Man wanted for attempted luring

Ocean Township – Police are asking anyone who can help identify the man in the attached sketch to contact Detective Bryan Morgan at 732-531-1800. Confidential tip can be placed at 732-531-3323, the hotline.

According to Detective Lieutenant Kevin L. Faller the accused individual was in a white passenger van with a regular sized front driver and passenger windows. He allegedly attempted to lure two juvenile boys, ages 11 and 12, into the van. The man approached the victim’s and yelled to them to come over to the van. The boys then ran and told their parents.

The incident took place on August 21, at 8:19 in the evening. Officer John Hanna responded to the area of West Park Avenue and Whalepond Road to take the report of attempting luring. The accused was described as a while male, about 40 years old with a balding hairstyle; having small strands of hair on the side of his head. He was also said to have a light bread; “Scruffy.”

The van also had tinted smaller windows that went along the side of the vehicle. The victims reported to police that they spotted small amounts of rust on the rear drive side and middle section of the van. According to the victims the van was last seen heading towards Whalepond Road.

Car dealer and Motor Vehicle Commission tech plead guilty

TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that the operator of a used car dealership in Middlesex County, N.J., pleaded guilty today to using fraudulent vehicle titles to sell cars damaged in Superstorm Sandy to unsuspecting customers. A suspended Motor Vehicle Commission technician who helped him obtain the fraudulent vehicle titles also pleaded guilty today in the criminal scheme, and charges are pending against a former car salesman at the dealership.

Jonathan Olin, 42, of Manalapan, the operator of D&D Auto Sales on Englishtown Road in Old Bridge, pleaded guilty to an accusation charging him with second-degree theft by deception before Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mellaci Jr. in Monmouth County. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that he be sentenced to three years in state prison. He must forfeit his license to sell vehicles in New Jersey for a period to be determined by the court, and he must pay full restitution to the victims. In pleading guilty, Olin admitted that he orchestrated a scheme in which fraudulent titles were obtained for eight flood vehicles, seven of which were then sold to unsuspecting customers by Pinky N Brain Corp NJ, doing business as D&D Auto Sales.

Co-defendant Jessie Dinome, 30, of Jackson, who formerly worked as a technician at the Freehold Motor Vehicle Agency, pleaded guilty today to an accusation charging her with third-degree tampering with public records or information. The state will recommend that she be sentenced to up to 364 days in the county jail as a condition of a term of probation. She must forfeit her state job and will be permanently barred from public employment.

Deputy Attorney General Paul Salvatoriello, Acting Deputy Chief of the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau, prosecuted the defendants and took the guilty pleas. Judge Mellaci scheduled sentencing for Olin and Dinome for Oct. 31.

“By ruthlessly cashing in on Superstorm Sandy, Olin not only cheated customers of his car dealership, he put those customers and other motorists at risk, because these flood-damaged vehicles had the potential to fail and even catch fire on the highway,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. “Two of the cars did, in fact, fail shortly after they were purchased, but fortunately no one was hurt. We’ll continue to come down hard on dishonest business operators who unlawfully put their greed before the rights and safety of consumers.”

“Many people looked at the devastation left by Superstorm Sandy and saw an opportunity to help others, but this crooked car dealer instead saw an opportunity to deceive others and steal,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We are sending a message that business operators who seek to profit criminally as a result of this type of disaster will face stern penalties, including prison.”

“This case is an example of government partners working closely for the public good,” said Raymond P. Martinez, Chairman and Chief Administrator of the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission. “Unscrupulous actors and fraudulent practices can undermine public confidence in our established system of commerce and create threats to everyone’s safety on our roadways. That is why the MVC, and our law enforcement partners, remain vigilant in the protection of all driver and vehicle documents.”

A former car salesman at D&D Auto Sales, Jacob Douek, 40, of Staten Island, N.Y., faces pending charges for allegedly deceiving customers about the flood vehicles. He is charged with conspiracy to commit theft by deception (2nd degree), theft by deception (3rd degree) and conspiracy to tamper with public records (3rd degree). A woman who worked as a clerk and receptionist at the dealership, Christina Farese, 33, of Old Bridge, also was charged in the case, but she has applied to the court to have the charges dismissed through participation in the Pre-Trial Intervention program.

The defendants carried out the fraudulent scheme from February through July 2013. The dealership acquired eight vehicles at auction that sustained flood damage during Superstorm Sandy. The eight flood vehicles acquired by Pinky N Brain were all insured by the same company, which paid claims on them as total losses after Sandy. The insurance company had the vehicles auctioned without titles under “bills of sale,” designating them as to be used “for parts only.”

