Our Common Good

ca-thar-sis:

abaldwin360:

The supposedly best run bank in the financial industry is in the thick of yet another investigation once again. Besides suggestions that JPMorgan may also be involved in the Libor criminal manipulation that has taken down three top executives at Barclays, JPMorgan is under investigation in the US for possibly manipulating the US energy market.

How many more free rides and bogus settlements that involve agreement that nobody was guilty are we going to have to see before Washington gets serious about white collar crime?

Surprise, surprise…

GlaxoSmithKline was socked with $3 billion in fines by US authorities over charges it marketed drugs for unauthorized uses, held back safety data, and cheated the government’s Medicaid program.

[…]

GSK, one of the world’s largest health care and pharmaceuticals companies, pleaded guilty on three counts and agreed to the fines in what the department called the largest health care fraud settlement in US history.

The British drugmaker admitted to charges that it had promoted antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin for uses not approved for by US regulators, including treatment of children and adolescents.

The company also conceded charges that it held back data and made unsupported safety claims over its diabetes drug Avandia.

[…]

And separately, GSK is being fined $300 million to settle charges it underpaid rebates it owed to the US Medicaid program.

Barclays, JPMorgan and the rest of the megabanks reach new heights in malfeasance, suffer few consequences

Ten minutes before the filing deadline to run for the Michigan House of Representatives on Tuesday, Rep. Roy Schmidt, a “Democrat” from the 76th District in Grand Rapids, switched parties and decided to run as a Republican. This gave the Democratic party no candidate in a very tough district for Democrats after last year’s redistricting.

[…]

There is actually more to this story. It turns out that an unknown named Matt Mojzak filed to run as a Democrat in the 76th District just eight minutes before Schmidt pulled his dick move. Who is Mojzak? A friend of Schmidt’s nephew.

Today, however, Mojzak withdrew as a candidate, confirming that this was nothing more than a scam being pulled by Michigan Republicans.

Given this clearly orchestrated fraud, the MDP is now pressing for an investigation.

While Roy Schmidt’s fake Democrat Matt Mojzak has withdrawn from the race, serious legal questions remain. Today, Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer sent letters to Attorney General Bill Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson calling for an immediate and thorough investigation of perjury and election fraud.

Mojzak’s withdrawal just proves that he was a fake Democrat and it’s obvious the cover-up of Roy Schmidt’s fake Democratic candidate has begun,” said Brewer. “It’s ironic that this cover-up is taking place on the anniversary of the beginning of the Watergate hearings. The voters deserve to know who exactly was involved in this plot, when it began, and why felonies were committed. These illegal conspirators must be brought to justice swiftly.”

Mojzak’s affidavit of three lies demonstrates that he was a Republican plant with the sole intention of clearing an easy path to reelection for Schmidt. The three lies in the affidavit include:

  • Mojzak claiming he’s a Democrat.
  • Mojzak claiming he’s registered to vote in the 76th district while his home and registration are in the 88th district.
  • Mojzak claiming he’s been a resident of Kent County for 22 years when he’s been living in Ottawa County.

More from the MDP:

Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer is calling for an immediate investigation into election fraud perpetrated by House Speaker Jase Bolger, Representative Pete Lund, and Representative Roy Schmidt. Yesterday, Schmidt changed his party affiliation to Republican and helped place his nephew’s friend, Matthew Mojzak, on the ballot as a fake Democrat. The only problem is, Mojzak doesn’t live in the district – a requirement to run for the seat.

Mojzak was registered to vote in Ottawa County and did not change his registration until late on Tuesday… In his attached candidate affidavit, Mr. Mojzak stated under penalty of perjury that he has been a resident of Kent County for 22 years – an obvious lie. He’s using his grandmother’s address in the 76th district in an attempt to qualify as a candidate there.

