Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How to buy a judge, II

Class action lawyers were suing Countrywide Financial for charging excessive fees. Countrywide's chief executive Angelo Mozilo know he had to take action. He found a way to pay off the judge, Richard Aldrich, according to an article in Conde Nast Portfolio, That article explains how it is done:
In January 2004, Richard Aldrich, a California state appeals court judge, decided to refinance his 8,200-square-foot house next to a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course at the Sherwood Country Club in Westlake Village. He turned to a prominent Sherwood member: Countrywide Financial chief executive Angelo Mozilo.

Aldrich’s application was assigned to a loan officer named Robert Feinberg; the judge was seeking a $1 million loan and a $900,000 line of credit. By email, Feinberg alerted Mozilo that the credit line was “above what guidelines allow.” Mozilo responded, “Go ahead and approve the loan, and close it as soon as possible. Don’t worry about this deal, it’s golden.” Countrywide further waived half a point, or $5,000 on the million-dollar loan. (Homebuyers can reduce their interest rates by paying points, which are equal to 1 percent of the value of a loan.)

That wasn’t Aldrich’s only contact with Countrywide. At the time he refinanced, a class action lawsuit against Countrywide was pending before the appellate court, brought by borrowers contending that the company offered an inadequate payment to settle allegations that it charged excessive fees for credit reports. That August, Aldrich was part of a three-judge panel that unanimously rejected the borrowers’ appeal.
You can also use this same approach to buy regulators or even senators. Countrywide also provided discounts to Sen. Dodd (D-CT), who, conveniently is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Judicial Watch writes that Sen. Obama similarly received 6-figure windfall:
It appears that due to his position as a United States Senator, Barack Obama [D-IL] received improper special treatment from Northern Trust resulting in an illicit 'gift' which has a value of almost $125,000 in interest savings.
We have the best government that money buy. So plan ahead, pick the right officials, and compensate them generously.

PREVIOUSLY in this series, a different way to buy a judge was explained here. Also, how to buy a congressman was explained here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow... Not very honorable.

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