Shawn Lucas Cause of Death Still Unknown as Clinton’s Campaign Lawyer Tries to Move DNC Lawsuit into the Weeds

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 26, 2016

Shawn Lucas, Process Server for One Source Process, Delivering the Lawsuit Against the Democratic National Committee and Debbie Wasserman Schultz on July 1, 2016

Shawn Lucas, Process Server for One Source Process, Delivering the Lawsuit Against the Democratic National Committee and Debbie Wasserman Schultz on July 1, 2016

According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for Washington, D.C., it has still not determined a cause of death for Shawn Lucas, the 38-year old process server who delivered the class action lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee and its then Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to the DNC headquarters on July 1. One month later, the girlfriend of Lucas came home to find him dead on the bathroom floor.

It has now been more than three weeks since Lucas died with no cause of death announced. We asked the Chief Medical Examiner’s office if the delay was a result of toxicology tests being conducted. We were told it can make no comment beyond the fact that the cause of death is “pending.”

The official report from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C. indicates that officers Kathryn Fitzgerald and Adam Sotelo responded to a 911 call from the girlfriend of Lucas, Savannah King. The officers arrived “at 1913 hours,” or 7:13 p.m. on the evening of  Tuesday, August  2. According to the report, Lucas was “laying unconscious on the bathroom floor” and when “DCFD Engine 9 responded” there were “no signs consistent with life.”

A video of the service of process, which has garnered over 474,000 views as of this morning, shows Shawn Lucas saying he was “excited” and “thrilled” to be the process server on this lawsuit. He comments later in the video that it is like his “birthday and Christmas” rolled into one.

At the time the lawsuit was filed, the attorneys for the Sanders’ plaintiffs already had significant evidence that the DNC and Wasserman Schultz had put their fingers on the scale to tip the primary results in favor of Hillary Clinton while overtly undermining the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders. (The DNC is prohibited from unfair treatment of Democratic primary candidates under its own bylaws.)

Then on Friday, July 22, 2016 at 10:30 a.m., just as the DNC was set to open its National Convention the following Monday, Wikileaks released 19,252 emails and 8,034 attached documents that had been sent by top DNC officials. The emails left no doubt that there had been a concerted campaign to undermine Sanders while boosting Clinton’s chances to win the primary. Wasserman Schultz had to announce she was stepping down before the DNC convention even began to quiet the outrage.

The Wikileaks emails showed DNC executives plotting to undermine Sanders as an atheist (which Sanders says he is not) and plotting to say that Sanders “never ever had his act together, that his campaign was a mess.” There was also DNC plotting on how to respond to press charges that the joint fundraising committee set up by Clinton’s campaign and the DNC was illegally laundering money to boost Clinton’s chances. (See related article below.)

Prior to Wikileaks releasing its emails, an individual using the name Guccifer 2.0 took credit for a separate hack of the DNC server. One of the documents from the purported hack, posted on a public web site, shows that even after Bernie Sanders had entered the race, the DNC was writing confidential memos on how it could advance Hillary Clinton’s chances. The class action lawsuit on behalf of Sanders’ supporters describe the memo as follows:

“Among the documents released by Guccifer 2.0 on June 15th is a two-page Microsoft Word file with a ‘Confidential’ watermark that appears to be a memorandum written to the Democratic National Committee regarding ‘2016 GOP presidential candidates’ and dated May 26, 2015. A true and correct copy of this document (hereinafter, ‘DNC Memo’) is attached as Exhibit 1. The DNC Memo presents, ‘a suggested strategy for positioning and public messaging around the 2016 Republican presidential field.’ It states that, ‘Our goals in the coming months will be to frame the Republican field and the eventual nominee early and to provide a contrast between the GOP field and HRC.’ [HRC is Hillary Rodham Clinton.]

“The DNC Memo also advises that the DNC, ‘[u]se specific hits to muddy the waters around ethics, transparency and campaign finance attacks on HRC.’ In order to ‘muddy the waters’ around Clinton’s perceived vulnerabilities, the DNC Memo suggests ‘several different methods’ of attack including: (a) ‘[w]orking through the DNC’ to ‘utilize reporters’ and create stories in the media ‘with no fingerprints’; (b) ‘prep[ping]’ reporters for interviews with GOP candidates and having off-the-record conversations with them; (c) making use of social media attacks; and (d) using the DNC to ‘insert our messaging’ into Republican-favorable press.”

