Wachovia, you old rascal! As soon as you wrap up one unsavory scandal, a new possible scandal comes to light. U.S. justice authorities are investigating the bank for possible money laundering through Mexican and Colombian money-transfer businesses. The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that “the bank is possibly facing a deferred-prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice that would subject it to ‘extensive federal oversight,'” but Wachovia denies that any such discussion has taken place.
The FBI has opened an investigation into Countrywide for suspected securities fraud, reports the New York Times. The Justice Department and FBI “are looking at whether officials at Countrywide, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, misrepresented its financial condition and the soundness of its loans in security filings.” So far everything is unofficial because nobody has been authorized to discuss the case, and a Countrywide spokeswoman says, “”We are not aware of any such investigation.”
Remember how Sen. Specter wanted those corporate-wrongdoing rules eased last week? Yesterday, his wish came true. In the wake of the 2003 Worldcom scandals, federal prosecutors received new powers in the form of guidelines written by then deputy attorney general, Larry D. Thompson.
• 4th worst spammer in the world gets $1 million fine and is stripped of his powers to make your penis bigger. [CT]
In a blatant maneuver to put the “scur” into tax evaders, the Justice Department is seeking a court order against a Michigan couple promoting what the government says is the number one tax dodge scheme in America.
Victims of identity theft numbered an estimated 3.6 million in 2004, according to a new report by the Justice Department.