“It’s clear this was a plot weeks in the making,” Brewer said. “But Republicans made one critical mistake – Mr. Mojzak lied on his candidate affidavit because he has not been living in Kent County – that’s election fraud.” […]

“This is just another example of Republican hypocrisy,” Brewer continued. “They claim to be the party of transparency and values, yet they pull these sneaky, illegal tactics in order to hold onto their power in Lansing. Rather than face voters in November, they concocted this deceitful, fraudulent plan. Bolger, Lund, Schmidt, and Mojzak should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe released a new video today supposedly exposing voter fraud in North Carolina by highlighting non-citizens like Zbigniew Gorzkowski who have voted in recent elections.

The problem: Gorzkowski is an American citizen.

You’re unlikely to hear a peep about this on Fox “News” (unless they happen to have me on), but the California Secretary of State’s Election Fraud Division is now reportedly investigating a firmed hired by the Sacramento County Republican Party said to have submitted thousands of fraudulent voter registration forms.

According to a report today from Sacramento ABC affiliate News10 [see video posted below], a private, for-profit firm calling itself Momentum Political Services, hired by the local Republican Party “to boost GOP registration ranks in key battleground communities” has turned in more than 3,100 hundred invalid voter registration cards during their recent drive.

Voter registration forms have allegedly been turned in with fake addresses, voter names that don’t exist, duplicate Social Security numbers, and party affiliations that seem to have been changed “by someone” to Republican. The head of the firm has admitted she has hired workers with criminal backgrounds, as found via Craigslist.

The charges of serial voter registration fraud sound very similar to those leveled in 2008 against another outfit hired by the California State GOP to register Republican voters before that year’s Presidential election. In that case, the head of the firm was arrested, and eventually pleaded guilty to voter registration charges himself.

In 2006, another firm hired by the CA Republican Party turned in thousands of registration forms with fake names and an error rate as high as 60 percent. And in 2004, a firm hired by the GOP was investigated in a number of states for shredding Democratic voter registrations and tossing them into dumpsters. Despite those allegations, the same folks were later hired by the McCain/Palin campaign in 2008 to run voter registration drives before the Presidential election.

Of course, you probably haven’t heard of any of those stories, even while you’ve heard plenty about a handful of ACORN workers —- no actual ACORN officials, mind you, and they were never hired by the Democratic Party, and never led to a fraudulent vote —- turning in fraudulent registration forms in past years.

ACORN!  ACORN! ACORN!

Sacramento County elections officials have turned over, what they say are, several suspicious voter registration cards that were collected by a for-profit company hired by local and state Republicans to state election fraud investigators

A DOJ official responds to a video released by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas that shows a D.C. poll worker offering Attorney General Eric Holder’s ballot to an undercover activist:

“It’s no coincidence that these so-called examples of rampant voter fraud consistently turn out to be manufactured ones.”

Six fake Democrats running in upcoming recall primaries to push back the election date in Wisconsin are violating the law, according to an election attorney.

“Among the requirements for running as a candidate in a partisan primary, one is required to file with the [Government Accountability Board] a ‘Declaration of Candidacy,’ form GAB-162. That form specifically requires a candidate to state that their candidacy is ‘representing’ the political party for which the primary is to take place. This statement must be made under oath,” attorney Jeremy P. Levinson said in a memo (PDF) to We Are Wisconsin.

“Clearly, a candidate running in a Democratic primary for the purpose of disadvantaging that party and giving electoral advantage to the Republican Party and the Republican incumbent the Democrats seek to recall can do so only by falsifying his or her declaration of candidacy.”

The fake candidates are committing felony election fraud, according to Levinson, a crime punishable by up to three and half years in prison.

In recent years, Too-Big-To-Fail banks like Bank of America and Chase and Wells Fargo have been caught rigging the bids for financial services in dozens of municipalities nationwide. Worse, these same banks have repeatedly been let off the hook by regulators, who rarely seek jail sentences for the offenders, and more often simply apply fractional fines to the companies caught. This behavior, if left unchecked, will ultimately mean that we will all have to pay more for our roads, our traffic lights, our sewers, in fact all public services, as the banker’s secret bonus will soon become an institutionalized part of the invoice. And it’ll be our fault, because we didn’t do anything about it now.