The lawsuit (Wilding et al v DNC Services Corporation and Deborah ‘Debbie’ Wasserman Schultz) was filed in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The Case Number is 16-cv-61511-WJZ.  The complaint makes the following charges: fraud, negligent misrepresentation, deceptive conduct, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence.

Those are extremely serious charges of critical importance to Americans who care deeply about fair elections and changing the climate of unbridled political corruption that has created a pall over America and undermined its prestige around the world. But instead of the lawsuit being fast-tracked to deliver the facts to the American people on these serious charges, a law firm that was implicated in the Wikileaks emails is attempting to drag the case deep into the weeds, judging by the first hearing in the matter that was held this past Tuesday, August 23.

The law firm, Perkins Coie, is representing both the DNC and Wasserman Schultz in the matter, despite the fact that the Chair of its Political Law practice, Marc Elias, turns up in the Wikileaks emails giving strategy advice on how to respond to press inquiries about the joint fundraising committee between Hillary Clinton and the DNC. According to Perkins Coie’s web site, Elias serves as “general counsel to Hillary for America,” the main fundraising vehicle for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as well as being part of a team of lawyers from Perkins Coie providing legal advice to the DNC.

Elias wrote in his leaked email:

“Just as the RNC pushes back directly on Trump over ‘rigged system’, the DNC should push back DIRECTLY at Sanders and say that what he is saying is false and harmful [to] the Democratic party.’ ”

Earlier this month Wall Street On Parade reported that Federal Election Commission records show that “Perkins Coie has received at least $970,000 from the Hillary for America committee since 2015 for legal work while simultaneously receiving more than $500,000 from the DNC, not including reimbursement of its expenses for things like postage, catering and printing. Perkins Coie is also representing a Super Pac that is supporting Hillary Clinton called ‘Correct the Record.’ FEC records show Correct the Record paid Perkins Coie $15,000 for legal services on April 26, 2016.”

In 2014, Politico’s Ken Vogel reported on just how lucrative the Democratic party has been for Perkins Coie. Vogel wrote:

“Perkins Coie’s political law practice, anchored by Elias and former White House Counsel Bob Bauer, has something of a stranglehold on the Democratic Party’s election law business, representing not only the party committees themselves but everyone from [Harry] Reid (whose various committees have paid $317,000 in legal fees to Perkins Coie over the years) to Obama ($7.4 million) to the major Democratic super PACs ($19 million).”

As process server Shawn Lucas was leaving the DNC after handing the complaints to a DNC representative, he happily calls out on the video: “Thank you so much, we’ll see you in court.” Little did he know at the time how prescient he was.

Lucas is now a focal point in the legal proceeding with Marc Elias and his legal team from Perkins Coie asking to have the case dismissed on the basis that Lucas didn’t properly serve the lawsuit. Perkins Coie is not saying that the DNC never got the lawsuit. Instead, it is filing copious legal papers that quibble in a Federal Court funded by the U.S. taxpayer over whether the woman who accepted the lawsuit was authorized to receive it on behalf of the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

One might think a law firm as huge as Perkins Coie might use such a line of argument if Shawn Lucas had handed the lawsuit to a clerk from the mail room or a sanitation worker in the building or maybe a deli delivery guy. Perkins Coie concedes that Shawn Lucas handed the lawsuit to Rebecca Herries who, at the time, was the Special Assistant to the then CEO of the DNC, Amy Dacey.

Perhaps the logic by Perkins Coie is based on the fact that Herries refused to accept the service of process or threw the lawsuits on the floor and ran away? No, something quite the opposite happened. Based on her own verbal statements on the video, which has been provided to the Court, this is what transpired between Herries and Lucas:

Shawn Lucas: “You’re with the DNC”

Herries: “Yes”

Shaw Lucas: “All right, well this is going to be a service to the DNC”

Herries: “to the DNC- okay”

Shawn Lucas: “And this is for Debbie Wasserman Shultz”

Herries: “Perfect”

To most rational minds, “okay” and “perfect” sound like an employee of the DNC willingly accepting a lawsuit and representing that she had authority to do so and not the stuff of which to be papering a taxpayer-funded Federal Court with legal memorandums when there are critical issues of law and fact to be determined in this case. Judges have the power to sanction this kind of behavior and to nip it in the bud early on to prevent both the miscarriage of justice and a delay in the important legal proceedings.

