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Criminal Affirmance, Ever Hear of it?

Professor Mary K. Ramirez wrote a white paper in 2011 titled Criminal Affirmance.  She writes, “Recent financial scandals and the relative paucity of criminal prosecutions in response suggest a new reality in the criminal law system: some wrongful actors appear above the law and immune from criminal prosecution.  As such, the criminal prosecutorial system affirms much of the wrongdoing giving rise to the crisis.  This leaves the same elites undisturbed at the apex of the financial sector, and creates perverse incentives for any successors.  Further, this undermines the legitimacy of the rule of law and encourages even more lawlessness among the entire population.”


Americans across the nation are waking up to the fact that police, prosecutors, law enforcers, and regulators refuse to protect the American people from the biggest consumer fraud ever committed.  This fraud covers a wide range of damage from draining billions from pension funds to millions of fraudulent foreclosures.   The highly lucrative nature of these crimes coupled with the lack of deterrents act as an accelerant, flaming the fraud.   Neil Barfosky, the former TARP inspector general fraud watchdog, recently released his book Bailout, a shocking account of the inclusion of a Treasury sanctioned bailout component that allows banks to extract and otherwise deplete wealth from millions of American citizens; homeowners, tenants, retirees, pension and 401k investors, etc.  

The policy of criminal affirmance has led to a skyrocketing number of headlines, articles, and reports about unfunded pensions, unprosecuted real estate crimes, fraudulent foreclosures, and lawsuits by those groups who were scammed into purchasing fraudulent mortgage backed investments.   Two of the many variants of foreclosure fraud have been in the national media just this week, Wells Fargo is only one of the bad actors, but currently is the bank du jour on this week’s crime spree menu.  

The first story is a common one, a bank breaking and entering and robbing a American citizen’s home.   When these acts are committed by any individual or corporation other than a financial institution (or one of their vendors), they are called “crimes” and “felonies.”  Banks prefer to call these acts a “mistake,” “accidental trash out,” “error,” or “mix-up.”  Apparently, law enforcement defers to the banks’ terminology.  Here again, a family’s home was breached by forceable entry and an entire lifetime of accumulated personal property, heirlooms, photographs, and irreplaceable family mementos were stolen by a bank’s vendor.  In this case the bank had no connection to the family or their home. The bank, Wells Fargo this time, was so arrogantly confident of the lack of any consequences whatsoever, totally ignored the family’s calls and inquiries.  Finally, the family reached out to their local T.V. station, which aired a story that prodded Wells Fargo into issuing a statement and placing a call to the family.  How many families do not get their similar stories aired on television and never get any contact or offers of restitution whatsoever?  Rare prior to the national policy of using the bodies of American citizens to “foam the runway” as prevention against the banks’ financial crash, bank break-ins are increasingly common and aggressive.  In another story out this week, a woman “tried to sell her home, only to find out the bank mistakenly foreclosed it.”  The bank, Wells Fargo, “doesn’t know how to fix it’s mistake.”

There is no end in sight for these injustices until citizens demand accountability from our elected officials and law enforcers.  

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