support S.1725 – Restoring Main Street Investor Protection and Confidence Act.

If your Senator have not yet signed on to S.1725 (click here for the list of current co-sponsors), please call and write your Senators urging they take action and sign on.

Click here to submit your letter on-line and for your Senator’s contact information.

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ALERT:

H.R. 3482 – Restoring Main Street Investor Protection and Confidence Act
New Co-Sponsor: Representative Christopher Smith [R-NJ4]. This brings the number of co-sponsors to date to 51. If your representative is currently not co-sponsoring H.R. 3482 (click here for a list of current co-sponsors), we urge you to visit www.fixsipcnow.org to write your representative, and follow up with a call to their office.

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Bank of America to pay record $16.65 billion to settle mortgage claims

Bank of America Corp. has agreed to pay $16.65 billion to end federal and state investigations into the sale of toxic mortgage securities during the subprime housing boom, the largest settlement by a single company in U.S. history, the Justice Department said Thursday. The settlement includes $9.65 billion in fines and $7 billion in aid to communities and homeowners hit hard by the housing market crash that triggered the Great Recession. More in the LA Times here.

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DOJ reaches $17B Bank of America settlement

The Justice Department on Thursday announced that it has struck an almost $17 billion deal with Bank of America to settle government charges over toxic mortgage-backed securities sold to investors in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.
The settlement includes a record $9.65 billion fine and about $7 billion in aid for homeowners still struggling to make their mortgage payments and for potential buyers who have had trouble finding financing for new home loans. More on Politico here.

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How Madoff probe uncovered a hedge-fund scam led by ex-MIT professor

A former associate dean from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology school and his son, a Harvard Business School graduate have been caught running a hedge fund scam, say authorities looking at Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Gabriel Bitran, a professor and associate dean at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and his son, Marco, a money manager, have pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud and obstruction of justice in connection with their hedge fund businesses, by Boston prosecutors. The father and son are facing up to five years in prison. More on MarketWatch here.

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SIPC’s Brokerage Insurance Scam of Allen Stanford’s Victims — Another Reason to Close Your Brokerage Account Now!

Imagine you invest with a broker whose front doors, office plaques, coffee mugs, pencils, brochures, stationery, folders, office signage, and emails all proclaim that your investments are insured by SIPC – Wall Street’s so-called “Securities Investor Protection Corporation.” Your broker tells you the stock market is overvalued. But he has a very safe, moderate-yield investment opportunity that entails purchasing certificates of deposits. More on Forbes here.

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Former SEC Chief Walter Named FINRA Public Governor

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced Thursday that former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Elisse Walter has been elected to FINRA’s board as public governor, along with Susan Wolburgh Jenah, president and CEO of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). Also elected at FINRA’s 2014 annual meeting in Washington, which was closed to the public, were a small-firm governor, Mark Cresap, president and owner of Cresap Inc., and a large-firm governor, Gregory J. Fleming, president of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Morgan Stanley Investment Management. More on ThinkAdvisor here.

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Father, son to plead guilty in Madoff-tied scam

A former Massachusetts Institute of Technology dean and his son have agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges for running an alleged hedge fund scam that lost more than $140 million in investors’ money, according to federal prosecutors in Boston. Investigators said they discovered the scam while they unraveled Bernard Madoff’s infamous Ponzi scheme. Gabriel Bitran, 69, and his son Marco, 39, are accused of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud and obstruction of justice in connection with their GMB Capital Management and GMB Capital Partners hedge fund businesses. More in USA Today here.

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Once Powerful, Mary Jo White’s S.E.C. Is Seen as Sluggish and Ineffective

Mary Jo White took the helm of the Securities and Exchange Commission facing high hopes that she could turn around the once-proud agency. More than a year into her tenure, she has disappointed a wide swath of would-be allies. Over the last several weeks, I’ve been talking to fellow regulators, administration officials, current and former S.E.C. staff members, financial reform advocates and people on Capitol Hill whose opinions of Ms. White’s performance range from dissatisfied to infuriated. More in the New York Times here.

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Madoff Sons Ask Judge to Reject Trustee’s Bid to Revamp Suit

Lawyers for Bernard Madoff’s two sons are asking a bankruptcy judge to reject the latest bid by Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee handling the bankruptcy of Mr. Madoff’s firm, to sue the Madoff brothers over their alleged role in their father’s Ponzi scheme. Defense lawyers for Mark and Andrew Madoff in filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York blasted Mr. Picard’s latest attempt to hold the brothers accountable for their father’s misdeeds, noting the trustee “was dealt a resounding defeat” in a similar lawsuit he pursued in the U.K. “The Trustee’s apparent response to such a ringing rejection of his theories is simply to seek another bite at the apple here” in the U.S., lawyers for the Madoff brothers said Tuesday. “The bottom line is that it is simply too late for the Trustee to yet again reinvent his complaint.” More in the Wall Street Journal here.

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Check Out JPMadoff.com — The True Horror Series Starring Fraud Street and You!

Forget House of Cards, Game of Thrones, Madmen, and all the other series you can’t wait to restart. There’s a new series out that beats them all. It went live yesterday on this channel. It’s free for the viewing, well, actually for the reading. It’s as shocking and scary as anything you’ll see in The Walking Dead.
No, there no pretend zombies eating your mother-in-law. Instead, there are real-life, crooked felons eating your lunch. They star, in Season 1, the JPMorgan Chase bankers who spent two decades laundering Bernie Madoff’s money without a single one going to jail or, it seems, even losing his job. Season 2 may feature other JPMorgan bankers (all of whom are not just walking the streets, but still managing people’s money) whose financial malfeasance has produced over $28 billion in JP Morgan fines over the past four years. Seasons 3 and beyond? No one knows. But Citigroup, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs and their bankers will, no doubt, play leading roles. More on Forbes here.

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Miss. Delegation Members Call for SEC to Appeal Ponzi Scheme Ruling

WASHINGTON – Members of Mississippi’s congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and U.S. Representatives Gregg Harper, R-Miss., Alan Nunnelee, R-Miss., and Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., today called on Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Mary Jo White to appeal a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals regarding the Ponzi scheme perpetrated by R. Allen Stanford. The court found that thousands of investors who were cheated in this Ponzi scheme, including many Mississippians, are not eligible for financial compensation. More on Insurance News here.

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