Hot water for Bank of America
In 2007, prior to failing and being bought by Bank of America, Eileen Foster was promoted to the executive vice president role in charge of the company’s mortgage fraud unit, but no one told her that by doing her job and uncovering fraud, reporting it internally and being ignored, blocked, and shunned, that she would eventually be fired for “unprofessional conduct,” according to Bank of America.
Foster told her story to iWatchNews.org in a two part series, entailing her internal investigation and what she uncovered. What was the most shocking was her discovery of “cut and paste” document forgery which led her team to physically investigate the offices in question. She says they found an “unusual number of Wite-Out dispensers” on top of employees’ desks and that inside their desk drawers, “they found folders holding blank templates for account statements from various banks and brokerage firms, such as Bank of America and Washington Mutual.”
Additionally, some offices had multiple fax machines that workers told Foster were used to simulate documents being faxed in by borrowers and to eliminate a paper trail, the sending fax machine had been programmed by staff so that there was no banner identifying the fax number from which the fax originated.
The fraud seemed routine and the investigation showed “that the phony activities of these employees were known… and tolerated by management,” Foster later said in a witness statement in a Countrywide shareholders lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles.
As this story unfolds and more ex-investigators begin going public, the banks that remain standing are in for a stressful future filled with more investigators than they’ve already become accustomed to.