By Sydney Sullivan
Every day I hear more stories about alleged corruption in the courts, not only when it comes to foreclosures, but also bankruptcy – especially when families are trying to protect their homes. It is more than obvious that the system is flawed.
Judges are not necessarily adept, specifically educated or predisposed to this new form of securitization…these quasi-securities called NTMs (nontraditional mortgages). Nor are they willing to risk their investment portfolios and mutual funds to protect the average citizens in America.
Add the “rat pack” mentality to the judicial mix and you have a recipe for judicial corruption that apparently abounds across the United States from Maine to Hawaii. Watch any of the BBC law-related programs and the same theme applies abroad. We are unfortunately in an era that smacks of ignored improprieties and a judicial trail sprayed with unnecessary human misery and degradation.
A year ago this story was posted on Daily Kos by laserhaas for Citizens Against Tryanny Cronyism & Corruption. It is ringing even louder today because no one is reining in the corruption. If suspected corruption gets reported (and believe me when I tell you there is a conspiracy level of corruption that appears to exist), little is done to correct the injustice and the judicial “rat pack” become vindictive and malevolent.
The longer the rat pack “clicks” remain in tact the more likely the corruption increases and expands its web. Money is usually at the root of the corruption – whether it is a financial investment portfolio or the poorly written federal laws that pay a bankruptcy trustee and his attorneys first from the proceeds of the estate (an automatic incentive to pillage and fee crank) before any other debts or creditors.
To Hague Global Forum on Corruption AG Aschroft on Corrupt Federal Judges’ Collusion w US Trustee’s
We all know that there are bad faith judges, police and prosecutors who are willfully blind to the bad faith acts of their friends, relatives and campaign donating hordes. Unless someone is watching, the Chief of Police is unlikely to arrest the drunk driving judge.
The question is, how far does cronyism and corruption bad faith acts travel up our system of justice bad faith ladders? According to then Attorney General (pic right by Cage Skidmore Wikipedia) of the United States, John Ashcroft. He penned that corruption goes all the way to the top where he wrote this to the Hague Global Forum on Corruption;
“Bankruptcy court corruption is not just a matter of bankruptcy trustees in collusion with corrupt bankruptcy judges. The corruption is supported, and justice hindered by high ranking officials in the United States Trustee Program –“. emphasis added
Defending Organized Crime
You cannot tackle tyranny, cronyism and corruption in our legal systems, without incurring the wrath of nearly every lawyer on the block. They will argue that a judge said this, or a court said that or the police did not arrest anyone; thus no crimes could have occured – Correct?
If some attorney robs a bank, right in front of the restaurant where the Chief of Police is eating with the head prosecutor and the Chief Justice – and they say – it was just a “conflict of interest” issue. That their lawyer friend who practiced before them for a decade just became a disgruntled person denied his rights to possess his “due process” portion of the American Dream.
Crony (good ole boy) Logic arguments that robbery is not “really” a crime.
After all, the wayward attorney is really a good guy. His cousin runs the local newspaper that backed the Chief of Police’s campaigns and both the wayward attorney and the Chief of Police helped get the Judge appointed who just so happens to be the great uncle twice removed of the prosecutor. Plus, the wayward attorney wants to give half to Citizens United Super Pacs; he’s “their” type of player. Thus, who cares what he “misappropriated” in his single aberrant act of waywardness. No one really cares – Right?
Unless you are the victim who lost your life savings
Thus, if you are important enough, wealthy enough or powerful enough,
Banks & MERS lie under oath and forge paperwork(s) in court
We have banks and MERS lying under oath tens of thousands of times, on millions and billions of dollars of homes with a multi level scheme that can still cause the collapse of our entire American economy – if not handled correctly.
Yet, they are not investigated or arrested. Instead they are “Bailed Out”. As Matt Taibbi states in his very apropos article that is nicely & aptly titled “Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail” – where Taibbi states;
“At least Bank of America got its name right. The ultimate Too Big to Fail bank really is America, a hypergluttonous ward of the state whose limitless fraud and criminal conspiracies we’ll all be paying for until the end of time.”