On the same day that Lucas was found dead, August 2, Herries’s boss, Amy Dacey, the DNC CEO, stepped down from her job along with Communications Director Luis Miranda and Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall. All three had been implicated in the Wikileaks emails.

According to a recent court filing made by the attorneys for Sanders’ supporters, “Plaintiffs asked Defendants to produce Ms. Herries at the August 23, 2016 hearing, but they refused to do that. They also refused to produce any of the security guards who witnessed the service of process event and otherwise interfaced with Plaintiffs’ process server.”

The Sanders supporters are being represented in the lawsuit by the following law firms: Beck & Lee Trial Lawyers of Miami, represented by Jared Beck and Elizabeeth Lee Beck; Cullin O’Brien Law, P.A. of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Antonino G. Hernandez P.A. of Miami. 

Related Articles:

Wikileaks Emails Bring New Attention to Hillary Victory Fund “Money Laundering” Charges

Death of Shawn Lucas Brings Attention to DNC Role of Prestigious Law Firm 

After Chaotic Weekend for Democrats and Wasserman Schultz, A Class Action Lawsuit Lies Ahead 

Are Hillary Clinton and the DNC Skirting Election Law?

DNC’s Direct Marketing Firm Shows Bias on Facebook Against Bernie Sanders

Shhh! Don’t Tell the New York Times that S&P Earnings Have Declined for 5 Quarters

S&P 500 Earnings Chart from FactSet

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 25, 2016

On July 25, during the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, Senator Elizabeth Warren made the following comments during her speech:

“Here’s the thing: America isn’t going broke. The stock market is breaking records. Corporate profits are at all-time highs.”

We noted at the time that Senator Warren is one of the smartest members of Congress; a former Harvard law professor who taught commercial contracts and bankruptcy law; a member of the Senate Banking Committee and its Economic Policy Subcommittee.

If Senator Warren was not aware that quarterly earnings on a year-over-year basis as measured by the largest companies in America – the Standard and Poor’s 500 – were on track to log in their fifth consecutive quarterly decline in earnings, how could the average American possibly know this?

Equally important, if the stock market was setting new highs based on a prevailing misconception among investors that corporate earnings were still climbing, shouldn’t responsible media be setting the record straight? Or is it the job of corporate media to keep investors ignorant of the economic realities in the U.S. because it might hurt their own publicly traded stock prices?

We decided to see if Senator Warren could have possibly been misled by the so-called “paper of record,” the New York Times. The Times has a nifty search tool that allows one to set a customized time period for searches. We set our time period to search between January 2, 2015 through August 25, 2016. We searched under profit recession. Next we tried corporate earnings. Then we tried S&P earnings. And, finally, we searched under Standard and Poor’s earnings.

We could find no article at the New York Times, much less a headline, that gave any clue to its readers that S&P 500 earnings have been in decline for the past five quarters.

We did find a very misleading headline that appeared in the New York Times’ print edition on the second page of the Business Section on July 21, 2016. The headline reads: “Wall Street Edges Into Record Territory as Earnings Cheer Traders.” This was a rerun of a July 20 article by the Associated Press which had originally titled it “Wall Street Gains as Earnings Cheer Traders.”

One might be forgiven for reading that New York Times headline and thinking that corporate earnings were going in the same direction as the stock market. It wasn’t until the fifth paragraph that there was a hint of a divergence: “Companies are in the middle of telling investors how much they earned in the spring, and analysts are forecasting yet another decline from levels at this time last year. The low expectations have made it easier for companies to come in above forecasts.”

Why is it excruciatingly important for investors in the stock market to keep tabs on the trend in S&P 500 earnings? As Bloomberg’s Lu Wang noted on March 30, 2015, “earnings contractions of three quarters or more have triggered bear markets 82 percent of the time over the past eight decades.”

An eighty-year record is not one investors should ignore – even if companies are gobbling up their own stocks in multi-billion-dollar buybacks financed with cheap debt and central banks around the world have made the deeply misguided decision to use taxpayer money and buy publicly traded stocks or Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs).

