Wikileaks founder Julian Assange recently told British New Statesman magazine that if he is imprisoned in Guantanamo or killed – or if a serious attempt is made to shut down Wikileaks – a digital “insurance policy” that comprises 1.5 gigabytes of encrypted, incriminating data on Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. and two major financial institutions will be unlocked for the world to see. Bank of America, which has been confirmed as one of the two banks in question, is currently in full damage control planning mode, reports PRWatch. It is believed that Wikileaks plans to expose B of A’s reportedly unethical conduct relating to toxic mortgages, illegal foreclosures and the use of bailout money for employee bonuses.
Assange may prove B of A execs knew they peddled toxic mortgages
Private investors and large-scale lenders like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are currently suing Bank of America in order to force the bank to buy back billions of dollars in toxic mortgage-backed securities. While Bank of America did stop issuing its own subprime mortgage loans in 2001, PRWatch indicates that the bank still underwrote $239 million in securities back by subprime loans as late as Sept. 2009.
It is suspected that in the encrypted insurance file, Julian Assange and thousands of other individuals who have a copy of the file (minus the decryption key) are holding copies of e-mails that prove Bank of America executives knew they were passing off toxic mortgages to investors. If this is true, Bank of America will likely need much more than the $4.4 billion currently set aside to deal with its slate of toxic mortgage lawsuits.
Bank of America’s alleged illegal foreclosures and bonuses
Illegal foreclosures – particularly of the wrong homes – have been another thorn in Bank of America’s side lately, although the bank has attempted to shift blame to the contractors it uses to perform the home seizures. If Assange can prove that Bank of America signed off on thousands of foreclosure documents without proper review, he will prove that Bank of America broke the law.
Add to this the list of claims Bank of America still faces after the Countrywide subprime debacle, and the corporate bonuses taken from bailout money and it appears Bank of America could be in serious trouble.