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  On The QT Special Features: Bloody Toto in Mortgage Fraud Land
June 10, 2007: During the halcyon years of the housing bubble, mortgage fraudsters partied hearty. Among the revelers was Emmanuel Constant. Aka "Toto" Constant. Formerly of Haiti. In Haiti, Toto collected CIA dollars and co-founded FRAPH. A paramilitary group some called "death squad". When President Aristide returned, Toto slipped out the back. Surfacing in New York. If you can make it there you can make anywhere! After Clinton & crew backed off deporting Toto, FRAPH-Man did the mortgage broker thing. Playing air loan with the indicted Sandella Group in Brooklyn. Being D&M Financial's best boy on Long Island. Meanwhile, over in Jersey, D&M was fending off lawsuits launched by angry lenders and secondary mortgage market mavens. Sorry, said Mister & Miz Michalaki, no buy-backs. By the by, has anybody seen unlicensed appraiser Andy Perdikos? And why are Homeland Security and ICE suddenly so hot to send Toto packing?
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  On The QT Special Features: Aaron Dare, Mortgage Fraud & HUD's Helping Hand
December 4, 2006: HUD fraud is old. Ditto for real estate scams. But mash them up and you get hip happening white collar crime. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) delivers the goods for crooked house parties across the nation. Agency overlords in Dee Cee know squat about folks funded on the homefront. Qualifying docs may be delivered but docs are easily doctored. Reputations are harder to fake. Local public servants and finance seers should be savvy. Can the ideal and cut to a chase. One involving frauds perped in the inner city neighborhoods of Albany, New York by confessed real estate crook Aaron R. Dare. Acting with a cast of as-yet-unknown numbers...
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  On The QT Special Features: White Rabbit Redux
September 28, 2006: For the past year and a half, Maxine Russell has been knocking on official doors in China and the United States, seeking justice for her late son Darren. Mrs. Russell is a former schoolteacher living in Calabasas, California. Darren Russell was also a teacher. Up until a few days before his death on April 14th, 2005, he taught English to children at a school in Guangzhou, China. Darren's Chinese name was "White Rabbit". His students called him either White Rabbit or "Mister Rabbit". Though Darren's death was officially declared an accident, MaxineRussell believes her son was murdered. She also believes that the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou did not live up to the duty of consulates as defined by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs: "to provide assistance to and protect the welfare of American citizens who live abroad."
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  On The QT Special Features: Little House on the CDBG
March 19, 2006: Steve and Sharon Wolff signed onto a government program intended to help people realize the American Dream. But their life in Rio Dell, California, became a bureaucratic nightmare. They and their 5 children lived in a house with what a grand jury called "alarming structural and safety issues" but were blocked from addressing the problems by out-to-lunch, and often outright hostile, public and quasi-public servants. The Wolffs' private lives dwindled as they spent more and more time taking on a raft of government agencies and non-profit entities. Including the municipal government of Rio Dell, the Redwood Community Action Agency of Humboldt County, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Aka HUD. Where the Inspector General will be getting back to the Wolffs about that investigation any day now...
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  On The QT Special Features Update: Shrinking Giants/Gentleman Farmers
September 7, 2005: The small town of Endicott in Broome County, New York was the birth place of IBM. By 1980 they employed 14,000 in the area. Now they employ 1,600. In 2002, Endicott Interconnect Technologies (EIT or EI) became IBM's local mini-me. Thanks largely to massive financial assistance from state & federal sources. Courtesy of Governor George Pataki, State Senator Tom "Steak Roast" Libous and Empire State Development czar Charles Gargano. In return EIT promised to solidly employ 2000 former IBM workers. Firings followed. Union organizer and EIT employee Rick White of Alliance@IBM/Communications Workers of America took issue in public forums. EIT Chairman William Maines added White to the dismissed list. But oops, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said no go. EIT appealed. Last week, right before Labor Day, the decision came down again in favor of Rick White. Hi ho, hi ho, it's back to work he'll go. Maybe.
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  On The QT Special Features: Shrinking Giants & Gentleman Farmers
July 14, 2005: In the village of Endicott in upstate New York, IBM once ruled. Now they expand in India. In 2002 a savior appeared to save the jobs the jobs. Endicott Interconnect Technologies. Aka EIT or EI. As Huron Real Estate (LTD) they "bought" IBM's poisoned land. Broome County IDA sweet as apple cida lent a hand. As did Binghamton State Senator Tom Libous, Governor George Pataki and that jack for all trades-- Empire State Development. Chairman Charles Gargano made with the grants and EZ living. CDBG by way of Small Cities said no strings on me. But the jobs the jobs still diminished. A union organizer posted nasty things and was fired. Hark! The hum of SureScan is heard in the distance. X-ray X-ray read all about it! U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer brings home 50 mil of Homeland Security bacon! And urges Michael Chertoff to declare EIT/SureScan the TSA winnah. Think of the jobs the jobs. Meanwhile down in Chinatown everything's Jake...
