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May 23, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Court Decision Will Help Wall Street Get Away With More Fraud

Monday, May 23, 2016
Contact: Nick Jacobs, 202-618-6430 or

Washington, D.C. – Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, issued this statement on the decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s decision reversing a $1.28 billion penalty imposed on Bank of America by a federal district court:

“Turning law, logic and common sense on its head, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a jury decision today because Countrywide’s fraud was not intended years earlier when a contract was signed.  This hyper-technical decision is not only a miscarriage of justice but also provides a roadmap for Wall Street to get away with more fraud in the future. 

“Countrywide’s ‘Hustle’ program was a scheme to defraud Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by selling them substandard mortgages while falsely representing that they were investment-quality.  But the Second Circuit held that, because the willful defrauding happened after the contract was signed, Countrywide did not commit mail or wire fraud.  The law should not be interpreted to encourage and facilitate this kind of deliberate criminality, which caused the 2008 financial crash and contributed enormously to the economic wreckage of the Great Recession.  Court decisions should result in less fraud, not more.  This misguided decision should be reversed by the full Second Circuit or the Supreme Court.”


Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit

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