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‘Foreclosure mill’ gave employees jewelry, cars, houses to forge documents: testimony

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According to sworn statements released by the Florida Attorney General’s office, one of the state’s “foreclosure mills” bribed employees with jewelry, cars and houses to forge and alter documents required by courts conducting foreclosure proceedings.

Kelly Scott and Mary Cordova, two former employees of Florida attorney David J. Stern, were close to the process. Both described to investigators a secretive system designed to speed up foreclosures, and their testimonies seem to match up with claims made by Tammie Lou Kapusta, another former Stern employee.

Their statements were published online Monday afternoon.

“The two former Sterns employees described long tables where employees would sign as a witness and notarize documents without actually witnessing the signing,” reporter Shannon Behnken noted, writing for Tampa Bay Online. “Twice a day, Scott said, the company’s chief operating officer, Cheryl Samons, would go into the office and sign 500 documents at a time without reading them.”

Their revelations come on the heels of a recent controversy over so-called “robo-signers” who were employed by finance firms as “mortgage experts,” when their real capacity was to move as much paper as possible with little regard for the facts. The alleged “mortgage experts” were employed by firms like Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs.

In the wake of the controversy, major lenders like Bank of America and Chase froze some foreclosures to review their paperwork. Bank of America said Monday it would resume foreclosures later this week.

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The Obama administration has resisted calls for a national moratorium on foreclosures, with spokesman Robert Gibbs warning of the “unintended consequences” of such an action.

While many House Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), have called for a congressional investigation into foreclosure fraud, Congress is widely expected to pass legislation retroactively forgiving the mortgage industry for its abuses.

Attorneys general in all 50 states have launched probes into foreclosure practices.

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CNN analyst demolishes White House’s latest attempt to stonewall Congress: ‘There is no provision for this immunity’

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Ahead of former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks being called to Congress to testify about former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation — during which she was, by all accounts, less than helpful — the Trump administration took the unprecedented step of advising Congress that Hicks was given "immunity" from talking to them by the president.

On CNN's "The Situation Room," national security analyst Shawn Turner demolished this legal strategy.

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John Bolton just got put in his place: report

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National Security Adviser John Bolton has wanted a war with Iran since long before many Americans were even born. But according to The Daily Beast, he might be losing the internal battle to go to war.

After the Pentagon announced that they had "evidence" that Iran attacked an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman, political analysts began to speculate it would be used as a justification for war with Iran. But apparently, Trump realized the Middle East saber-rattling doesn't play well in Middle America.

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Illinois cops arrest man for being hospitalized while black

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On Monday, Freeport, Illinois resident Shaquille Dukes was arrested outside of FHN Memorial Hospital with an IV attached to his arm.

The reason? A security guard accused him of "trying to leave the hospital to sell the IV equipment on eBay."

Dukes, who is African-American, has filed a racial profiling complaint with the city, insisting that this would never have happened to a white hospital patient. "I'm not just going to sit here and be complacent about what I know is an illegality," he told the Journal Standard.

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