AUGUST 28, 2014
The Department of Justice (DOJ) keeps giving radical leftist groups that support President Obama huge amounts of cash collected from big banks to settle discrimination and mortgage abuse lawsuits filed by the government.
Judicial Watch first reported the scheme two years ago when Countrywide Financial Corporation doled out $335 million to settle its discrimination lawsuit with the feds. The money was supposed to be distributed to more than 200,000 minority victims who supposedly were charged higher interest rates and fees than white borrowers based on their race not their credit. Instead, a chunk of the money went to Democrat-tied groups not connected to the lawsuit, including the scandal-plagued Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and the open-borders National Council of La Raza (NCLR).
Now many of the same groups will get more money from a record $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America. It’s a “historic resolution,” according to Attorney General Eric Holder, and the money will help make amends to borrowers and communities that were negatively affected by the bank’s conduct. Besides settling civil penalties at the state and federal level, the billions will bring relief to struggling homeowners and communities by, among other things, offering new loans and providing financing for affordable rental housing. Delinquent borrowers in Democrat strongholds like Chicago, Oakland and Detroit will also benefit from debt forgiveness.
Leftover funds will go to politically-connected community groups—like the NCLR, Operation Hope and National Community Reinvestment Coalition—that intimidate banks into qualifying more minorities for home loans, even if they really can’t afford it. This part of the deal is conveniently buried in an annex to the 37-page DOJ agreement, but a publication dedicated to covering business, finance and economics draws attention to it in a scathing editorial that refers to the arrangement as extortion.
“In effect, the government has ordered the nation’s largest bank to create a massive slush fund for Democrat special interests,” states the editorial which reveals that radical Democrat activist groups stand to collect millions from Holder’s record deal with Bank of America. “The recession has dried up funding for such groups. But Holder’s massive bank shakedown could rebuild their war chests in a hurry.” The piece also points out that Holder has brokered other similar deals that will provide more back-door funding for the Democrat groups. They include a $13 billion agreement with JPMorgan Chase and a $7 billion deal with Citibank.
Judicial Watch has investigated these controversial arrangements of funneling big portions of cash settlements from civil rights lawsuits to organizations not officially connected to the cases. In fact, back in 2010 JW sued the DOJ to obtain information about the outrageous policy. In response to our lawsuit the DOJ was forced to acknowledge that it has no official guidelines regarding “qualified organizations” that get leftover settlement funds and that it doesn’t monitor how the money is used.
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