According to FactSet, with 95 percent of S&P 500 companies having reported earnings for the second quarter of 2016, the earnings decline for the S&P 500 for the second quarter of 2016 versus the second quarter of 2015 is -3.2 percent. FactSet doesn’t beat around the bush about it or bury the negative news deep down in its reporting. It gets right to it with this:

“The second quarter marks the first time the index has recorded five consecutive quarters of year-over-year declines in earnings since Q3 2008 through Q3 2009.”

The third quarter of 2008 through the third quarter of 2009 was the worst economic period since the Great Depression, one should carefully recall.

And that’s just the part of the iceberg one can readily see above the water. According to FactSet data, there is negative breadth in 6 of the 10 sectors measured as of June 30. While energy is the key villain with a stunning 83.8 percent year-over-year decline in the second quarter, the following additional sectors were also negative: Consumer Staples, Information Technology, Industrials, Financials and Materials.

There’s an important lesson to take away from this. The New York Times may be the fattest paper in the U.S. but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s telling you what you need to know to survive financially. In fact, could we have the greatest wealth and income inequality since the 1920s if the New York Times had been hammering away on what Americans need to know?

Related Articles:

Even When Bernie Sanders Wins, He Loses at the New York Times

New York Times Pushes False Narrative on the Wall Street Crash of 2008

New York Times’ Event Headlines Its Writers With Wall Street Honchos

How the New York Times Hides the Truth About Wall Street’s Catastrophic Misdeeds

Pigs Are Flying on Wall Street – Can Glass-Steagall Be Far Behind

Was Paul Weiss an Appropriate Law Firm to Investigate Sex Charges Against Roger Ailes?

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 24, 2016

Andrea Tantaros of Fox News Brings New Charges

Andrea Tantaros of Fox News Brings New Charges

On Monday, Andrea Tantaros, a Fox News host, became the latest in a growing drumbeat of voices charging Fox News with tolerating and condoning a hostile work environment for women that “operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny,” according to the lawsuit Tantaros filed in New York State Supreme Court.

Tantaros charges in the lawsuit that she was sexually harassed by Roger Ailes, who recently stepped down as Fox News CEO, while he ran an intimidation campaign against her through his public relations department. This is the second lawsuit to be filed against Ailes by Fox News women in as many months. In July, Gretchen Carlson went public with similar charges against Ailes in a high-profile lawsuit. According to the Washington Post, Carlson’s lawyers have received reports from more than 20 women that “they were harassed by Ailes during his long career in television, dating as far back as the mid-1960s.”

One of those women, Laurie Luhn, went on the record with Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine. Luhn told Sherman that “she had been harassed by Ailes for more than 20 years, that executives at Fox News had known about it and helped cover it up, and that it had ruined her life.” Sherman reported that he was able to independently corroborate key details in Luhn’s account as well as viewing a $3.15 million severance agreement that was paid to Luhn in exchange for “iron-clad nondisclosure provisions.”

“Iron-clad nondisclosure provisions” is the stock and trade of Wall Street powerhouse law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, which has been handling fraud charges against the serially charged Wall Street bank, Citigroup, for decades. (See our previous report on Paul Weiss here.) Paul Weiss was brought into the Ailes matter to conduct an internal investigation by Fox News parent, 21st Century Fox.

Paul Weiss also has a history of being charged with corporate bias in the way it conducts those internal investigations of sexual assault and/or sexual harassment claims. Two such charges have already emerged against Paul Weiss in the Ailes/Fox News matter. On August 2, Lloyd Grove of The Daily Beast reported that an attorney for former Fox News anchor Laurie Dhue had released a statement criticizing Paul Weiss over its internal investigation. The attorney, Bruce Schaeffer, stated the following:

“[I]n light of recent news stories revealing, among other things, that former FNC employee Laurie Luhn had to approach Paul, Weiss about her relationship with Roger Ailes (rather than Paul, Weiss approaching her) we wanted to let you know that Paul, Weiss has thus far not contacted us as part of its investigation, which fairly questions the credibility of its investigative process.”

In the lawsuit that Tantaros filed on Monday, she too has raised questions about the Paul Weiss investigation. The complaint reads:

“Although a respected law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP (‘Paul Weiss’) has been hired to conduct an internal investigation of Fox News, the results of Paul Weiss’s investigation will not, according to published reports, be made public. Worse still, according to a published report, Paul Weiss has ceased questioning Fox News female employees at the offices of Fox News out of fear that the interviews are being bugged;

“There has been no effort to interview Tantaros or, on information and belief, former Fox News employees who surely have pertinent information; and

“Most importantly, the Murdochs have actually rewarded Ailes’s coconspirators by not terminating their employment, and, most egregiously, elevating [William] Shine to the position of Co-President of Fox News.”