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  On The QT Special Features: Bring The Blogs Home
June 21, 2005: Come quick Maude! The blogs are on TV! CNN goes Inside The Blogs-- watching the blogs watch the newsmedia watch national and international events. But on Main Street, who's watching the store? John and Jane Q that's who. They've been blogging in their PJ's, all the live long day. Dishing up their local pols just to pass the time away. Savor the wisdom of teen terror Sergio Bichao back in 2003. DaHiller gave good Jersey. That beat goes on. Philly blogs its latest dog. In upstate New York, a sleeping giant awakes. User friendly blogging services say good morning sunshine! Buffalo stampedes. In the Hudson Valley, Democracy in Albany (DIA) opens a window. Paul Bray at the Bray Papers has vision and the Albany Civic Agenda seeks city charter reform. Head east on I-90. See Springfield, Massachusetts. See Tom Devine at the Bay State Objectivist. See Tom shine. Shine Tom shine. Down in NYC, Conan the Conqueror trades housing stories with Ronan Amano at RentWars. But a hush falls over Cramer Hill in Camden, New Jersey. The specter of eminent domain hovers. Across the nation, neighborhoods protest death by revitalization. Saying home is where the heart is. Along with a host of websites and blogs...
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  On The QT Special Features: The Philadelphia Story
May 17, 2005: In Philly, May brought the unexpected conviction of a clutch of pay-to-players with links to Mayor John Street. X City Treasurer Corey Kemp and Commerce Bank boys Glenn Holck and Stephen Umbrell were shocked: bond lawyer, fund raiser and Commerce board advisor Ronald White had already left the building! White bought Kemp. Kemp steered city business to Commerce. Meanwhile, the Reverend Francis McCracken and Kemp skimmed construction bux from The Church of God in Christ. Detroit restauranteur La-Van Hawkins dreamed of The Church of Chicken and sent checks to Kemp. Charles LeCroy and Anthony Snell of J. P. Morgan billed their company for Ron White's invisible hand. Which touched UMDNJ in New Jersey when White helped transition X Governor Jim McGreevey. Charles LeCroy hit the Garden State too! Sending memos about deals scotched by Robert Feldman and former state Senator John Lynch. Along with George Norcross III and Commerce Bank of Cherry Hill. Alas, Commerce Bancorp still faces a SEC investigation. Then there's that "plot" re the bug in Mayor John Street's city hall office. Mother of God, will Imam Shamsud-din Ali ever be free of RICO?? Last but no way least enjoy a love feast. As New York's own Reverend Al Sharpton and Foxy Bill O' Reilly do the Philly dog and dish the demonizing press...
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  On The QT Special Features: Plowing The Back Forty-- Full Throttle
April 2, 2005: An extended play version of deep qt 40. Spun in honor of eminent domain. Aka ED. The right of government to have its way with private property. Though occasionally AOK (see roads & bridges) urban renewal ED is an ugly lover. In the 20th Century ED rampaged through American cities. Later the ruins were sifted. ED was said to be dead. Surprise! ED's been revitalized! Once more with no feeling. Pols, planners & preferred developers go to town. One of many being Albany, New York. Where the Albany Common Council just passed an ordinance allowing Mayor Jerry Jennings to use eminent dorm-main on blue collar Park South. Mars needs women/Albany needs students. Just a few more empty pizza boxes and sidewalks can be struck from the budget. Follow the Park South Redevelopment Plan from its murky birth to full fledged RFP. See the ACDA, ALDC & UHA steamroll community opposition. Gasp as prestigious tax advantaged institutions trump small property owners. Laff as Common Council members voice concern. Then gear up for the full throttle Midtown Strategy. But first-- check that stacked Park South Advisory Committee! ED sez Va Va Va Voom!
