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The Story Of The Fake Economist Who Fooled A Nation

Morning reading.  25 stories.


The True Story Of The Fake Economist Who Fooled An Entire Nation

Artur Baptista faces prosecution after faking his 'career' as a famous economist.

As an ex-presidential consultant, a former adviser to the World Bank, a financial researcher for the United Nations and a professor in the US, Artur Baptista da Silva's outspoken attacks on Portugal's austerity cuts made the bespectacled 61-year-old one of the country's leading media pundits last year.

The only problem was that Mr Baptista da Silva is none of the above.  He turned out to be a convicted forger with fake credentials and, following his spectacular hoodwinking of Portuguese society, he could soon face fraud charges.

Yet in the country's jails, Mr Baptista da Silva's sudden appearance among the intellectual elite caused amazement among his former cellmates.  A colleague from his old school, lawyer Ricardo Sa Fernandes, who had come across Mr Baptista da Silva behind bars by chance when visiting one of his clients, told Visao magazine that when he saw the convicted fraudster on TV he was "staggered by his ability to put his past life behind him."


How Colombian Drug Traffickers Used HSBC to Launder Money - Reuters

Colombian Drug Trafficker In HSBC Case Faces 18 Years In Federal Prison, Bankers Will Pay Fines Instead

Drug cartels sold narcotics in the United States and routed the cash to Mexico, often using couriers to smuggle it across the border.  That cash would then be put into bank accounts at HSBC's Mexico unit, where large deposits could be made without arousing suspicion, according to U.S. Department of Justice documents.

In one filing, U.S. prosecutors said, Chaparro and others allegedly utilized accounts at HSBC Mexico to deposit "drug dollars and then wire those funds to ... businesses located in the United States and elsewhere.  The funds were then used to purchase consumer goods, which were exported to South America and resold to generate 'clean' cash."

In a typical transaction, a middleman in a drug cartel would offer to deliver consumer goods, such as computers or washing machines, to Colombian businesses on favorable terms.  Another person in the United States would buy the goods from firms using funds from drug trafficking, and fulfill those orders.  The situation was so bad, according to the Department of Justice, that in 2008, the head of HSBC's Mexican operations was told by Mexican regulators that a local drug lord described the bank as "the place to launder money."

Chaparro, who was arrested in Colombia in 2010 and extradited to the United States in 2011, pleaded guilty to a money-laundering conspiracy count in May and is awaiting sentencing in a federal detention center in Brooklyn.  "He is contrite, regretful and ashamed about his crimes.  He wants to serve his time and rejoin his family.  He understands that a prison term could prevent that from happening for many years."

Under federal guidelines, he could face 15 to 18 years in prison.

An HSBC spokesman declined comment.


New Paradigm For Mortgage Put-Back Claims? - Alison Frankel

I did a double take Wednesday, when I noticed a pair of new suits by Lehman Brothers Holdings in federal court in Colorado.  The complaints, which are almost identical, claim that the mortgage originator Universal American Mortgage breached representations and warranties about loans it sold to Lehman, which subsequently suffered losses as a result of those breaches. But here's the thing: Each suit addresses only one supposedly deficient loan!

The Lehman complaints each also contained a curious paragraph, noting that the claims at issue were previously asserted as counts in an eight-loan put-back case Lehman was litigating in federal court in Miami.  The judge in that case, Lehman said, had decided after a pretrial conference last week that "each loan must be filed separately, rather than joined within one action."

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Reader Comments (13)

Have any of you looked at your W-2 yet this year?


Check this out.
Feb 5, 2013 at 12:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterDailyBail
Feb 5, 2013 at 12:23 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Appearing on FOX NEWS Sunday with Chris Wallace on Feb. 3, former Navy Capt. Mark Kelly said of the 1994 "assault weapons" ban: "I don't know if it worked or not. I mean, I haven't looked at all the statistics."

Feb 5, 2013 at 12:27 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Fracking for Uranium to start in U.S. — We’re “doing the environment a favor”

Feb 5, 2013 at 12:33 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Leaders of the anti-tax Tea Party are fuming about plans by some Republican strategists, including Karl Rove, to tap the party’s wealthy donors and raise money to help “electable” candidates win primary races.

Feb 5, 2013 at 12:34 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Ah, the irony. A decade ago, when the Canadian dollar was worth around 65¢ south of the border, a penny was the only coin Americans might let you slip into their registers. Although the loonie is now at par, the penny is officially dead. Today marks the last day of Canada’s one-cent coin, as the Royal Canadian Mint starts to phase it out of circulation.


When will we get rid of the penny.
Feb 5, 2013 at 12:35 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Banks have kept their lending standards fairly tight while demand for business loans, mortgages and car loans has picked up, according to a survey released by the Federal Reserve on Monday.

Feb 5, 2013 at 12:38 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
The Federal Trade Commission corrected a statement that erroneously said Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) was the subject of a law-enforcement probe after a report about the non-existent investigation sent the supplement maker’s shares down 12%.

Feb 5, 2013 at 12:46 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Bad loans at Indian banks are headed for a decade high as the slowest economic growth since 2003 and Asia’s highest interest rates strain corporate finances, according to the nation’s largest debt reconstruction company.

Feb 5, 2013 at 12:47 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Dell Inc. (DELL)’s board was planning to meet last night to vote on an offer to take the company private for about $24 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.


The deal may be announced early this morning in the U.S., said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. The offer values Dell at $13.50 to $13.75 a share, said two of the people. The Round Rock, Texas-based personal-computer maker closed yesterday at $13.27, for a market value of about $23 billion.
Feb 5, 2013 at 12:48 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Feb 5, 2013 at 12:49 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
"Have any of you looked at your W-2 yet this year?"

I sure have, I also received a 1099 for my State tax return from last year. I paid tax on those earnings last year and now the overage is considered income for this year.
Feb 5, 2013 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers

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