Ailes has stepped down from his post as CEO of Fox News but the Tantaros lawsuit questions that outcome as follows:

“In any responsible company, Ailes’s employment agreement (unless it has a provision permitting him to harass women) would have been terminated for cause, with no further compensation. Instead, on information and belief, the Murdochs gave Ailes a $40 million going-away present.”

Paul Weiss was also hired to assist a Special Committee of the Board of Trustees of Syracuse University to investigate the actions of Syracuse University in 2005 when Bobby Davis reported that he had been sexually molested while a minor by Bernie Fine when Davis was a ballboy for the University’s men’s basketball team and Fine was an Assistant Coach. Prominent attorney, Gloria Allred, was the attorney representing Davis in 2012 when the Paul Weiss-assisted findings were released by the Special Committee of the Trustees. Allred called the report “a complete whitewash, is self serving, suffers from a lack of transparency and raises more questions than it answers…”

In her 9-page statement eviscerating the findings, Allred pointed out two particularly glaring problems:

“The Report acknowledges that law enforcement should have been notified and that the Board of Trustees should have been notified, about Bobby Davis’ allegations but concludes that there was no effort to sweep this under the rug.

“This conclusion does not pass ‘the laugh test’ and appears to us to be preposterous on its face.”

Allred writes further:

“Despite spending nearly 8 months purporting to merely investigate the underlying 2005 putative investigation (which itself lasted less than 3 months) the University has failed to produce the underlying notes and files that were examined or described with any specifics describing how long and what was discussed in its interviews which were done with litigation counsel present.”

Paul Weiss represented Wall Street investment firm Smith Barney from 1996 to 2001 over charges brought in Federal Court that the firm had created a work environment so hostile that women were sexually assaulted during the workday without reports to the police and with the assaulters keeping their jobs if they were high-producing brokers. (See editor’s note below for the role the co-author of this article played in that lawsuit.) The suit also sought to bring an end to Wall Street’s private justice system, known as mandatory arbitration, which functions as a protection racket for the perpetuation of these crimes in the workplace.

In a Memorandum of Law filed by Ailes in the Carlson lawsuit, he attempted to invoke a similar mandatory arbitration clause to move Carlson’s claim out of an open court proceeding and into a secret tribunal. The clause reads as follows:

“Any controversy, claim or dispute arising out of or relating to this Agreement or Performer’s [Plaintiff’s] employment shall be brought before a mutually selected three-member arbitration panel and held in New York City in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association [‘AAA’] then in effect…Such arbitration, all filings, evidence and testimony connected with the arbitration, and all relevant allegations and events leading up to the arbitration, shall be held in strict confidence.”

The Paul Weiss settlement in the Smith Barney case came under withering criticism in the press. It was revealed that while the case was pending before Judge Constance Baker Motley, the Paul Weiss law firm made job offers to two of the Judge’s law clerks assigned to the case. The New York Post revealed that the sexual harassment hotline that was ostensibly set up by Smith Barney to help women make complaints wasn’t working. The lead lawyer for Paul Weiss in the case, Mark Belnick, moved on to become General Counsel at Tyco International and was indicted for grand larceny and securities fraud. He was acquitted at trial but only after he had inked a retention agreement that guaranteed Belnick a payment of at least $10.6 million should he commit a felony and be fired before October 2003. Any disputes arising out of the retention agreement matter were to be handled in arbitration under the rules of the – wait for it – American Arbitration Association.

The National Organization for Women of New York State was so appalled by the terms of the Smith Barney settlement that its President, Lois Shapiro-Canter, an attorney, filed an Amicus brief with the court asking the Judge to reject the settlement. Shapiro-Canter wrote on behalf of NOW-NYS:

“Employers are increasingly using tactics to limit their own liability under federal and state laws to limit access of their employees to civil rights laws. The securities industry requirement that all employee disputes including allegations of sexual harassment and assault must go before employer-selected mandatory arbitration or mandatory alternative dispute resolution panels has created a hostile work environment for women in the securities industry.