At Olin’s direction, Dinome – allegedly with assistance from Farese –improperly utilized the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) computer system to create false “clean” titles for the vehicles. The signatures of the prior owners were forged to transfer the titles to D&D. Dinome was suspended without pay by the MVC after she was charged on Oct. 28, 2013.

D&D sold seven of the vehicles to customers using the fraudulent clean titles, without disclosing that the vehicles had been damaged in Superstorm Sandy. The seven vehicles were sold by D&D for a total of approximately $86,000. Douek, the car salesman, allegedly misled at least one customer about a flood vehicle and about adverse information related to Superstorm Sandy that was in the vehicle’s CarFax report.

Detective Sean Egan, Detective Michael Duffield, Detective Christian Harden, Detective Joseph McCray, Investigator Ruben Contreras and Deputy Attorney General Salvatoriello conducted the investigation for the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau, under the Supervision of Lt. Bill Newsome and Deputy Attorney General Jill Mayer, Chief of the Bureau. Acting Attorney General Hoffman thanked the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s Security, Investigations & Internal Audit Division and investigators from MVC’s Business Licensing Monitoring Unit for their valuable assistance in the investigation.

The case was referred to the Division of Criminal Justice by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, which received information from the National Salvage Vehicle Reporting Program and ABC News, which did extensive investigative reporting on flood vehicles that were ending up on used car lots across the country.

The Motor Vehicle Commission initially suspended D&D’s license to do business and seized company records on July 17, 2013. The company’s license remains suspended.
ABC News “The Lookout” aired a report in July that included the MVC action against D&D as well as footage of a prior undercover purchase from the dealership of one of the flood vehicles by an ABC producer. She purchased a flood-damaged Ford F-350 pickup truck for $19,999.

Missing: Nicholas Johnson

Ocean Township – Police are asking for help in locating a 26 year old man who was last seen at the Gateway Treatment Center located on Center Street.

Missing since July 7, is Nicholas Johnson, who stands 6’5” and weighs 170 pounds. Police say that his hair is brown and eyes are hazel.

If anyone has any information on Nicholas Johnson or his whereabouts they are asked to please call Detective Jeffrey Malone at 732-531-1800 or contact and the hotline number is 732-531-3323, all information is kept confidential.


Strict Liability Case Places Blame on Drug Dealer for Heroin Overdose Death

(FREEHOLD) An Avon-by-the-Sea man will be prosecuted under the state’s Strict Liability law placing the responsibility on him for the heroin overdose death of a man at a Rumson drug rehabilitation transitional center, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Michael Renna, 25, of Sylvania Avenue in Avon, is charged with one count of first degree Strict Liability for Drug Induced Deaths and one count of third degree Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance.

Renna is being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Freehold Township, on $210,000 bail, with no 10 percent option, as set by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge John R. Tassini, J.S.C..

Renna is charged in connection with the October 2013 overdose death of 25-year-old Christopher L. Pesce, a resident of Oxford House, a drug rehabilitation transitional house located in Rumson.

Rumson police responded to Oxford House, at 61 South Ward Ave., on October 13, 2013, at approximately 8:15 p.m., where officers located the deceased victim.

Rumson police immediately launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Pesce’s death with toxicology results obtained during a postmortem examination concluding Pesce’s death was caused by Acute Heroin Toxicity. Rumson Police, in conjunction with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, continued the investigation and ultimately determined the victim obtained the fatal doses of heroin from Renna, an acquaintance, in Asbury Park on the night of October 12, 2013, leading to the charges filed against him.

If convicted of Strict Liability for Drug Induced Deaths, Renna faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in a New Jersey state prison, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA), requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for parole.

If convicted of Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, he faces a maximum of five years in a state prison.

Anyone with information related to this investigation should contact Detective Christopher Isherwood of the Rumson Police Department at (732) 842-0500 or Detective Kevin Condon of the Monmouth County
Prosecutor’s Office at (800) 533-7443.

