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FIRREA

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to FIRREA, or the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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Catch of the Week: In hot water again, now for fleecing customers in foreign currency transactions, Wells Fargo pays $72m in fines and restitution

Posted  09/29/21
Wells Fargo Bank Banners on Side of Building
Earlier this week, the Department of Justice settled an important case in which Wells Fargo Bank agreed to pay over $70 million in penalties and restitution to defrauded bank customers. Wells Fargo admitted that it defrauded 771 customers, mostly small businesses, who used the bank’s foreign exchange services when they needed to send money overseas or receive money from abroad. Rather than charging standard fees for...

Catch of the Week – Sour Grapes: Fruit-Broker Squashed for Role in Defrauding Federal Crop Insurance

Posted  08/13/21
Grapes
The manager of a California fruit broker learned the hard way that it doesn’t pay to assist in defrauding the Federal Crop Insurance Program.  The manager, at the behest of a grape farmer who sold crops through the broker, altered the farmer’s records to reflect lower-than-actual sales.  The falsified records assisted the farmer to claim crop-losses falsely and receive insurance-reimbursements funded by the...

August 9, 2021

Ralph Hackett, a fruit broker in California’s Central Valley, will pay $1.255 million to resolve criminal charges and civil claims arising from his role in a crop insurance fraud scheme.  In a guilty plea, Hackett acknowledged that he authorized alterations to business records and misstatements to underreport the table grapes sold by another individual, so that the individual could submit fraudulent crop insurance claims between 2012 and 2015.  Hackett agreed to pay criminal restitution of $650,000 and a civil penalty of $605,000; his prison sentence is yet to be determined.  USAO ED Cal

As COVID-19 Stimulus Funds Flow, DOJ Puts Fraudsters on Notice and Calls Whistleblowers “Essential”

Posted  04/2/21
On March 11th, President Biden signed The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), a sweeping economic stimulus plan that will pump $1.9 trillion into the US economy. In addition to direct relief to Americans, ARPA includes record-setting government spending in numerous areas to speed recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing recession. As we have previously written,...

Eastern District of CA Announces First Civil Settlement Related to CARES Act Fraud

Posted  01/22/21
typing of word bankruptcy on typewriter
The Eastern District of California announced the very first civil settlement to resolve allegations of fraud against the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program. The agreement was entered into with SlideBelts, Inc., and its President, CFO and CEO, Brigham Taylor, for falsely certifying on its PPP applications to three financial institutions that they were not in bankruptcy when, in fact, they had been in the bankruptcy...

Top Ten Federal Financial Fraud Recoveries of 2020

Posted  01/14/21
man pocketing cash in suit
The U.S. government has many enforcement options for financial and investment fraud, including those that provide for whistleblower rewards such as the SEC Whistleblower Program, the CFTC Whistleblower Program, and the IRS Whistleblower Program.  These programs, along with a new one under the Anti-Money-Laundering Act of 2020, are open for business and promise to pay millions of dollars in whistleblower awards in...

January 6, 2021

Utah-based smart home monitoring service provider Vivint Smart Home Inc. has agreed to pay $3.2 million to resolve allegations of making false and misleading statements to federally funded institutions, in violation of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA).  In order to sell Vivant products, certain door-to-door sales representatives allegedly used their own funds to cover initial payments for customers who needed financing from federally funded institutions, while representing to those institutions that the borrowers themselves had made the payments.  The fraudulent conduct, which occurred between 2017 and 2020, was eventually revealed by a declarant, who will be eligible for an award under the Financial Institutions Anti-Fraud Enforcement Act.  DOJ; USAO UT

Catch of the Week: Guild Mortgage

Posted  10/30/20
stack of mortgage papers with gavel and money
We’re in the midst of a recession, 13 million Americans are out of work, GDP growth is slowing, and stock market volatility is approaching record-breaking levels. This recession is largely driven by the emergence of a mostly natural and random phenomenon, COVD-19, though there is plenty of blame to go around in how humans have reacted to the spread of the virus. This week’s catch of the week, however, harkens back...

April 29, 2020

Lender Guaranteed Rate, Inc. will pay $15.1 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly failed to adhere to material program requirements in originating and underwriting mortgages insured by FHA or guaranteed by the VA, resulting in mortgages that did not meet credit and underwriting requirements for the government-sponsored guarantees and insurance.  The case was initiated by a whistleblower complaint filed under the False Claims Act by an unnamed former Guaranteed Rate employee, who will receive $2.4 million of the settlement proceeds.  The settlement also resolved claims under FIRREA.  DOJ; USAO NDNY

Catch of the Week: Wells Fargo Pays $3 Billion, and another $35 Million, in Latest in Long Line of Government Enforcement Actions against the Bank

Posted  02/28/20
wells-fargo-bank
On February 21, 2020 the Department of Justice announced that Wells Fargo & Co. agreed to pay $3 billion to resolve civil and criminal allegations that Wells Fargo’s “cross-selling” practices led to millions of accounts being opened for customers under false pretenses and without consent. These practices allegedly led to Wells Fargo collecting millions of dollars in fees. Less than one week later, two of...
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