Earlier this year, an employee at a Fannie Mae office in Irvina, CA, was arrested in a sting operation and accused of attempting to sell the company’s foreclosure listings to a real estate broker from Tucson, AZ, for $11,200 in cash.
The broker had alerted the Office of Inspector General at the Federal Housing Finance Agency after the Fannie Mae staffer promised to keep feeding him foreclosure listings under the condition that he receive a cut of the broker’s sales commissions.
According to the L.A. Times’ sources, the Fannie Mae employee had initially agreed to cooperate with investigators, reportedly saying that receiving kickbacks for inside information is “a natural part of business,” and saying that other employees at the Irvine office, which handles Fannie’s repossessed properties, “engaged in similar conduct.”
Fannie is also being sued by another former employee from the Irvine office who says she was fired when she tried to blow the whistle on alleged kickbacks and other questionable practices like including marketing homes without clear title.
An internal investigation of that employee’s claims found that she had no hard evidence of kickbacks and never saw cash change hand. Her lawyer tells the Times that the investigation is a “sham.”