Here’s one issue that even Matt Taibbi has not written about – Yet. It seems that judges have a serious “conflict of interest” issue when it comes to Banks and the Securitization of mortgages. Their retirements depend on making sure the banks do not lose monies. http://livinglies.wordpress.com/…
Prosecutions of Martha Stewart, Barry Bonds & Roger Clemens
Now lawyers can lie under oath, Notaries can forged notary papers so that they can drive a BMW or Mercedes, but if you are John/ Jane Doe or even an individual like Martha Stewart, Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens, don’t you dare lie verbally to a federal agent or Washington panel – that is PERJURY – and you WILL be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the Nationally publicized LAW.
Martha Stewart lied to federal investigators about making money on inside information for saving her investment, when she learned it might go wrong. The real crime is the guy who told her. How would anyone react? You would pull back your investment. She had bad legal advice and she have Never said a word, much less lied.
Barry Bonds was convicted for lying too. Actually, it was not even lying that he was convicted for. They wanted to thump him so bad, they convicted him of an “evasive” answer to federal authorities. Meanwhile Roger Clemens 2nd trial continues. His 2011 trial was halted and a mistrial declared, due to prosecutorial misconduct. They can get more than 1 chance, even when they do wrong. But Bonds & Clemens must pay the piper on cases that were obviously only brought forward because of how important they were.
Trustee argues that false statements are Not Lies under oath
Bad faith is bad faith, crimes are crimes and lying under oath is – – ? As a Trustee in the federal case of Walker v Walden argued, that her false testimony is not “necessarily” a lie. Good ole boys (and girls) are not suppose to prosecute each other for Perjury (lying under oath).
In this case (In re: James Walker, 515 F.3d 1204 (11th Cir. 2008)) – it was noted by the 11th Circuit, that Fraud on the Court had transpired by the Creditor’s Trustee testifying falsely. But there is a reason that was not reported by the main stream press. This particular Trustee was NOT an attorney at Law – therefore she was fair game. The 11th Circuit stated the obvious (as noted at Fraud on the Court Blogspot) that;
“Lying under oath is lying under oath.”
Of course lying under oath is Lying Under Oath. But, when you are an attorney at Law, they circle the wagons to protect one of their own – as protecting the whole profession against any and ALL assaults by those who are not attorneys at law. You and I, or Stewart, Bonds, Clemens, will go to jail for it. But, if you are Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Bain or their attorneys – then it gets cloudy. Lying is not necessarily a really bad thing and stealing from your client to help your other secret clients – Well – that’s just a “conflict of interest”. It is really No big deal –
Unless you are the victim of conflict of interest robbery
AG Ashcroft denotes that US Trustee’s and Judges PUNISH victims
The entire crux of this Diary is the fact that there ARE corrupt judges and corrupt Department of Justice officials (United States Trustee’s in particular) – who engage in bad faith acts for the sake of Organized Crime. When Laser Haas says such, it is really of little consequence. When AG Ashcroft says the same thing – vindication does not get any better.
Here is the exact quote from the Testimony of Francis C. P. Knize as denoted to the public comments on the RULES GOVERNING JUDICIAL CONDUCT. Where it quotes the Attorney General John Ashcroft’s remarks to the Hague Global Forum on Corruption verbatim;
Bankruptcy court corruption is not just a matter of bankruptcy trustees in collusion with corrupt bankruptcy judges. The corruption is supported, and justice hindered by high ranking officials in the United States Trustee Program. The corruption has advanced to punishing any and all who mention the criminal acts of trustees and organized crime operating through the United States Bankruptcy Courts. As though greed is not enough, the trustees, in collusion with others, intentionally go forth to destroy lives. Exemptions provided by law are denied debtors. Cases are intentionally, and unreasonably kept open for years. Parties in cases are sanctioned to discourage them from pursuing justice. Contempt of court powers are misused to coerce litigants into agreeing with extortion demands. This does not ensure integrity and restore public confidence.
The American public, victimized and held hostage by bankruptcy court corruption, have no where to turn.” [emphasis added]
Now, can this really be emphasized enough? The Attorney General of the United States of America, has gone on the public record as stating that there are:
- corrupt bankruptcy judges
- bankruptcy trustees in collusion with corrupt bankruptcy judges
- justice hindered by high ranking officials in the United States Trustee Program
- The corruption has advanced to punishing any and all who mention the criminal acts
- organized crime operating through the United States Bankruptcy Courts
- [U.S.] trustees, in collusion with others, intentionally go forth to destroy lives.