Night clerk at 7-11 charged with criminal sexual contact

Ocean Township – Police received a call early this morning stating that a female shopper at the 7-11 store on Sunset Avenue was groped by the clerk.
In a prepared statement issued by Detective Lieutenant Kevin L. Faller, his department responded to a woman who called at 2:33 a.m., to report that she was inappropriately touched by the store employee. Officer Gregory Martone responded to the store.
An investigation revealed that the victim was shopping in the store and was followed out to her car by the clerk. The accused individual was a 68-year-old man, of Wanamassa section of the Township. The clerk allegedly approached the victim and began hugging and kissing her. The victim resisted his advances fled the area in her car and called police.”
Assisting Martone were Detectives Michael Melody and Bryan Morgan. Police arrested the amn and charged him with one count of criminal sexual contact. Ocean Township Municipal Court Judge Timothy McGoughran set bail at $1,000 with no ten percent option.
Police didn’t confirm if surveillance footage was available from the security cameras that are used at these 24-hour convenience stores. Most have several devices recording action inside the stores and covering the parking areas.
The clerk was released after posting bail and was assigned a future court date.

MC Mosquito Commission will be spraying in Ocean tonight

Once again the Monmouth County Mosquito Commission will be spraying in our area tomorrow night. Please see the attached photo for the area and also visit the website for additional details! A CodeRed phone notification will be sent as well.

The Commission has received additional information indicating an elevated risk for the transmission of West Nile virus. In response, the Commission will be conducting targeted adult mosquito control operations to knock down adult mosquito numbers and break the disease amplification cycle on Wednesday, August 27, 2014. Please click on the Mosquito Control Schedule and Maps to the right.

August and September are peak months for West Nile virus activity. Residents and visitors are advised to use insect repellent or protective clothing when outdoors, day or night.

Monmouth County residents can help reduce the production of mosquitoes and the amplification of West Nile virus by diligently emptying containers of water. Be sure to check for standing water after every rain!

Call the hotline to obtain the latest and most current Treatment Schedule Information available.

Hotline Phone Number:

The hotline and website will be updated when operations are completed.

Mom found unconscious in car with two year old in backseat

Ocean Township – Officer Michael Galvin took a report of a woman who was unconscious in her car which also had a young child in the backseat.

The call was received at 6:16 in the evening on August 23, and the car was at the State Highway 35 and West Park. Officer Galvin was able to determine that the driver, identified as Candice Victor, 34, of Toms River, was under the influence of heroin.

Victor was transported to Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, where officers and hospital staff found that she had an additional five bags of heroin and nine hypodermic syringes.

Detective Lieutenant Kevin L. Faller stated in a prepared statement that the two year old boy who was in the backseat of the car was taken into protective custody and turned over to the New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency.

Heroin is becoming more and more of an issue in our area. A gab of heroin cost only $10 on average and the type being supplied in the tri-state area is very powerful. Law enforcement experts say that once a person uses the drug three times they are hooked.

What is alarming police is that heroin users are now a complete dissection of our communities. It does not discriminate against age, sex, social status or educational background. Experts say that once addicted to heroin it is extremely difficult to get off the drug.

Victor was arrested and charged with possession of heroin, possession of a hypodermic syringe, possession of drug paraphernalia, and child endangerment. She was released on a complaint summons at the hospital to appear at a future court date. Faller did not mention anything about if and when she is allowed contact with her two year old son.

Gonzalez will be first female sergeant in LBPD history

September 5, 2014 will be an historic day for the Long Branch Police Department.

At 4:00 in the afternoon Corporal Antonia Gonzalez will become the first female police officer in the long history of the department to be sworn in as a Sergeant. Detective Brendan Cahill will also be promoted that afternoon to the rank of Sergeant.

The Link News congratulates both officers on their dedication and hard work.

Bank of America to Pay $16.65 Billion

Bank of America to Pay $16.65 Billion in Historic Justice Department Settlement for Financial Fraud Leading up to and During the Financial Crisis

Attorney General Eric Holder and Associate Attorney General Tony West announced today that the Department of Justice has reached a $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America Corporation – the largest civil settlement with a single entity in American history ¬— to resolve federal and state claims against Bank of America and its former and current subsidiaries, including Countrywide Financial Corporation and Merrill Lynch. As part of this global resolution, the bank has agreed to pay a $5 billion penalty under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) – the largest FIRREA penalty ever – and provide billions of dollars of relief to struggling homeowners, including funds that will help defray tax liability as a result of mortgage modification, forbearance or forgiveness. The settlement does not release individuals from civil charges, nor does it absolve Bank of America, its current or former subsidiaries and affiliates or any individuals from potential criminal prosecution.

“This historic resolution – the largest such settlement on record – goes far beyond ‘the cost of doing business,’” said Attorney General Holder. “Under the terms of this settlement, the bank has agreed to pay $7 billion in relief to struggling homeowners, borrowers and communities affected by the bank’s conduct. This is appropriate given the size and scope of the wrongdoing at issue.”

