Was looking at the IG report and it struck me that both Lawson and Muniz were only there for 9 months. Both came in under Bondi so I decided to look into Mr Muniz.
Below is what I found…
“Muñiz is currently a shareholder in the Tallahassee office of the law firm GrayRobinson PA. He has extensive legal and policy experience in Florida government, beginning with his service in the administration of Gov. Jeb Bush, where he was deputy general counsel to now-Chief Justice Charles Canady. Muñiz has also served as general counsel to the chief financial officer and deputy chief of staff and counsel to the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. Muñiz is a graduate of the University of Virginia and of Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Upon graduation from law school, Muñiz clerked for Judge Thomas A. Flannery of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and for Judge José A. Cabranes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Muñiz and his wife, Katie, live in Tallahassee with their three children.”
Posted by Zach Lowe
October 8, 2010
It has been the biggest–and perhaps murkiest–legal story of the last two weeks: At least three major lenders have halted foreclosures, citing the need to review whether their mortgage documentation is in order and in compliance with court rules in the 23 states that require court approval before a foreclosure can take place. The decisions by the three lenders–JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Ally Financial Inc.–have spotlighted tiny law firms that act as so-called foreclosure mills and the practice among lenders of hiring “robo-signers,” people who sign tens of thousands of documents per month, according to The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
But a review of state and federal cases filed in the last few weeks shows lenders are turning away from the “foreclosure mills” and to large law firms when homeowners fight foreclosure and challenge banks to prove their documents are legit. In Florida alone, the following law firms have popped in contentious foreclosure cases in which judges have ruled homeowners might be onto something: Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Greenberg Traurig, Akerman Senterfitt, and Gray Robinson.
The case of Parnell Peace serves as a good example. A subsidiary of Bank of America moved to foreclose on Peace’s home in Florida, citing delinquent payments on Peace’s mortgage. To support their case, the bank submitted an affidavit from Dana Heisel, a vice-president of EMC Mortgage Corporation, a mortgage servicer controlled by Bear Stearns. In the affidavit, Heisel wrote that he had “personal knowledge” that BofA and its subsidiary, LaSalle Bank National Association, owned Peace’s mortgage note. Simple enough.
But Peace and his lawyers at Ice Legal didn’t buy it, according to court records and Christopher Immel of Ice Legal. They challenged Heisel and BofA/LaSalle to prove they actually owned the note and to provide the documentation tracing the note from its origins to LaSalle. As a mortgage changes hands during the labyrinthine securitization process, there is supposed to be a paper trail indicating each time the mortgage moves from one owner to another, Immel says. In Peace’s case, that process should have stopped in 2006, when LaSalle took control of a trust that included Peace’s mortgage. But Immel says the bank turned over documents dated as late as 2008, Immel says.
It was around this time that the lender did two things. First: It hired a team from Gray Robinson to start working on the case. Second: They moved to withdraw Heisel’s original affidavit in which he attested to personal knowledge about Peace’s note. That of course made Peace’s legal team interested in knowing why, exactly, the lawyers withdrew Heisel’s original affidavit. The Ice Legal team moved for more discovery, including the deposition of Heisel.
The Gray Robinson team then filed for a protective order to prevent Ice Legal from deposing Heisel, or at least to make them travel to Heisel’s residence in Ohio to depose him, court records show.
So, in a nutshell, Bondi comes in with a new administration, replaces June and Theresa’s Director of Economic Crimes, Mark Hamilton with Richard Lawson, a white collar criminal defense attorney, replaces their chief of staff Joe Jacquot, since he was promoted to Vice President of Government Affairs at Lender Processing Services, with Carlos Muniz from Gray Robinson, a very powerful foreclosure firm, and within months, June and Theresa are terminated. To top it off, we now have an industry friendly report from Florida that favors the industry’s attempt to ward of scrutiny and legitimize the same forgery, perjury, real estate document fraud and fraud upon our courts that is now the subject of a myriad of investigations and/or lawsuits by other law enforcers, including the OCC, FDIC, the Fed, the former OTC, the DOJ, NY Banking Regulator, Benjamin Lawsky, and the AGs in MA, NV, DE, IL, CA, and more.
If you go back and read the “tour the facility” emails between the Fla AGs and the LPS people, it is clear how the relationship between the two is going and how the IG was co-opted by this relationship if only for all the information that is lacking in the IG report
And I thought that the request from Lender Processing Services Attorney to the Florida Attorney General RE Michigan’s criminal complaint into LPS in of itself was bad…
When it is all pieced together… Well, it looks like it’s time for a new tinfoil hat…