- Cases are intentionally, and unreasonably kept open for years.
- Parties in cases are sanctioned to discourage them from pursuing justice.
- Contempt of court powers are misused to coerce litigants
- [Corrupt’s] coerce litigants into agreeing with extortion demands
- American public, victimized and held hostage by bankruptcy court corruption,
- held hostage by bankruptcy court corruption, have no where to turn
Organized Crimes within our federal systems of justice
It is undeniable that bad faith acts can transpire. We are not saying the systems are corrupt. We are pointing out that PEOPLE are corrupt within the system. Thus there exists irrefutable evidences that there are rogue elements operating within our federal systems of justice.
We must purge ourselves of this assault upon the Constitution of the United States by the very people We, U.S. “pays” with tax payer dollars, to defend us from enemies foreign and DOMESTIC.
A 5th Circuit United States Court of Appeals Justice [Honorable Edith Jones] – who spoke at a Harvard Law School seminar advisary said;
Having lost sight of the moral and religious foundations of the rule of law, we are vulnerable to the destruction of our freedom, our equality before the law and our self-respect.
Read more HERE.
At the root of corruption stems the “money” issue and as trustees and their hired guns (attorneys) get paid first, the incentive to fee crank is automatically built in.
Let’s take an average Chapter 7 asset bankruptcy where the debtor has turned over assets worth $150,000. The trustee hires an outside attorney firm (at special inflated rates) who ends up billing $115,000 for less than 2 months work in total and the trustee get a piece of the assets’ value for management fees, another $25,000 – leaving little to nothing for the creditors.
In some cases all the money can be eaten up by the trustee’s attorney who is over billing or over litigating issues that could have easily be settled in a conference call; and, the judge signing off on the motions to pay the exorbitant fees. God forbid the debtor challenge the fees or a bad collection deal – that just opens up the direct line to retaliation …and there is no where to complain or be protected. There is no whistle-blower safe harbor in the bankruptcy arena.
While this may not sound like a lot of money – think about it on a grander scale where there are 1500 – 3000 bankruptcies under the trustee’s belt and some of them are multi-million dollar estates. And of course, there are the bigger corporate bankruptcies where billing and fee cranking are easily hidden. Trustees and their attorneys have been known to fee crank for 2-4 times the amount of the estate and then generously tell the judge that they’ll be willing to take 50 cents on the dollar (which just so happens to be all that was collected in the estate).
The corruption rat packs are usually small in number and powerful. Bankruptcy judges are not Article III and they do not have life tenure on the bench. After 14 years, these magistrates are looking for a new home to hang their shingle. Some judges end up with the attorney firms the trustee has hired, as does the trustee in many cases. It wouldn’t be surprising to find a pot of money squirreled away from these fee cranked cases used as a signing bonus for the judge who adds a bit of prestige to the firm.
While Congress has written some powerful statutes and rules like 18 USC § 157, 18 USC § 1001 and Bankruptcy Rule 9011 – these are rarely held against the rat packs even when they are asserted with clear and convincing evidence. The judges have more than a modicum of discretion to decide to ignore the facts and free the legal corruptors. Besides, if the court were to sanction the corruptor – that might mean less money for the poker game or signing bonus.
Judges know it is costly to appeal and those folks in bankruptcy have very little money or the debtor wouldn’t be there in the first place. This rat pack mentality is not interested in justice or protecting and giving the debtor a fresh start. It’s all about the money and that means the wild cards are always in play.
Follow the rule of law – appearance of impropriety – aw phooey! It went out the window a long time ago. “You lie and I’ll swear to it” has replaced integrity.
Can it be fixed? Of course it can. Every federal Congressional legislator might want to consider the following:
1. Start with a study in every bankruptcy district calculating the trustees’ and their attorneys’ annual collection of fees granted by the court(s) from the debtors’ estates. I promise it will create a shit-storm of controversy.