This settlement is part of the ongoing efforts of President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force and its Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) Working Group, which has recovered $36.65 billion to date for American consumers and investors.

“At nearly $17 billion, today’s resolution with Bank of America is the largest the department has ever reached with a single entity in American history,” said Associate Attorney General West. “But the significance of this settlement lies not just in its size; this agreement is notable because it achieves real accountability for the American people and helps to rectify the harm caused by Bank of America’s conduct through a $7 billion consumer relief package that could benefit hundreds of thousands of Americans still struggling to pull themselves out from under the weight of the financial crisis.”

The Justice Department and the bank settled several of the department’s ongoing civil investigations related to the packaging, marketing, sale, arrangement, structuring and issuance of RMBS, collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), and the bank’s practices concerning the underwriting and origination of mortgage loans. The settlement includes a statement of facts, in which the bank has acknowledged that it sold billions of dollars of RMBS without disclosing to investors key facts about the quality of the securitized loans. When the RMBS collapsed, investors, including federally insured financial institutions, suffered billions of dollars in losses. The bank has also conceded that it originated risky mortgage loans and made misrepresentations about the quality of those loans to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

Of the record-breaking $16.65 billion resolution, almost $10 billion will be paid to settle federal and state civil claims by various entities related to RMBS, CDOs and other types of fraud. Bank of America will pay a $5 billion civil penalty to settle the Justice Department claims under FIRREA. Approximately $1.8 billion will be paid to settle federal fraud claims related to the bank’s origination and sale of mortgages, $1.03 billion will be paid to settle federal and state securities claims by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), $135.84 million will be paid to settle claims by the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, $300 million will be paid to settle claims by the state of California, $45 million to settle claims by the state of Delaware, $200 million to settle claims by the state of Illinois, $23 million to settle claims by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, $75 million to settle claims by the state of Maryland, and $300 million to settle claims by the state of New York.

Bank of America will provide the remaining $7 billion in the form of relief to aid hundreds of thousands of consumers harmed by the financial crisis precipitated by the unlawful conduct of Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Countrywide. That relief will take various forms, including principal reduction loan modifications that result in numerous homeowners no longer being underwater on their mortgages and finally having substantial equity in their homes. It will also include new loans to credit worthy borrowers struggling to get a loan, donations to assist communities in recovering from the financial crisis, and financing for affordable rental housing. Finally, Bank of America has agreed to place over $490 million in a tax relief fund to be used to help defray some of the tax liability that will be incurred by consumers receiving certain types of relief if Congress fails to extend the tax relief coverage of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007.

An independent monitor will be appointed to determine whether Bank of America is satisfying its obligations. If Bank of America fails to live up to its agreement by Aug. 31, 2018, it must pay liquidated damages in the amount of the shortfall to organizations that will use the funds for state-based Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA) organizations and NeighborWorks America, a non-profit organization and leader in providing affordable housing and facilitating community development. The organizations will use the funds for foreclosure prevention and community redevelopment, legal assistance, housing counselling and neighborhood stabilization.

As part of the RMBS Working Group, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey conducted a FIRREA investigation into misrepresentations made by Merrill Lynch to investors in 72 RMBS throughout 2006 and 2007. As the statement of facts describes, Merrill Lynch regularly told investors the loans it was securitizing were made to borrowers who were likely and able to repay their debts. Merrill Lynch made these representations even though it knew, based on the due diligence it had performed on samples of the loans, that a significant number of those loans had material underwriting and compliance defects – including as many as 55 percent in a single pool. In addition, Merrill Lynch rarely reviewed the unsampled loans to ensure that the defects observed in the samples were not present throughout the remainder of the pools. Merrill Lynch also disregarded its own due diligence and securitized loans that the due diligence vendors had identified as defective. This practice led one Merrill Lynch consultant to “wonder why we have due diligence performed” if Merrill Lynch was going to securitize the loans “regardless of issues.”

“In the run-up to the financial crisis, Merrill Lynch bought more and more mortgage loans, packaged them together, and sold them off in securities – even when the bank knew a substantial number of those loans were defective,” said U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman for the District of New Jersey. “The failure to disclose known risks undermines investor confidence in our financial institutions. Today’s record-breaking settlement, which includes the resolution of our office’s imminent multibillion-dollar suit for FIRREA penalties, reflects the seriousness of the lapses that caused staggering losses and wider economic damage.”

