Posted on 14 Mar 2011
Anonymous, a WikiLeaks-allied hacker group, has posted a series of emails purported to be from a former Bank of America employee, alleging "proving" that the nation's largest bank's "corruption and fraud".
Anoymous posted the emails on the site BankofAmericasuck.com in a release announced with the Twitter hashtag #BlackMonday, where an emailer who identifies himself as an ex-Bank Of America employee airs a number of grievances against his former employer. The website's availability was up and down early Monday morning, potentially due to high traffic. The e-mails could not be independently verified.
A Bank of America spokesman, in a statement to Reuters on Sunday, said the emails are simply clerical and administrative errors. ""We are confident that his extravagant assertions are untrue," the spokesman told Reuters. Bank of America did not immediately return multiple calls on Monday.
The claims of the person purporting to be a former employee appear to begin with so-called "forced-place insurance," in which a mortgage borrower who doesn't maintain an insurance policy on their home has a policy "placed" for them by their insurer. The problem with forced-place insurance comes when a mortgage servicer owns an insurer. This can allow for highly inflated premiums and inadequate policies forced upon borrowers without their knowledge.
The emailer's accusations involve Balboa Insurance, a company that Bank of America acquired in its purchase of Countrywide Financial in 2008 and recently sold to the QBE Group, an Australian insurer. Balboa is a market leader in forced-place insurance.
The post includes what appear to be internal Balboa emails containing communications about mismatched -- and possibly deleted -- loan file numbers in Balboa's system.
In one email, a Balboa employee wonders about creating "huge red flags" for auditors over a change in record keeping, adding that it "just doesn't seem right to me."
When asked by Anonymous about his motivation for revealing this information, the author writes: "The only reason I'm doing this is because they already took everything from me…these people are still employees and have bills to pay and think it's illegal to expose fraud at this bank… Nobody wants to end up like me hiding out in my house having to talk to police officers and lawyers. Nobody will stand up until they see me in the traditional news. That's my short term goals right now."