At that point, calculate the cost of hiring young lawyers as the trustee’s assistants and law students as paralegals, ON A SALARY rather than a percentage, and divide those $50k – $85k salaries into the fees the corruptors have collected.
For example, one average case recently had the trustee’s corruptor (attorney firm) bill over $1 million in fees and the case is not over yet. There could have been 10-20 lawyers hired for an entire year on that one case’s fees alone! And those 10-20 lawyers and paralegals would likely be working on several cases throughout the year. It just doesn’t make sense to continue to allow the known fee cranking and percentage basis – especially in this economy and to the detriment of the debtor, the creditors and the estate.
I’d be willing to bet that if the figures were compiled there’d be enough money to put law students through college and agree to return to work for the district for a minimum of 5 years on a workforce for education program, plus pay their salaries and get more honorable work accomplished.
2. Move bankruptcy judges around or shorten their terms to 4 years. They become too friendly with local counsels and have trouble remaining impartial when they remain in one spot. Bankruptcy judges should have the option of moving or applying to another district after four years. I’d rather see bankruptcy judges paid more so they’d be inspired to move and hopefully maintain integrity.
3. Listen to the US Trustees, DOJ and FBI when they tell you they suspect there are problems in a district and/or they have gotten complaints. Allow them to investigate when allegations can be supported by evidence. This may be the only way to weed out the bad apples and clean up the bench.
Don’t get me wrong – there are good guys (and gals) out there on the bench. But by not making judges and trustees toe the line or hold them accountable for wrong doings, it not only burdens the appellate procedure, it wreaks havoc with society in general.
Reblogged this on Justice League.
Thank you for pointing out our saga;
and the issues of federal corruption related.
You may wish to follow the case we filed against Romney’s RICO gang for racketeering.
we are in chapter 13 and we should be paid out 6 months before our 60 month plan is over but this judge in south bend in she is making us continue to pay for the full 60 months then a aditional 6 months after the 60 months because our house was in the bankruptcy but we were not ever late or behind on our house i would like to know who and how to make her accountable for her actions
What does your bankruptcy attorney say?
Reblogged this on California Freelance Paralegal and commented:
Excellent article on Bankruptcy Court corruption as has been noted by even the late John Ashcroft, the former United States Attorney General.
I’m currently going thru a situation where the trustee and his lawyers are cranking up fees and even tho I don’t hold equitable title to our home, they are doing everything in their power to get fees. We even showed proof that there is a trust in which my father is equitable owner, the judge still did not allow my transfer to chapter 13. He denied it. I’m in shock and I would like to know what else I can do to take this further and get help on a higher level? Any suggestions?
Detroit bankruptcy court is horrid. Lin and company fake it all, exceed the statutory time periods, rack up fees that exceeded my total debt.
Another government sham.
I do need some help I lost a case I never should have . If you can help me I need some . 910-528-1195 . Karen semprevivo
Karen , where do you stay at? And you lost a case, how? I know of a great bankruptcy specialist that is helping me with my case. I’m in Los Angeles
I had a lot of equity in my home which sold in January 2016. Only one debtor which has been paid. There’s over $100,000 left after paying that. Now trustee won’t release my money and I believe my attorney is in on it. I consulted with another attorney about the collusion between the trustee and my attorney only for her to call and repeat everything I told her. Yes I had a retainer with her. I don’t know what to do now. Do I have a case? This happened in Atlanta.
Please contact me at my email with a phone number of anyone who can help. This EXACT thing is happening to me and my partner on a corporate Bankruptcy and they are tying up me personally and my family. Because I reported them to the DOJ and many others, yesterday I was “interrogated” like I was a non human with no civil and Constitutional rights.
Please contact me at my email with a phone number email@example.com to anyone who can help. This happened to me and my partner yesterday and it was 3rd world “interrogation” as if I did not have any rights and was a non human.
What kind of help do you need? The system is messed up. I hired a great lawyer for my case and he fought for me, so I think but the judge ruled in favor of the trustee and his lawyers and their ridiculous fees! We got to keep our home but the trustee and his lawyers ended up with 75,000 worth of money. How is that fair? I had
To pay them more than what my debt actually was. I wish there was something I could do or someone could call them out in their ridiculous lawyer fees just because they are trustees lawyers. Such a shame and they will reap what they sow.