“Closed door proceedings and arbiters of justice chosen in part by Defendant Employer confers the appearance of impropriety and does not reflect the open door access to the judiciary of Title VII and other civil rights laws. If in fact Defendant Employer intends in good faith to proceed wholeheartedly with the diversity plans outlined in the agreement, why does it need a mandatory arbitration process a/k/a mandatory alternative dispute resolution system which denies women and minorities their constitutional right to access the courts to ensure freedom from discrimination and sexual harassment?”

The women of Fox News might want to put on their news researcher hats and dig much deeper into what exactly is going on behind the scenes in the Ailes matter.

Editor’s Note:

Pam Martens, the co-author of the above article and Editor of Wall Street On Parade, worked for two major Wall Street firms for 21 years. During that time, from 1996 through 2001, Martens challenged Wall Street’s mandatory arbitration system and the sexual assaults and sexual harassment of women facilitated under that system in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in a case titled Martens v Smith Barney in which she originally served as lead plaintiff. The settlement fashioned by plaintiffs’ attorneys and Paul Weiss was deemed so conflicted by Martens that she withdrew from the settlement and never profited, by even a dollar, from the settlement or any subsequent payment from the parties.

Wall Street’s Protection Racket: Mandatory Arbitration

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 23, 2016 

Scales of JusticeWhat people across Wall Street cannot figure out is why the Board of JPMorgan Chase, America’s biggest bank by assets, didn’t sack its CEO, Jamie Dimon, at some point between the bank’s first two felony counts in 2014 and its third felony count in 2015. Or, as two trial lawyers, Helen Davis Chaitman and Lance Gotthoffer point out on their web site, during the past five years as JPMorgan Chase racked up $35.7 billion in fines and settlements for “fraudulent and illegal practices.”

JPMorgan Chase’s abuses of its own customers are so vast that Chaitman and Gotthoffer had to create a Wheel of Misfortune to catalog the scams for ease of viewing by the public.

And here’s the worst part: those are just the frauds that the public is allowed to read about. JPMorgan Chase, along with other notoriously abusive banks on Wall Street, is allowed to force claims against it into a private justice system called mandatory arbitration. This system allows systemic abuses to avoid detection for years because claims made by both employees and customers are ushered into Star Chamber tribunals which lack the judicial protections afforded in a court of law.

JPMorgan Chase must be proud of its mandatory arbitration agreement for its employees because we found it at its web site. These are some of the salient points which show the stark contrasts between mandatory arbitration and a public courtroom proceeding where both the public and the press can observe the proceedings:

“The arbitrator, the Parties and their representatives must maintain the confidentiality of the hearings unless the law provides otherwise…

“The decision will be final and binding upon the Parties, and appeal of the decision to a court shall be limited as provided by the FAA [Federal Arbitration Act]…

“JPMorgan Chase reserves the right to amend, modify or discontinue this Agreement at any time in its sole discretion to the extent permitted by applicable law.”

Consider what happened to Johnny Burris, a JPMorgan Chase licensed broker in a branch near Phoenix, Arizona. In 2013 Burris complained that JPMorgan Chase was pressuring him to sell its own mutual funds to clients, rather than giving him the independence to select what he felt was in the client’s best interests. After Burris refused to sell the in-house funds, he was fired by the bank. After his charges went public, JPMorgan Chase had one of its own employees draft customer complaints against Burris and file them with FINRA, the self-regulator that also oversees Wall Street’s private justice system, according to the New York Times. During the arbitration hearing, the JPMorgan employee denied drafting the claims for the customers.

In 2015, the New York Times’ Nathaniel Popper wrote an article on the perversion of justice against Burris and quoted the customers, by name, denying that they had made the complaints or had even seen the text of what they were signing against Burris.

On December 18 of last year, the SEC appeared to validate the very complaints alleged by Burris, fining JPMorgan Chase $267 million and making it admit to wrongdoing. JPMorgan Chase paid an additional fine of $40 million to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in a parallel action. Julie M. Riewe, Co-Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit, said the following in the SEC’s announcement of the fine:

“In addition to proprietary product conflicts, JPMS [JPMorgan Securities] breached its fiduciary duty to certain clients when it did not inform them that they were being invested in a more expensive share class of proprietary mutual funds, and JPMCB [JPMorgan Chase Bank] did not disclose that it preferred third-party-managed hedge funds that made payments to a J.P. Morgan affiliate. Clients are entitled to know whether their adviser has competing interests that might cause it to render self-interested investment advice.”