This settlement also resolves the complaint filed against Bank of America in August 2013 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina concerning an $850 million securitization. Bank of America acknowledges that it marketed this securitization as being backed by bank-originated “prime” mortgages that were underwritten in accordance with its underwriting guidelines. Yet, Bank of America knew that a significant number of loans in the security were “wholesale” mortgages originated through mortgage brokers and that based on its internal reporting, such loans were experiencing a marked increase in underwriting defects and a noticeable decrease in performance. Notwithstanding these red flags, the bank sold these RMBS to federally backed financial institutions without conducting any third party due diligence on the securitized loans and without disclosing key facts to investors in the offering documents filed with the SEC. A related case concerning the same securitization was filed by the SEC against Bank of America and is also being resolved as part of this settlement.

“Today’s settlement attests to the fact that fraud pervaded every level of the RMBS industry, including purportedly prime securities, which formed the basis of our filed complaint,” said U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins for the Western District of North Carolina. “Even reputable institutions like Bank of America caved to the pernicious forces of greed and cut corners, putting profits ahead of their customers. As we deal with the aftermath of the financial meltdown and rebuild our economy, we will hold accountable firms that contributed to the economic crisis. Today’s settlement makes clear that my office will not sit idly while fraud occurs in our backyard.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California has been investigating the origination and securitization practices of Countrywide as part of the RMBS Working Group effort. The statement of facts describes how Countrywide typically represented to investors that it originated loans based on underwriting standards that were designed to ensure that borrowers could repay their loans, although Countrywide had information that certain borrowers had a high probability of defaulting on their loans. Countrywide also concealed from RMBS investors its use of “shadow guidelines” that permitted loans to riskier borrowers than Countrywide’s underwriting guidelines would otherwise permit. Countrywide’s origination arm was motivated by the “saleability” of loans and Countrywide was willing to originate “exception loans” (i.e., loans that fell outside of its underwriting guidelines) so long as the loans, and the attendant risk, could be sold. This led Countrywide to expand its loan offerings to include, for example, “Extreme Alt-A” loans, which one Countrywide executive described as a “hazardous product,” although Countrywide failed to tell RMBS investors that these loans were being originated outside of Countrywide’s underwriting guidelines. Countrywide knew that these exception loans were performing far worse than loans originated without exceptions, although it never disclosed this fact to investors.

“The Central District of California has taken the lead in the department’s investigation of Countrywide Financial Corporation,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura for the Central District of California. “Countrywide’s improper securitization practices resulted in billions of dollars of losses to federally-insured financial institutions. We are pleased that this investigation has resulted in a multibillion-dollar recovery to compensate the United States for the losses caused by Countrywide’s misconduct.”

In addition to the matters relating to the securitization of toxic mortgages, today’s settlement also resolves claims arising out of misrepresentations made to government entities concerning the origination of residential mortgages.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, along with the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General and the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, conducted investigations into the origination of defective residential mortgage loans by Countrywide’s Consumer Markets Division and Bank of America’s Retail Lending Division as well as the fraudulent sale of such loans to the government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the “GSEs”). The investigation into these practices, as well as three private whistleblower lawsuits filed under seal pursuant to the False Claims Act, are resolved in connection with this settlement. As part of the settlement, Countrywide and Bank of America have agreed to pay $1 billion to resolve their liability under the False Claims Act. The FIRREA penalty to be paid by Bank of America as part of the settlement also resolves the government’s claims against Bank of America and Countrywide under FIRREA for loans fraudulently sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In addition, Countrywide and Bank of America made admissions concerning their conduct, including that they were aware that many of the residential mortgage loans they had made to borrowers were defective, that many of the representations and warranties they made to the GSEs about the quality of the loans were inaccurate, and that they did not self-report to the GSEs mortgage loans they had internally identified as defective.

“For years, Countrywide and Bank of America unloaded toxic mortgage loans on the government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with false representations that the loans were quality investments,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for the Southern District of New York. “This office has already obtained a jury verdict of fraud and a judgment for over a billion dollars against Countrywide and Bank of America for engaging in similar conduct. Now, this settlement, which requires the bank to pay another billion dollars for false statements to the GSEs, continues to send a clear message to Wall Street that mortgage fraud cannot be a cost of doing business.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, together with its partners from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), conducted a two-year investigation into whether Bank of America knowingly made loans insured by the FHA in violation of applicable underwriting guidelines. The investigation established that the bank caused the FHA to insure loans that were not eligible for FHA mortgage insurance. As a result, HUD incurred hundreds of millions of dollars of losses. Moreover, many of Bank of America’s borrowers have defaulted on their FHA mortgage loans and have either lost or are in the process of losing their homes to foreclosure.

