Federal law prohibits giving or receiving kickbacks in exchange for a referral of business related to a real-estate-settlement service, but for four years a now-defunct title company in Maryland provide cash, marketing materials and consumer information in exchange for referrals. And now the banks have agreed to pay more than $35 million — including $11.1 million in redress to affected consumers — for their sins. [More]
The CFPB has ordered a Missouri mortgage lender to pay over $81,000 related to an illegal kickback scheme. [More]
Two Pennsylvania judges were sued in federal court this past week for allegedly taking $2.6 million in kickbacks from private juvenile detention facilities. In exchange, they sentenced hundreds of youths to the centers over the past 5 years. One of the judges, Mark Ciavarella, sent 1 out of 4 defendants to the centers, compared to a statewide rate of 1 in 10.
Another electronics store was taken for millions by an invoice-fixing scheme: a buyer for Best Buy and a vendor have been charged with overcharging Best Buy $31 million over four years.
Don’t doubt the power of the unidentified tipster: Home Depot recently sacked four corrupt purchasing managers accused by a whistleblower of taking bribes. In exchange for the payoffs, the managers arranged for Home Depot to stock tiles and other flooring products from Asia. From the AP:
Eight universities agreed to stop accepting kickbacks from Citibank for private loan referrals, and five agreed to refund a total of $3.27 mil to thousands of students, following an investigation by NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (pictured).