ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Stock and Bond Fraud, including Boiler Rooms / Pump and Dump Schemes, Mutual Fund & Hedge Fund Fraud, FOREX scams, plus Churning, Private Placements, Venture and Bridge Funding, IPOs, Viaticals Fraud, HYIP and Prime Bank scams, MTNs, Historical Notes, Recovery Schemes, etc. Includes the Jim Norman Project and the Michael Dotson Project and similar HYIP scams.
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby The Observer » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:15 pm

Yeah, the judge was not completely happy with the attorney's arguments and pleadings. Of course some of this had to do with the troublesome California statute that the suit is based on, and trying to determine the legislature's true intent. But my take on the transcripts was that the plaintiff(s)' were really reaching in trying to make their pig look pretty.
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby worried » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:19 am

There a new complaint filed: https://media.wix.com/ugd/f30c02_97d17f ... 9f4bc1.pdf
(on the website: https://www.nasi-lawsuit.com/case-documents )

I read through it rather quickly, going slower on any part mentioning CNB. It looks like a slightly different version of the same complaints that have already been filed. And one of those has already been 'bitch-slapped' according to webhick.

So,... if CNB (the institution=the shareholders) gets off scot-free from this, then that institution got to PROFIT from the fees generated from all that fraudulent activity that the institution turned a blind eye toward (whether intentional or just through negligence). If that's the case, then we should all be bank shareholders!! But... say, the court tells the bank they need to turn over ONLY any PROFIT they made off the fraudulent activity, then the shareholders just end up giving back some money that wasn't really theirs in the first place,... but there's no creation of motivation to NOT DO THAT AGAIN... is this the world we live in?... Is CNB really going to get away with this? There has to be accountability, there has to be real motivation all the way to the top of any company for each employee and owner to be able to credibly demonstrate they truly exercised 'due diligence' and were NOT negligent. Now... I can understand situations where small incremental degrees of negligence on the part of many individuals eventually add up to allowing something big to happen. But, in this case, it was clearly reported (and not denied that I've seen) that the people Fitzwilliam answered to literally took a complete bullshit answer of "Joel swears he owns a bunch of machines" without one single shred of OBJECTIVE evidence that they could then point at to prove that they didn't just "take someone's word for it"... that, to me, is one big huge step of negligence. Now, maybe the next person up the line was negligent in some way as well, or not, we don't know, but it would surprise me that there aren't some documentation and spot-check requirements that were ignored at least a couple steps up the chain. .... However the 'blame' gets apportioned, if I was the single, sole owner of CNB, and if I thought I could get away with letting my people rip people off while I reaped the profits from the fees and all I ever had to do was at worst, give some ill-gotten money back, or at best keep the money and watch my employees take the fall, I guarantee you I could rationalize my way into continuing that behavior....

Now, I suppose I could/should extend the "responsibility" argument to the victims themselves who (except for some who may have not been mentally able to take full responsibility for their actions at the time: true victims) were also negligent in not following the basic rules and common sense that keep the rest of us from investing in Ponzis. I've said that the victim's "human-ness", their "desire to believe" was used against them, and that's true, and is still reason for compassion, but, they still have to take some responsibility. So, I'm not advocating that CNB should be used to go and make all the victims completely whole again. I'm just arguing that there IS blame to go all around here. .... I saw in one of CNB's responses (please don't ask me to say which one) a fancy Latin term; I looked it up and it was basically a claim that CNB shouldn't be held responsible because they were just as much a victim as the investors... Well, that bothered me and until now I couldn't figure out a response to that, but I think I spelled it out. Yes, CNB was victimized, but CNB allowed it by being negligent.... CNB has to take some responsibility, give all the profits back, and the court should decide on a fair amount of punitive damages after that. If there is never any punitive result, then no bank would ever care that their managers are helping to run Ponzis....
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby Gregg » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:28 am

My read is that the bank is responsible in theory, but the lawyer in the case didn't do HIS job and came to court with "let me dig around long enough and I'll find he evidence I needed to file this case...eventually".

