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March 10th, 2009
05:02 PM ET

Madoff to plead guilty on 11 charges

CNNMoney.com

Bernard Madoff, accused mastermind of a $50 billion financial fraud, is expected to plead guilty on Thursday to 11 criminal charges that could put him in jail for the rest of his life.

He was charged in court papers with securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, false statements and perjury among other charges. U.S. prosecutor Marc Litt said there was no plea agreement with Madoff, accused of bilking thousands of investors worldwide over many years.

The prosecutor told U.S. District Judge Denny Chin at a hearing that Madoff could face up to 150 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. The judge said he would sentence Madoff in several months in the event of a guilty plea.

Read more...


Filed under: Culprits of the Collapse • Economy • Finance • Raw Politics
January 27th, 2009
08:30 AM ET

$10 mansion?

Louise Story
New York Times

Housing prices are falling around the country, but this one sounds hard to believe: A seaside mansion on Jupiter Island in Florida, bought for more than $13 million five years ago, was just sold for $10.

Richard S. Fuld Jr., the former chairman and chief executive of Lehman Brothers, testifying at a Congressional hearing last October.

That’s right, 10 bucks. But in this case, the transaction is likely to raise eyebrows for reasons other than the price.

The seller, according to county records, was Richard S. Fuld Jr., the former chairman and chief executive of Lehman Brothers. The buyer was his wife, Kathleen.

The motivation is unclear, but Mr. Fuld has been under intense scrutiny since Lehman declared bankruptcy in September.

The longtime leader of the brokerage firm is at the center of a federal investigation into whether Lehman executives misled investors about the state of the company. And he was grilled by lawmakers at a Congressional hearing in October.

Mr. Fuld said in sworn testimony before a Congressional panel last year that while he took full responsibility for the debacle, he believed that all his decisions “were both prudent and appropriate” given the information he had at the time.

Read more...


Filed under: 360° Radar • Culprits of the Collapse • Economy • Louise Story
October 29th, 2008
11:41 AM ET

Ten Most Wanted: Culprits of the Collapse

See who made our list for the ''Ten Most Wanted: Culprits of the Collapse''
See who made our list for the ''Ten Most Wanted: Culprits of the Collapse''

Anderson Cooper

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve heard politicians tell us that now is not the time to point fingers and blame people for the financial crisis. I remember them saying that in the days after Hurricane Katrina as well.

The truth is that’s what politicians always say. They mean that now is the time to fix the problem, but once the world’s attention moves on, the time for hold people accountable never seems to arrive. Politicians point fingers at members of the opposite party, but no one ever seems to take real responsibility.

So who is to blame for this financial fiasco?

That’s the question we’ve begun investigating. We’ve put together a list of the Ten Most Wanted: Culprits of the Collapse. This week and next week, every night, we will be adding a name to the list and telling you what they have done, and how much it’s costing you.

It’s a rogues gallery of Wall Street executives, politicians, and government officials who did not do their jobs. It’s time you know their names, their faces, it’s time they be asked to account for their actions.

See who made the list...


Filed under: 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper • Culprits of the Collapse • TV
October 24th, 2008
10:25 AM ET

Culprits of the Collapse – #1 You


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So who is to blame for this financial fiasco?
That’s the question we’ve begun investigating.
We’ve put together a list of the Ten Most Wanted: Culprits of the Collapse.
#1 on our list: This time we look at you, the consumer. CNN's Randi Kaye reports.

October 23rd, 2008
02:14 PM ET

Culprits of the Collapse – #2 Franklin Raines


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So who is to blame for this financial fiasco?
That’s the question we’ve begun investigating.
We’ve put together a list of the Ten Most Wanted: Culprits of the Collapse.
#2 on our list: former CEO of mortgage giant Fannie Mae, Franklin Raines. CNN's Tom Foreman reports.

October 21st, 2008
11:07 AM ET

Culprits of the Collapse – #3 James Cayne







Program Note:
Every night we add a new name to our list... Watch AC360° tonight 10p ET.
_____________________________________________________________________________

So who is to blame for this financial fiasco?
That’s the question we’ve begun investigating.
We’ve put together a list of the Ten Most Wanted: Culprits of the Collapse.
#3 on our list: Former CEO of Bear Sterns, James Cayne. CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.

October 20th, 2008
04:13 PM ET

Culprits of the Collapse – #4 Angelo Mozilo


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So who is to blame for this financial fiasco?
That’s the question we’ve begun investigating.
We’ve put together a list of the Ten Most Wanted: Culprits of the Collapse.
#4 on our list: Former Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo. CNN's David Mattingly reports.

October 17th, 2008
11:00 PM ET

American dream becomes a nightmare


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David Mattingly | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Angelo Mozilo testifying at the government hearing on 'CEO Pay and the Mortgage Crisis' on March 7, 2008.

Angelo Mozilo testifying at the government hearing on 'CEO Pay and the Mortgage Crisis' on March 7, 2008.

Angelo Mozilo founded Countrywide Financial and built it into a national mortgage giant. His ambition and drive to open the "American Dream" of home ownership to millions of families was unrivaled. But somewhere along the way his many critics say he turned that dream into a nightmare.

Mozilo stands accused by Attorneys General in multiple states of selling risky mortgages to thousands who could not afford them, leading to the current foreclosure crisis.

Mozilo told Congress the bad economy is to blame, but his critics blame Mozilo for the sinking economy.

He is the latest addition to our list of the 10 Most Wanted–Culprits of the Collapse.

October 17th, 2008
05:55 PM ET

He gave me an easy mortgage. And now look.


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Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

The minute my wife and I walked in we knew the home was for us. It was perfect! There was plenty of room for our new baby, a huge back yard, a fantastic kitchen and tons of charm. This was just right. But there was a giant problem.

We didn’t have nearly enough money for a down payment and we already had a mortgage on our condo we were renting out and taking a loss on.

Our mortgage broker said our credit was outstanding and we could get a 100 percent loan, not a problem. I remember thinking, this guy is nuts! This is not supposed to be this easy, and can I really afford it?

We got caught up in the moment and bought the house.

This is the scenario that was played out over and over again all around the country. People getting into loans they probably shouldn’t have qualified for.

We were lucky: one year after we bought our house, I took a job out of state and we sold our home for a small profit.

But a few years later, the bottom fell out of the market and the values plummeted. People are now stuck with those crazy 100 percent loans or adjustable rate mortgages (ARMS) that now have them paying out the nose on a loan they shouldn’t have been able to sign in the first place.

Why were banks handing out money so easily? How were all these loans getting approved? Tonight, on AC360, we’ll tell you the story about the man who had originated a great many of these loans, and why he is one of the culprits of the collapse.

October 17th, 2008
04:27 PM ET

Culprits of the Collapse – #5 Beazer Homes


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So who is to blame for this financial fiasco?
That’s the question we’ve begun investigating.
We’ve put together a list of the Ten Most Wanted: Culprits of the Collapse.
#5 on our list: Beazer Homes USA. CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.

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