Yesterday, popular radio host Warren Ballentine, was indicted for what the Department of Justice is calling a “scheme”. When Andre Michael Eggelletion, a frequent host fill-in, hosted Ballentine’s show today — and didn’t mention him.
Anyone remember the subprime mortgage crisis that crashed the American economy? It erased 30 years of wealth in the Black community. Between 2004 and 2006, the use of low quality adjustable rate subprime mortgages skyrocketed from 8% to 20% from 2004 to 2006 — African Americans were targeted for the loans. (read NYT piece). The NAACP sued Wells Fargo on that point. In 2010, there were one million foreclosures.
The Chicago Defender reported that, “Warren Ballentine… is accused of engaging in two mortgage fraud schemes that bilked lenders out of approximately $9.7 million,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago.
Did the U.S. Attorney say $9 million? The New York Times reported in 2008 that the International Monetary Fund estimated that, “financial losses stemming from the U.S. mortgage crisis might approach $1 trillion.”
“In order to have a true deterrent impact, individuals must be indicted,” said Andrew Stoltmann, a securities lawyer and advocate, to Fox News.
The U.S. Attorney said it was a case of, “yet another major bank has engaged in a longstanding and reckless trifecta of deficient training, deficient underwriting and deficient disclosure, all while relying on the convenient backstop of government insurance,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
“In each case, the banks were accused of knowingly approving risky home loans on a huge scale because it was profitable to do so at the time and because the banks making the loans wouldn’t have to guarantee them should the borrowers eventually default,” Fox Business reported. But Warren Ballentine was indicted yesterday.
LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE, Politic365 Managing Editor, publishes the blog Crewof42 on Black members of Congress. She can be heard every Tuesday on the radio on The Earl Ingram Show at 4 p.m. EST. Ms. Burke has enjoyed employment with USAToday.com and ABC News and holds a B.A. in history from The American University. Contact: LBurke007@gmail.com. Twitter: @Crewof42.