Its not that the bank ins't responsible for negligence, its just that the plaintiff has to prove it was negligent with real evidence and not just "well someone sure as hell missed something", which is all I see in the complaint.
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby notorial dissent » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:44 am

That's always the problem, knowing it and proving it are not the same thing, and when you have an incompetent/inept/lazy lawyer it gets much much worse. I still don't understand why there are separate suits here, but then I haven't been paying attention either. It also sounds like one of them was trying to pretend they were a class action when they hadn't been certified as such, someone else unclear on either the concept or the law.
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby The Observer » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:31 pm

That was my impression as well, that they decided to go forward without the receiver. I almost got the feeling this was annoying to the judge as well, that they were trying to cut in line ahead of the other victims.
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby Judge Roy Bean » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:06 pm

worried wrote:... if I was the single, sole owner of CNB, and if I thought I could get away with letting my people rip people off while I reaped the profits from the fees and all I ever had to do was at worst, give some ill-gotten money back, or at best keep the money and watch my employees take the fall, I guarantee you I could rationalize my way into continuing that behavior ....


Welcome to the real world. Entire teams of executives and managers have engaged in this kind of thing for years. Look at the history of Ameriquest, Countrywide, Fairbanks Capital, Ocwen, and more recently Wells Fargo, etc., etc..

To the members of the boards of directors (who are supposed to be looking out for the shareholders), on some of these companies, issues like fraud and the fines, penalties, settlements (and judgements if they ever get that far) are simply a cost of doing business.
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby The Observer » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:50 pm

There is definitely some sort of rationalization going on in board rooms, but I suspect lack of oversight is the cause of most of the problems. The recent case where Wells Fargo started an employee incentive program to increase new accounts comes to mind; it got hijacked by a couple of execs who didn't look (or didn't care to look) to ensure that the employees were not coming up with creative ways to get those new accounts. In short, much of the program was engaging in opening new accounts for customers by transferring money from their current accounts -without their knowledge or misleading conversations.
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby webhick » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:56 pm

notorial dissent wrote:I still don't understand why there are separate suits here, but then I haven't been paying attention either.


There's 5 so far by my count:

  • Nairn BC606667.
  • Hoffman BC624542
  • Allison BC634285
  • Tarnol BC641712
  • Payne BC655806 This one was filed by the same team I mentioned above. I only did a quick skim of the complaint it seems they corrected some of the issues with the original one, like by adding Fitzgerald.

And then we also have Hoffman v Mark Soffa BC636780.

I hate the LA courts. It's $1 per page for the first five and then $0.40 thereafter with a cap of $40.

Tarnol is familiar. The Receiver won a judgment against them for $1,456,716.00 and the case status says it's closed. Then there's a ton of entries on the docket about levies, an application to enforce judgment, then the Receiver filed a motion for Order for Turnover, which he lost without prejudice. The Debtor Examination will be on May 9th.

Shut up. I haven't caught up on the dockets yet. I mean, they're downloaded through April 7th, but I haven't really looked into anything.
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby worried » Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:53 pm

Judge Roy Bean wrote:
worried wrote:... if I was the single, sole owner of CNB, and if I thought I could get away with letting my people rip people off while I reaped the profits from the fees and all I ever had to do was at worst, give some ill-gotten money back, or at best keep the money and watch my employees take the fall, I guarantee you I could rationalize my way into continuing that behavior ....


Welcome to the real world. Entire teams of executives and managers have engaged in this kind of thing for years. Look at the history of Ameriquest, Countrywide, Fairbanks Capital, Ocwen, and more recently Wells Fargo, etc., etc..

To the members of the boards of directors (who are supposed to be looking out for the shareholders), on some of these companies, issues like fraud and the fines, penalties, settlements (and judgements if they ever get that far) are simply a cost of doing business.


