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11-02-03 1-02-03 Stealing from the People: Corruption in the United States; the Big Feast: Banker, Judge, Civil Servant // Robar a la gente: La corrupción en los Estados Unidos; La Gran Fiesta: el Bancario, el Juez, Funcionario // 从人民盗：腐败在美国，大盛宴：银行家，法官，公务员
Collapse of the US Justice System at the Heart of the Financial CrisisJoseph Zernik, PhD
Human Rights Alert (NGO)
· Collusion by federal and local law enforcement in the wholesale cocaine trafficking to Los Angeles for over a decade, as part of the Iran-Contra scandal (~1982-1992), which was claimed as central to the crack-cocaine epidemic of those years.
· Ongoing false imprisonments of thousands of Rampart-FIPs (Falsely Imprisoned Persons) - almost exclusively black and Latinos - victims of the Rampart corruption scandal (1998-2000). External investigation of the Los Angeles courts and the DA office, which was repeatedly called for, was never conducted. Official reports later documented the judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court objecting to the release of the Rampart-FIPs, since it would cause "collapse of the justice system".
· Financial institution and real estate fraud under the guise of litigation in the courts:
- In 1998, the earliest case of real estate fraud by the court was documented, but such conduct is likely to have started much earlier.
- Starting in the early 2000s FBI reports distinguished LA County as "the epicenter of the epidemic of real estate and mortgage fraud".
Fraud in the courts by the Los Angeles-based Countrywide and later by Bank of America is not limited to Los Angeles County, California. In some courts outside California the fraud is at times called out. Nevertheless, neither Countrywide nor BofA suffer legal consequences:
· In January 2008, Countrywide - the leading sub-prime lender - collapsed following news reports of fraud by its attorneys in a US court in Pennsylvania. “Recreated letters” were filed as evidence by the bank. Countrywide's collapse ushered in the sub-prime crisis.
· In March 2008, a US Judge in Texas issued a 72-page Memorandum Opinion, detailing results of a year-long study of fraud by Countrywide’s attorneys in courts throughout the United States. Such conduct typically involves appearances by unauthorized attorneys from large national law-firms with “no communications with clients” clause.
· In July 2008, Countrywide was taken over by BofA, through a US-coerced merger. Conduct of Countrywide in the courts was consequently adopted by BofA. BofA continues with such conduct in both the state and US courts throughout the United States to this date. US law enforcement is fully aware of the conduct, but refuses to take action.
· In December 2008, following collapse of Merrill Lynch, a US-coerced merger with BofA involved the unlawful taking of $5 billions by banking executives.
· In April 2009, New York state Attorney General sent to the US Senate a report of his investigation of the Merrill Lynch–BofA merger. The report was described by independent analysts as evidence of a “criminal conspiracy” by senior US and banking executives.
· In August 2009, SEC filed a complaint of securities fraud against BofA in the US District Court in NYC, and with it a proposed settlement. Litigation was initiated, which was reported by media as a highlight of banking regulation. It was later opined as an elaborate case of fraud in the court through collusion of SEC, BofA, and the Court.
· 2006-present: Large scale court corruption scandal is prosecuted in El Paso, Texas. However, the case is entirely under seal, leaving the public to only speculate regarding integrity of the investigation and the prosecution.
· 2008-present: Large-scale false imprisonments in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, have unfolded as part of the Kids for Cash scandal. Judges took millions of US dollars in bribes from privatized prisons and falsely imprisoned thousands of juveniles. The US DOJ is prosecuting the judges for racketeering and efforts are underway to free the victims.
· In 2010, the Florida state Attorney General attempted to investigate fraud in the state courts by large law- firms, acting on behalf of large financial institutions. A Florida state judge blocked the investigation.
· In 2011, Massachusetts the state's highest court issued a ruling that may bring fraud in foreclosure proceedings in that state to a halt.
· No criminality was found in investigation of sub-prime lenders.
· The crisis was the outcome of "changing market conditions".
· The US has "shored up banking regulation".
· The Sarbanes Oxley Act (2002), and
· The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (2009).
· Collusion by federal and local law enforcement in wholesale cocaine trafficking to Los Angeles for over a decade, as part of the Iran-Contra scandal (~1982-1992), resulted in conditions, where federal authorities are unable to enforce the rule of law in Los Angeles County, in particular, and California in general.
· The synergy between Countrywide Financial Corporation and the Los Angeles Superior Court was crucial in propelling Los Angeles to its distinction as "epicenter of the epidemic of real estate and mortgage fraud", which later became the current financial crisis.
· Conditions that today prevail in Los Angeles County, California, amount to an extra-constitutional zone.
· US banking institutions today engage in fraud in the courts throughout the United States with impunity. Following collusion with senior US officers in conduct related to the Countrywide-BofA and Merrill Lynch-BofA mergers, senior banking executives became effectively immune to prosecution.· Like the Great Depression before it, the current financial crisis in its essence is a system-wide integrity crisis. Unless integrity of the financial and justice systems in the US is addressed, socio-economic and civil society conditions are unlikely to improve in the foreseeable future.
1. Global Economic Crisis and Criminology
3. Corporate and Business Crime
6. Property Crime
11. Organized Crime
12. Organizational Crime
13. State Crime
64. Truth and Reconciliation
65. Quantitative Methods
66. Qualitative Methods
72. Criminal Justice and Human Rights
Human Rights Alert is dedicated to discovering, archiving, and disseminating evidence of Human Rights violations by the justice systems of the State of California and the United States in Los Angeles County, California, and beyond. Human Rights Alert focuses on the unique role of computerized case management systems in the precipitous deterioration of the integrity of the justice system in the United States.
WHAT DID THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES?
* "On July 26, 2010, Laurence Tribe, Senior Counsel for the United States Department of Justice, Access to Justice Initiative, delivered an important speech to the Conference of Chief Justices, challenging them to halt the disintegration of our state justice systems before they become indistinguishable from courts of third world nations."
Prof Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law School (2010), per National Defender Leadership Institute
WHAT DID THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CALIFORNIA?
* "Innocent people remain in prison"
* "...the LA Superior Court and the DA office, the two other parts of the justice system that the Blue Panel Report recommends must be investigated relative to the integrity of the system, have not produced any response that we know of..."
LAPD Blue Ribbon Review Panel Report (2006)
* "...judges tried and sentenced a staggering number of people for crimes they did not commit."
Prof David Burcham, Dean, Loyola Law School, LA (2001)
* "This is conduct associated with the most repressive dictators and police states... and judges must share responsibility when innocent people are convicted."
Prof Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean, Irvine Law School (2001)
WHAT DID THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL STAFF REPORT SAY ABOUT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN CALIFORNIA?
* "...corruption of the courts and the legal profession and discrimination by law enforcement in California."