Former Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis Charged with Fraud; It’s Only a Start

Written by: Michael Shedlock

On April 24, I wrote Let the Criminal Indictments Begin: Paulson, Bernanke, Lewis.

You will be pleased to read Ex-BofA chief Lewis charged with fraud.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Thursday it was bringing civil charges against senior Bank of America (BAC) executives, including former company CEO Ken Lewis, for their role in the company’s controversial purchase of Merrill Lynch.

Cuomo’s office, which has been aggressively pursuing an investigation into the merger and subsequent bonuses paid to former Merrill employees, said it was charging Lewis and Bank of America’s former chief financial officer Joe Price with fraud.

The lawsuit contends that the bank’s management team understated the losses at Merrill in order to get shareholders to approve the deal, then subsequently overstated the firm’s willingness to terminate the merger to regulators weeks later in order to get $20 billion of additional aid from the federal government.

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Enough With The Government Cover-Ups

Edward Harrison, 01.12.10, 04:20 PM EST

What really happened to AIG and other bankrupt firms.

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It has come to light recently that American International Group withheld important information about its dealings with financial counterparties in the lead-up to its collapse and bailout by the Federal Reserve. What is most troubling about this episode is that it was officials at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York–not AIG–who seem to have orchestrated the secretive and potentially illegal activities. Moreover, the actions by the regulator were uncovered only through an investigation conducted on behalf of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Were it not for the doggedness of the committee’s ranking Republican member, Darrell Issa of California, the public would be none the wiser.

Is this what it has come to in America: Public officials making policy via cover-ups, secret deals and government coercion? It seems so. If we don’t demand a full investigation into this type of behavior and criminal prosecution where appropriate, we should expect more of the same in the future.
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REUTERS: U.S. banks to make $38 billion from overdraft fees: report

(Reuters) – Banks in the United States are poised to make $38.5 billion in customer overdraft fees this year, the Financial Times said, citing research by Moebs Services.

A large portion of the revenue is likely to come from the most financially stretched consumers, according to the paper.

It said the research showed that many banks have increased charges on overdrafts and credit cards in order to boost profits.

The median bank overdraft fee rose this year by one dollar to $26, the paper said, citing the Moebs data.

“Banks are returning to a fee-driven model and overdraft fees are the mother lode,” Mike Moebs, the company’s founder was quoted by the paper as saying.

Overdraft fees accounted for more than 75 percent of service fees charged on customer deposits, the paper cited Moebs as saying.

Last year the U.S. Federal Reserve approved credit card rules to curb “unfair” practices such as surprise fees and interest rate hikes, and new mortgage lending rules are expected this summer. It is also mulling rules to give bank customers the chance to opt out of overdraft schemes that can involve fees.

(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Greg Mahlich