Well, I seem to not be smart enough to be able to do such things... but pretty much all the people I know and like to be around can't either!
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby notorial dissent » Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:08 am

When a corporation has between 30-50 board members as some of them do now it is impossible for them to actually know what is going on. Even with 20-30 it is next to impossible. Most of them have only limited contact with the company at the best of times, and generally they, and the rest of the board, leave it up to the CEO's etc to actually run the company and make decisions. With large corporations it is ridiculous to expect them to be able to exercise any meaningful oversight.

Case in point, Wells Fargo. The so called “new accounts incentive” is just the most recent and currently most visible example of that and it was more than a case of the executive “hijacking” the program and then turning a blind eye to what the employees were doing. What did happen was that the CEO and two lower (below him) execs saw an opportunity to pad their bonus and pay packages and very carefully and intentionally orchestrated a situation where employees were forced, upon threat of dismissal if they didn’t comply, to bring in new accounts and fees at any cost. This has been documented and there are court cases pending over those actions against the execs and WF at this time. There was NO way the board could have known what was going on as the CEO and his subordinates were very carefully trying to keep it all under wraps. Ultimately that didn’t work when employees and customers started complaining and suing.

The upshot of all this was ultimately the dismissal of all three individuals regardless of how their departures were portrayed, their forfeiture of some hefty bonuses and other perks, and a complete reshuffle of how the board and management will work from now on. The CEO was stripped of a fair bit of power and new measures were (supposedly) put in place that supposedly should help prevent a future occurrence, and other fantasies. Even with the changes I still think their board is too big, too unwieldy, and out of touch to really be a successful deterrent to future bad behavior, but it will at least be a little more difficult. The problem is that when you have something like this coming from the very top it is hard for a board to do much about it.
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby The Observer » Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:50 am

...[I]t was more than a case of the executive “hijacking” the program and then turning a blind eye to what the employees were doing.


Not according to the Wells Fargo Board in an article earlier this week:

Wells Fargo’s board said in a report issued on Monday that Mr. Stumpf had turned a blind eye to the fraudulent accounts being created under his nose and that Ms. Tolstedt, who ran the branch system, had focused obsessively on sales targets and withheld information from her boss and the board.


The warning signs were glaring and could be traced back at least to 2004, the investigators said. Ms. Tolstedt, who ran the national network of Wells Fargo branches, set up ruthless sales goals that even she acknowledged were unreachable. Mr. Stumpf, who had a long and trusting relationship with Ms. Tolstedt, left her on her own to run her department, the investigators said in the scathing 113-page report.


Mr. Stumpf was warned as early as 2012 about “numerous” complaints about the company’s sales tactics — from both customers and employees — but he ignored growing evidence that the problem was pervasive, the board said in its report
.

The report casts her [Tolstedt] as a powerful and insular leader who set unreasonable targets, castigated those who criticized them and actively ignored signs that some managers and employees were cheating to meet them.
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby notorial dissent » Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:31 am

I am still of the opinion that it was more active than not, they wouldn't have basically fired him and be so busy trying to minimize it otherwise. That and that they basically took back all the bonuses and perks the three of them got as a result of the actions tells me otherwise. Judging by the proxy statements I got they are still in damage control mode and that is telling.
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby The Observer » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:20 am

notorial dissent wrote:I am still of the opinion that it was more active than not, they wouldn't have basically fired him and be so busy trying to minimize it otherwise. That and that they basically took back all the bonuses and perks the three of them got as a result of the actions tells me otherwise. Judging by the proxy statements I got they are still in damage control mode and that is telling.


I think the board fired him simply because the negligence was so great for the period of time that this scandal ran, there was simply no way they could overlook it and not have the public and government end up coming for the directors' heads. I recognize that this was unusual for corporate America; in most cases where an executive has merely failed and let a corporation run up millions in losses, directors tend to reward the CEO for the performance and give him or her a nice severance package to go away quietly. But this situation was so different and so bad, they could not simply keep their heads turned away from the stench.