What they did yesterday I would say violate Civil Rights and due process. I and my partner were at a 341 meeting of our company as I and he are not in bankruptcy. The two creditor are also the cause of the collapse of the project and I am suing them. Our attorney only represent the company. They started asking me and him questions related to the law suit even through we had no representing attorney. Our corporate attorney objected but was shut down. Is it a violation? Good attorney name in PA?
If I you are interested in a horrible story read ours . When I read Ashcrofts statement in the Hague I thought it was written about us.our case started in 2006 in a State court. It is now in a number of courts. The Courts left us penniless. Not even the homeowners exemption. They ruined my earning ability and left us living in one room without cooking untill we are are evicted. I am 77 years old, destitute and fighting. I went thru All my funds against ruthless lying “contingency attornets”. So far the trustees legal bill against us has surpassed $900,000. Here one example. We attempted to modifybour filing and were denied. It was a voluntary filing. My wife refused to go to the 341 hearing 30+ times. So, the Judge sent the US Marshalls tomorr home at dawn and arrested us. Handcuffed us and when my wife asked what were the charges the Marshall said “The Judgeceants you in Court. (All of this is on record) this is one example of many criminal acts of the Bankruptcy Judge. By the way, my husband was not a part of this action but was arrested anyway.
Please assist us , point us in the direction where we can get some traction. Luckily we had an old acquaintence, a politically disbarred attorney who has, free of charge, pro se written papers for us with the help of his friends
Can you sue the trustees and bankruptcy courts for extortion
From firsthand experience, it doesn’t even do any good to report it to the U.S. Trustees. “What’s it worth to you,” said the bankruptcy trustee in a gangster-like tone, “for me to call off the attorneys?” Somewhat stunned trying to process what I heard as he continued, “You seem pretty smart, make me an offer.” I sat in silence as I waited to him him finish the line, “make me an offer…” ‘I can’t refuse.’
All I could think was, ‘this dude’s extorting me.’ It wasn’t my bankruptcy. My spouse was the unwitting victim of a con man who filed bankruptcy. That was my first introduction to the Un-Justice system 25 years ago. It did zero good to report it to the U.S. Trustees. I learned that the system is somewhat corrupted especially in certain areas of the country. Bankruptcy judges, trustees and their attorneys are incestuous. Gang members with tight fraternity loyalties to each other. An unspoken, ‘you lie and I’ll swear to it’ club. Like a nest of bees, if you go after one – they all descend upon you.
So, in short – the answer is “only at your own peril.” This is not legal advice, this is just philosophical thought from another extortion victim.
The best therapy for me was to write the story like a movie. Make it real or if you want real relief make it fiction and have your outcome as you see fit.
We have been victimized by the Bankruptcy Court that refuses to read any of our papers that show by transcript that we have been systematically relieved of close to $3,000,000 without one cent of consumer debt of our hard owned assets by an obvious corrupt Bankruptcy Court Judge, his do nothing U.S. Trustee who had the nerve to in open Court say this debtor had no assets then merely months later sold our home for $2,300,000 with a $450,000 mortgage, and attorneys on contingency lied, fabricated information and we have been fighting this pro-se for years. They left us without a penny , No homeowner exemption, NOTHING. Were still fighting and are in so many courts i cant keep track. We are getting advise and filing well conceived factual papers that are summarily rejected because in every Court they have successfully gagged . We cant file without a Judges approval which is never given. We were taken out of our house at 6am, handcuffed by US Marshalls and told to bring an inheritance that was protected by a well conceived law firm and passed to my wife well after her Chapter filing. He wanted the money for his pal the trustee. It gets worse. To long to get into but we need help to bring to bear the power of the little people in open court this coming September. Our phone number is 845 309 3295, Please one and all who may be able to assist contact us at this forum or the enclosed phone number. I am 78 my golden years. We are desperate, living in a car and broke,
Please send your information to firstname.lastname@example.org and USTP.Bankruptcy.Fraud@usdoj.gov. The more they have they can investigate. I will forward to reporters I know. Mike.