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  On The QT Special Features: SLAPP Happy Rock Follies
March 7, 2005: Ah Hoboken. In Jersey. Where Marlon Brando coudda bina contenda. After a post industrial collapse the Gold Coast glistened. Like a hooker in a plastic raincoat. On The Waterfront public access was threatened. Paging Fund For a Better Waterfront. Aka FBW. Headed by Ron Hine & Aaron Lewit. Thanks to FBW and the citizens it rallied, the public who paid for waterfront rebirth were allowed to partake of its pleasures. Then came the Babio Center. With its 725 car parking garage overlooking the Hudson. The beloved project of Stevens Institute of Technology. But FBW dissed what lay beneath. And uttered the word-- asbestos. Send for the doctor! Send for the nurse! Send for the lawyer with the defamation curse! A law suit was filed. Some called it SLAPP. As in, strategic litigation against public participation. After 2 years of briefs, filings and court dates ( plus plenty of sinuendo) the suit falls apart in State Superior Court. Leaving Stevens clad only in a shimmy but claiming to be dressed for appeal. From outside in the distance, comes the laughter of those blasted rocks...
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  On The QT Special Features: Albany Reform School 101
October 21, 2004: In Moscow on the Hudson, aka Albany, New York, the Machine meets the Reformer. David Soares, the Reformer, ran against his boss, Paul Clyne in the Democratic Primary for Albany County District Attorney. Mister Machine lost. But did reform win? How real can reform be when there's only one party? Post victory, the Machine gathered Soares to its bosom: the Reformer cooed like a dove. Faction melded with faction. Then there's the crime thing. Repealing the Rockefeller Drug Laws is David Soares' passion. The Working Families Party, via a grant from the Drug Policy Alliance, ponied up for Soares in the primary. Illegally. Albany City has a drug crime problem. It's a High Impact Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). Soares says he'll go after "king-pins". But will they be local ones? The kind the Machine, the Reformers and the 5 Republicans don't like to admit exist? Plus a close read of an off-key David Soares text about death at the hands of an intimate partner. True reform can be elusive. If you don't succeed at first, try try again.
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  Truckstop Lenders & Waterfront HUD Hauls: Part Two
February 8, 2004: Developer Joseph Barry of Applied Housing revitalized Hoboken in Hudson County, New Jersey using hefty helpings of HUD. Ruled an empire of "affordable" housing while denouncing the welfare state. Was the micro Hearst of real estate shopping sheets. Then Citizen Joe went luxo. Still with government assistance. Xanadu upon Xanadu covered the waterfront. The Gold Coast glittered. Yet in the car & condo of X County Executive Robert Janiszewski, wires whirred and feds captured chats about graft. Allegedly paid Bobby by Joe. For steering public funds and low interest loans. Meanwhile, Rayfield James of Asbury Park on the Jersey Shore, was serving as consultant to X Mayor Kenneth Saunders. Doing the bribe buffer thing. Oceanfront redevelopment was coming. Robin Leach lifestyles loomed. But oopsy - yet another fed wire caught James and the X Mayor trying to buy city council votes. For a developer they claimed was Joe Barry. At the James and Saunders conspiracy trial (O yes they were convicted) jaws dropped as names dropped. Think big. Think Trenton and Newark. Then head on back to Hudson and try to talk acronym: HUD, DOT, NJDOT, NJTPA, ISTEA, HCIA, HCDO, SID, FBI. Also think how citizens are paying but not playing. Politically speaking.
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  Truckstop Lenders & Waterfront HUD Hauls: Part One
November 12, 2003: Marcy in Wisconsin defaults and loses her house. Follow her bouncing subprime loan and meet telemarketing mortgage brokers with psychic knowledge of other people's income. Plus in and out appraisers and Internet lenders who need no proof of nuthin'. Meanwhile, their agents hit truckstops across the nation, collecting signatures and giving folks the "right" financing. Next comes the "servicing". A "different" mortgage company picks up the ball and runs with it. Hey presto-- payments disappear! Charges get packed on! Down the pike comes an FHA insured default and another home flip flops onto the housing market. Leaving Marcy, her family and the U.S. taxpayer confused about how the game was played. One question: if hookers who work truckstops are known as lot lizards, what do you call equity strippers who do the same? A whole lotta leeches?
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  Heads Will Roll: Part Two
February 2003: The beat goes on. Checking back on the wild & wacky world of mortgage fraud and housing scams. A hair raising tale of straw buyers, the walking, investing dead and ex tech bubble boys turned mortgage brokers. Rallying cry-- Inflate & Obfuscate. Then off to eastern Europe for some heavy duty asset stripping, money laundering and the Mafia Capitalism thing. In 1995, Dr. Louise Shelley looked into a crystal ball and asked-- Transnational Crime: A Threat To The Nation State? Or as Marvin Gaye put it some years earlier: What's Going On?
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  Heads Will Roll: Part One
Autumn 2002:
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  Home Towns USA, An Urban Noir Tour
Summer 2002: Over the past few years a host of politicians from second tier
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