This subject is kind of a hot button for me since I have experienced similar problems in my working life. During university, I worked at Sears where the execs were constantly looking for a way to increase sales. One idea was to expand the number of people in the US who had a Sears credit card, the thought being that if people have that magic card, they will take their business to Sears. The idea had some merit as well as some down sides, but the problem that I saw was how they decided to execute getting cards into hands of every man and woman (and children if they thought they could have gotten away with it) One of the ways was to direct every employee in the stores across the nation to ask customers at the register if they would like to apply for a credit card. This would not appear to be a unreasonable approach, but then the wheels started coming off the wagon. When the results did not come in as expected, the executive staffs started looking to see why the sales didn't increase. They started collecting data on the numbers of applications secured by the stores across the country. Stores that had the least number of applications had to explain why they were not measuring up to their sister stores in the next city or county.

This started trickling down to the department managers and they had to provide weekly tallies on how many applications were secured and then to see which employees were getting the applications. Pretty soon, the pressure came down to the individual level since it appeared some employees were not doing their best to secure applications. So it became an informal sort of Spanish Inquisition: did you remember to ask at each sale if your customer would like to apply? How many did you ask? Why did the number that you gave me not match the number of sales on your register? Even when these answers were correct, the pressure evolved into even more inanity: If the customer says they do not want to apply, did you explain the advantages of having the Sears credit card? Did you ask them why they did not want to apply? Did you remember to pull the gun we gave you and hold it to their head until they signed the application form? Ok, I made that last question up, but it seemed that that was going to be the next step if the credit card applications didn't increase.

The whole process was pretty insidious but mind you, there was never any written memo or policy directive that ever came out of the Sears HQ in Chicago that directed the Sears employees to ram credit card applications down customers' throats. This was simply one of many plans to increase sales that suddenly took on a life of its own; at the next lower level of management, someone decided that they could improve on the previous idea given to them by their manager (and their annual evaluation) if they could deliver the goods for their region, area, store or department. It finally fell apart like a badly run pyramid scheme when the head honchos realized that there was only so many people in the country that were sound bets for unsecured credit and that you really didn't want the other people who didn't. Also, the constant complaints from customers who were sick to death of running the application gauntlet seemed to convince the suits in Chicago that things were getting out of control. One day we were told to stop harassing the customers, leave the credit car apps in the box by the register and let the customer decide if they want a credit card on their own time.
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby webhick » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:54 am

Oh they still pester the shit out of you. I don't go into Sears often, but I often regret going into Sears.
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby The Observer » Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:56 am

Sears is a chain that has been playing catch-up for the last 40 years - and failing. During the 70-80s the management was obsessed with Kmart's success and tried to emulate their model. But instead of selling some sort of name-brand product like Kmart was doing, Sears stupidly insisted that people wanted to buy Cheryl Tiegs jeans and Jack Nicklaus slacks. This despite the fact that people were buying Levis everywhere else like there was no tomorrow. Some twenty years later, suddenly Sears woke up and decided to start selling name-brand product. But it was too late. Brick-and-mortar stores were now a liability and people were buying on-line. Oh, yeah, Sears had dumped their catalog line as well in pursuit of Kmart and had to rebuild it so that they could compete on-line.

For all that was accomplished was they buying up their competitor when Kmart filed bankruptcy. Now Sears is on the same ropes. They are so cash-starved that they sold their Craftsman brand to Black & Decker so that they can pay their suppliers; the suppliers, who know a beached whale when they see one, have demanded money up front for product and are not willing to wait for terms of 90-120 days.

The Sears in my neighborhood is pretty lackluster, light in traffic, and void of competent, dedicated and energetic salespeople. At no time has any of them asked me to apply for a Sears credit card when I make a rare purchase there. And that is because what product is there is pretty much from the shallow end of the pool. Now that Craftsman has been sold off, I suspect that I will no longer have to go to Sears to purchase a tool since the line will probably be made available elsewhere.
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby notorial dissent » Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:00 am

