BofA versus the government trial kicks off
The government kicked off its case against Bank of America (BAC), addressing lingering problems from its Countrywide days. The government is arguing that the bank misled executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about the quality of loans the GSEs bought in 2007 and 2008. The Wall Street Journal had this to say about the first day:
In his opening argument before the court, Pierre Armand from the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan said the promise of quality loans at the Hustle program was "largely a joke," arguing that the program ignored red flags and removed controls that were in place to protect against making bad loans. The government alleges Countrywide made $165 million from the program.
Meanwhile, Bank of America opened with:
Brendan Sullivan, a partner at the law firm Williams & Connolly LLP, opened his arguments on behalf of Bank of America by stating that no fraud was committed. Mr. Sullivan said the evidence will show "decent, normal people, putting their kids out to school, going to their mortgage application business where there are thousands of mortgages."