The only way to prevent this kind of slide to total lawlessness is to break this unhealthy relationship between bank and government. It would be a great sign of America’s return to healthier capitalism if we could allow one of the worst of public-private monsters, Bank of America, to sink or swim on its own, in the free market.

We don’t want Bank of America to fail. Our position is, it already is insolvent, and already has failed – and only our tax dollars, and our government’s continued protection, is keeping that failure from becoming more common knowledge. There are many opinions about the nature of modern American capitalism. Some think the system is no longer able to meet the needs of ordinary people and needs to be radically overhauled, while others like it just the way it is.

But one thing that everyone on this spectrum of beliefs can agree upon is that our system doesn’t work when corrupt companies, companies that should fail in the free market, are kept alive by the government. When we allow that, what we get is a system that is neither capitalism nor socialist, but somewhere more miserably in between – a bureaucratic state in which profit is not tied to performance, but political power. [++]

The Pentagon is investigating a report alleging that more than $92 million in bonuses – supposed to be given to soldiers and civilians who referred enlistees – were actually given to military recruiters who were not eligible for the bonuses, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The bonuses were part of the Recruiting Assistance Programs, which started in 2005 as part of an effort to recruit more soldiers for the two wars. At the time, soldiers were being deployed more often because there were fewer recruits, the Post reported.

abaldwin360:

Daily Kos - A Texas doctor was accused Tuesday in the largest Medicare fraud case in US history, with federal prosecutors charging him with scamming the government with $375 million in phony billings.

Justice Department officials announced that Dr. Jacques Roy was arrested in Texas and faces life in prison as well as fines of more than $250,000 if convicted.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Doctor Roy and his assistant, who was also charged, sent “recruiters” door-to-door in the Dallas area to get people to sign bogus medical forms that were then used in the alleged scam. The pair even went as far as to pay homeless people $50 each to sign the forms, according to the DOJ accusations.

read more

Conservative talker-endorsed precious metal retailer Goldline International agreed to a court order this week to repay defrauded customers $4.5 million and overhaul its business practices. The injunction, handed down by the Los Angeles County Superior Court, was obtained by the City Attorney of Santa Monica, California — where the company is based — who had filed 19 criminal counts of fraud and theft against the company last year. Those charges have now been dismissed.

Goldline’s entire business model was essentially a scam, the city attorney found. It was a bait-and-switch: Consumers wanted to buy gold bullion, but salespeople preyed on their fears — including falsely claiming that the government could seize bullion — and misled them into buying vastly overpriced gold coins instead. Consumers typically paid more than 55 percent above the actual value of the coins, which are much harder to sell down the road, instantly wiping out a large portion of their savings.

At the time, Goldline called the charges “preposterous” and vowed to fight them. But in addition to the $4.5 million, the court order requires Goldline to put $800,000 into a fund for future claims, and submit to a court-appointed monitor who will have full access to company’s operations, at Goldline’s expense. In addition, it will have to disclose its actual markups and stop misleading customers.

The company is best known for its ties to conservative talk radio hosts like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin, who were central to the company’s marketing model. Two former GOP presidential candidates — Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson — have even endorsed the gold retailer.

The company, Goldline, is accused of using Fox News’ Beck and other conservative spokespeople in a bait-and-switch operation to sell overpriced gold coins, according to a report on the Santa Monica Daily Press website.

Goldline’s salespeople supposedly lured money from customers with a promise of delivering gold bullion, with the intent of later switching the sale to the coins.

"At the heart of the complaint is the suggestion that Goldline profits not so much by selling pure gold bullion, but by persuading customers who want to capitalize on the rising value of gold to purchase collectable coins," according to an ABC News Radio report on the case. “The coins are subject to a significant mark-up in price, and several Goldline customers told ABC News that they found it difficult or impossible to resell those coins without taking a loss.”