Sears started shooting themselves in the foot when the let the entrepreneurial proto internet whiz wonders take over and get their hands in Sears’ rather large at the time cookie jar, and diversify in to things they knew less than nothing about. They bought, and paid IMO way too much for, Coldwell, Dean Witless, and whatever the tax prep outfit was to get in to the financial services markets, and it was as they say all downhill from there. DW had at one time been a really good brokerage house, but not by the time they overpaid for them, and while I can’t say for certain about Coldwell, I always detested having dealings with them, even more so than DW and that was saying a lot. Needless to say it was a major fiasco and money sink that eventually sunk them in red ink. To my knowledge, they were spun them off or sold at a tremendous loss to the company, and then they got suckered in to Kmart which was really the death knell. Both companies were hemorrhaging red ink and together thorough changes in the market place that they hadn’t responded to and generally lousy management, their combined management managed to pretty much guarantee the current status. The scary part was that Kmart was in better financial shape when Seats got tangled with them, now they both suck. The marriage didn’t do either of them any good as far as I am concerned, and I now loath them both equally. I haven’t bought anything from Sears in years since they quit carrying the (basic) clothing lines I liked, and I couldn’t count on them for tools. I haven’t willingly stepped foot in a Kmart in recent memory, and the last time I did was because they were the only place that allegedly had an item I was looking for. The store was so filthy and disorganized that I swore never to go back. Sears was even less of a problem since the only store close to me had shrunk to the point they had nothing, and they have now closed all but a couple of the outlying stores in the burbs that I wouldn’t waste the time going to to begin with.

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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby worried » Thu May 11, 2017 12:35 am

New Receiver report out on the receivership website:
http://www.nasi-receivership.com/wp-con ... -04-17.pdf

The most interesting new info:
... as the pursuit of Clawback
Claims winds down (which is expected to occur toward the end of the second
quarter or beginning of the third quarter this year), the Receiver anticipates filing a
motion for approval of procedures for the administration of claims of investors with
net losses from the Ponzi scheme. Once such procedures have been approved by the
Court, the Receiver will send notices to investors with instructions regarding the
claims process.


So, sometime in the summer of this year (but there are always delays) you might be getting those notices about the claims process.

It kind of sounds like if there is ever anything received from the CNB case it will be disbursed separately(?)...
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby worried » Thu May 25, 2017 8:28 pm

New fee application reports out on the receiver site.

The Allen Matkins fee app report has just a hint of some fun drama associated with Mark Soffa (that guy really thinks he's a slippery snake) who is acting as his own lawyer.

The receiver fee app has this about the CNB cases:
In the Receiver's case against CNB, the Receiver was successful in getting the
Los Angeles Superior Court to deny CNB's demurrer to the complaint, in which
CNB had asserted the in pari delicto defense
. In the Nairn case, the Los Angeles
Superior Court granted a motion to dismiss based on Anti-SLAPP, which ruling is
now on appeal. CNB has indicated it will file a similar motion to dismiss in the
Allison case. The Madison case, which is in Federal Court, is awaiting a status
conference, which was delayed because of the mediation.


So, despite the bad news on the Nairn case, there's a least some good news that the court slapped down CNB's argument that "we're just as much a victim as anybody else"...
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby webhick » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:06 pm

The Receiver has managed to bring the fund balance to $34 million via clawbacks and other sources. More is in the wind, like CNB so there's no telling.

$34 / $124 loss = $0.27 on the dollar.

In any event, Receiver filed a proposed plan for the claims process. Within 30 days of the court's approval, victims would be mailed the total claim amount, the detail to back it up and a W-4. If a victim disagrees with their claim amount, they would have 60 days to refute it in writing and with documentation. If the Receiver and the victim can't work out the differences, then it goes before a judge to decide. It all seemed pretty cut and dry to me.

I guess once all the claim amounts are finalized then they can determine which everyone's percentage which can be used for the current payout as well as future ones.

But the motion was denied yesterday. Docket doesn't say why. I hope it's something technical.

Oh, I also moved the NASI Victims blog to my own server instead of using wordpress.com hosting. More options this way.
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Re: ATM LEASEBACK SCHEMES-- any insight?

Postby notorial dissent » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:01 am

WOW, that is way more than I expected they'd be able to recover, actually quite good in fact. Definitely good news for the victims though.
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