“As a Direct Endorser of FHA insured loans, Bank of America performs a critical role in home lending,” said U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch for the Eastern District of New York. “It is a gatekeeper entrusted with the authority to commit government funds earmarked for facilitating mortgage lending to first-time and low-income homebuyers, senior citizen homeowners and others seeking or owning homes throughout the nation, including many who live in the Eastern District of New York. In obtaining a payment of $800 million and sweeping relief for troubled homeowners, we have not just secured a meaningful remedy for the bank’s conduct, but have sent a powerful message of deterrence.”

“Bank of America failed to make accurate and complete disclosure to investors and its illegal conduct kept investors in the dark,” said Rhea Kemble Dignam, Regional Director of the SEC’s Atlanta Office. “Requiring an admission of wrongdoing as part of Bank of America’s agreement to resolve the SEC charges filed today provides an additional level of accountability for its violation of the federal securities laws.”

“Today’s settlement with Bank of America is another important step in the Obama Administration’s efforts to provide relief to American homeowners who were hurt during the housing crisis,” said U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro. “This global settlement will strengthen the FHA fund and Ginnie Mae, and it will provide $7 billion in consumer relief with a focus on helping borrowers in areas that were the hardest hit during the crisis. HUD will continue working with the Department of Justice, state attorneys general, and other partners to take appropriate action to hold financial institutions accountable and provide consumers with the relief they need to stay in their homes. HUD remains committed to solidifying the housing recovery and creating more opportunities for Americans to succeed.”
“Bank of America and the banks it bought securitized billions of dollars of defective mortgages,” said Acting Inspector General Michael P. Stephens of the FHFA-OIG. “Investors, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, suffered enormous losses by purchasing RMBS from Bank of America, Countrywide and Merrill Lynch not knowing about those defects. Today’s settlement is a significant, but by no means final step by FHFA-OIG and its law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who committed acts of fraud and deceit.”

The attorneys general of California, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland and New York also conducted related investigations that were critical to bringing about this settlement. In addition, the settlement resolves investigations conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and litigation filed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC).

The RMBS Working Group is a federal and state law enforcement effort focused on investigating fraud and abuse in the RMBS market that helped lead to the 2008 financial crisis. The RMBS Working Group brings together more than 200 attorneys, investigators, analysts and staff from dozens of state and federal agencies including the Department of Justice, 10 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HUD’s Office of Inspector General, the FHFA-OIG, the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Federal Reserve Board’s Office of Inspector General, the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and more than 10 state attorneys general offices around the country.

The RMBS Working Group is led by Director Geoffrey Graber and five co-chairs: Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division Stuart Delery, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Leslie Caldwell, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement Andrew Ceresney, U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado John Walsh and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Investigations were led by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leticia Vandehaar of the District of New Jersey; Dan Ryan and Mark Odulio of the Western District of North Carolina; George Cardona and Lee Weidman of the Central District of Carolina; Richard Hayes and Kenneth Abell of the Eastern District of New York; and Pierre Armand and Jaimie Nawaday of the Southern District of New York.

Exploring law enforcement

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr

Long Branch – Police Explorers is a program designed to open young men and women between the ages of 14 and 20, who might have an interest in learning more about careers and opportunities in the field of law enforcement.

Corporal Kevin King of the Long Branch Police Department oversees Post 167, which was the badge number his older brother Detective Sergeant Patrick A. King, a 22-year veteran of the department, had when he killed in the line of duty on November 20, 1997.

Explorers are provided expert training in self-defense, traffic direction, and life guarding skills, EMS skills, firefighting techniques and a host of educational and judicial classes. It provides a look into the career of law enforcement, leadership roles and providing community service.

Post 167 of the Long Branch Police Explorers will volunteer and assist police at car shows, concerts, Oceanfest and many other in and out of town activities. There is a registration fee of $10 to join the Long Branch Police Explorers, uniforms are provided.

Long Branch has a few additional requirement besides the 14-20 age restriction. To be considered the applicant can’t have a criminal record. Have no affiliation with gangs or other criminal organizations. Each candidate must maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher in high school or college.

Those who would like more information on this program can call 732-222-1000 and leave a message for Corporal King or stop at police headquarter and pick up an application from Kelly Hughes.

Find out more by reading this flyer:
Download an application: