The group known as Anonymous, using the Twitter account OperationLeakS, tweeted #BlackMonday part one -- the release of emails and documents on bankofamericasuck from an ex-Bank of America employee who claims to be able to prove mortgage fraud. For the leaked emails to make sense, it helps to see the question/answer exchange between Anonymous and the ex-BofA employee. The site is working intermittently, but BofA leak mirrors have been posted as well as a copy in Google Docs format.
The source previously was a Bank of America Corporate employee, but actually worked for Balboa Insurance, a firm which used to be owned by BofA to keep track of loans for lenders. The emails are dated from November 2010 and are communication between Balboa employees. The leaker seems to have proved employment authenticity by attaching copies of paystubs, an ID badge, and an unemployment form. This ex-employee describes him/herself as:
My name is (Anonymous). For the last 7 years, I worked in the Insurance/Mortgage industry for a company called Balboa Insurance. Many of you do not know who Balboa Insurance Group (soon to be rebranded as QBE First by Australian Reinsurance Company QBE according to internal communication sent to all Balboa associates) is, but if you've ever had a loan for an automobile, farm equipment, mobile home, or residential or commercial property, we knew you. In fact, we probably charged you money...a lot of money...for insurance you didn't even need.
The leaker claims that during the federal takeovers of IndyMac Federal, Balboa Insurance/Countrywide knowingly hid foreclosure information, falsified loan documents, and reported incorrect volumes to federal auditors to "avoid fines for falling behind on Loan Modification, purposely and knowingly adjusting premiums for REO (Real Estate Owned) insurance for their corporate clients while denying forbearances for individual borrowers."
While Reuters questioned the reason behind electronic record keeping by the leaker, CCing people in a corporate environment is often done as a protect-yourself (CYOA) tactic. A BofA spokesperson told Reuters that the stolen documents were unrelated to foreclosures, but were instead clerical and administrative documents.
You can certainly judge for yourself if you believe the documents to be real, but I'm more inclined to disbelieve most of what BofA claims is true after learning about the BofA plot to attack WikiLeaks. Didn't that prove BofA was scared spitless of something damning being revealed to the public?
An email from Balboa operation team manager Jason Vaughn requested to have "images removed" from Balboa's internal tracking system, "Rembrandt/Tracksource," for 50 - 100 documents related to lender GMAC. In reply, another Balboa employee, Joan Anderson, said the document tracking numbers ("DTN's") could not be removed from Rembrandt. However, the "loan numbers" could be removed so that the "documents will not show as matched to those loans." Since the request to remove the numbers was "unusual," Anderson requested " upper management approval."
Vaughn then seems to get a little apprehensive and expresses concern to vice president Peggy Johnson about the "impact this has on the department and company. Why are we removing all record of this error? We have told Denise Cahen, and there is always going to be the paper trail when one of these sent documents come back. this to me seems to be a huge red flag for the auditors... when the auditor sees the erroneous letter but no SOR trail or scanned doc on the corrected letter... What am I missing? This just doesn't seem right to me."
While Gawker noted there are "lots of reasons to be skeptical" since the leaker hates Bank of America, the leaker also claims that BofA is "run like a cult" and false charges were filed with the police in which he/she was labeled as a terrorist. On the other hand, Gawker claims to have sources within Anonymous who suggest the leak is real.
It's unclear whether part one of the bankofamericasucks leak is the same information that BofA was afraid WikiLeaks would publish, but something continues to stink at BofA, despite one of its core values being "Doing the Right Thing," if asking questions about wrongdoings leads to threats, demotion, being fired, or being labeled as a terrorist.
Haven't we seen this as fact after Anonymous hacktivists released a massive cache of about 72,000 internal emails and took down cybersecurity firm HBGary Federal and former CEO Aaron Barr? Barr was, among other things, in cahoots with other security firms to target WikiLeaks which was ultimately traced back to being a legally questionable plot done on behalf of Bank of America. Anonymous wants to "expose corruption and fraud" at Bank of America with this leak.
This story, "Anonymous Leaks Allegedly Expose Bank of America Fraud" was originally published by Computerworld.