In other words, in the SEC’s eyes, had JPMorgan Chase simply disclosed its conflicts in its fine print to its customers, it would have been good to go.

In January, Public Citizen and other consumer advocacy organizations wrote to Jamie Dimon, urging the following:

“Our national public interest, consumer advocacy and citizen organizations write to urge you to drop the pre-dispute mandatory (or forced) arbitration clauses buried in JPMorgan Chase & Co. customer account agreements. Attached is a petition with more than 100,000 signatures from across the country calling for Chase and four other banks to promptly remove all arbitration requirements from your contracts with customers. These non-negotiable terms simply deny customers their access to the courts should they seek to pursue legal claims against your company. They also deprive your customers of important legal protections. The result is that consumers cannot practically and fairly resolve disputes with you or seek remedies for harm caused by wrongful conduct.”

A Federal agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), proposed in May that financial institutions be forced to stop banning class action lawsuits through their mandatory arbitration agreements and that they submit arbitration filings and awards to the CFPB as a monitoring agency. Yesterday was the cutoff period for public comments on the CFPB proposal with over 12,000 comments submitted. Those for whom the status quo is working well have turned out thousands of comments falsely suggesting that this would be a windfall for lawyers rather than what it actually is, a means of restoring a little sunshine to the serial misdeeds of JPMorgan Chase and its fellow miscreants on Wall Street. State Attorneys General from 19 states filed a public comment praising the proposal by the CFPB.

Related Articles:

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Student Loan Debt Slaves Get the Runaround Seeking Promised Relief

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 22, 2016

Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Last Thursday the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Student Loan Ombudsman released a report detailing the hurdles and outright barriers that college students who took out student loans face when they attempt to get Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans. These plans allow student loan payments to be tied to income. The report found that the debt holders are reporting that they are facing prolonged processing delays and wrongful rejections by their private student loan servicing companies. Some facets of the report suggested that student debt holders are intentionally getting the runaround by the outside servicing company. The report noted:

“Borrowers report being rejected because their application had missing information or because their servicer lost paperwork, without ever being notified by their servicer or being given a chance to fix the problem. Other borrowers report being rejected simply for checking the wrong box, without being given the opportunity to submit a corrected form. These errors discourage borrowers from restarting the application process, and some borrowers may choose to walk away from their loan, instead of remaining on the road to repayment.”

We looked through the actual student complaints on which the report was based. One individual, calling him or herself, American Patriot, posed some important issues. We have excerpted from that complaint letter below. After you read these current complaints, you may want to browse through our related articles listed below to gain a fuller understanding of how many of today’s finest young people have been turned into student debt slaves by the same Wall Street banks that blew up the U.S. economy in 2008 and were then bailed out with more than $13 trillion in cumulative secret Federal Reserve loans, frequently below 1 percent interest, a fraction of what student loans charge:

Excerpts from complaint letter to CFPB from “American Patriot”:

“The student loan payment options are confusing. That said, the main issue is that the student loan payment and forgiveness options are too limited. This is by design because the Federal Government protects schools and lenders at the expense of students and their families who are treated like throwaway 3rd class citizens without civil or economic rights…

“Student loan interest rates are higher than home mortgage interest rates even though college education does not provide shelter as does a home, even if one completes their college education.

“Over several years companies have shifted the burden and risk of training their workforce to disenfranchised, poor students who cannot afford the exponential rise of tuition. Even when students obtain the recommended education, that is no guarantee that their education will be up to date or that they will get hired.

“Students do not build real estate equity while struggling to pay rent and attend school. When are students supposed to be able to purchase a house and perhaps even save for retirement?”

According to the CFPB, student debt is now the second largest source of consumer debt in the U.S., totaling a record $1.3 trillion.

Related Articles:

Why Isn’t the Justice Department Investigating the Citibank Student Loan Scandal?

Citibank’s Student Loan Debt Slaves 

Student Loan Crisis Threatens U.S. Economic Recovery

The Untold Story of Citibank’s Student Loan Deals at NYU

Wall Street Sugar Daddies in the Board Room and Bedroom, Perverting Higher Education

NYU’s Gilded Age: Student Struggle With Debt While Vacation Homes are Lavished on the University’s Elite