NEW YORK – Federal prosecutors want Bank of America Corp. pay about $864 million over losses incurred by the government after it bought thousands of home loans made by Countrywide Financial during the housing boom.
U.S. attorney Preet Bharara made the request in documents filed late Friday with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
A jury last month found Bank of America, which acquired Countrywide in 2008, liable for knowingly selling thousands of bad home loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between August 2007 and May 2008.
The panel also returned the verdict against Countrywide and a former executive, Rebecca Mairone.
The trial related to mortgages the government said were sold at breakneck speed without regard to quality as the economy headed into a tailspin.
The government had accused the financial institutions of urging workers to churn out loans, accept fudged applications and hide ballooning defaults through a loan program called the Hustle, shorthand for high-speed swim lane, which operated under the motto, Loans Move Forward, Never Backward.
Bank of America, based in Charlotte, N.C., denied there was fraud.
Thousands of loans made through the Hustle program were sold to Fannie and Freddie, which packaged loans into securities and sold them to investors. The companies were effectively nationalized in 2008 when they nearly collapsed from mortgage losses.
In the filing Friday, Bharara asked the court to make the penalty on BofA equal to the maximum losses racked up from the Hustle program by the government-run mortgage buyers.
Navy christens USS Gerald R. Ford
The Navy has christened its newest aircraft carrier, which will join the fleet in 2016.
The USS Gerald R. Ford is the lead ship in the Navy’s next class of aircraft carriers. It was christened Saturday at the Newport News, Va., shipyard where it was built.
The Ford class represents the first new aircraft carrier design in more than 40 years. Among other things, it will be able to launch jets faster than previous aircraft carriers and will require fewer crew members. The Navy anticipates that having fewer crew members on board will save $4 billion over the ship’s 50-year life span.
NYC seeks to vacate stop-and-frisk ruling
Attorneys for New York City asked a federal appeals court Saturday to vacate a judge’s orders that require the police department to change its stop-and-frisk practice that critics argue unfairly targets minorities.
Stop and frisk has been around for decades. To make a stop, police must have reasonable suspicion that a crime is about to occur or has occurred, a standard lower than the probable cause needed to justify an arrest.
U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled in August that the city violated the civil rights of tens of thousands of blacks and Hispanics by disproportionately stopping, questioning and sometimes frisking them.
Hawaii expected to allow gay marriage
Hawaii state Sen. Clayton Hee, the head of Hawaii’s Senate judiciary committee, says he expects an amended bill legalizing gay marriage to pass easily in the Senate on Tuesday.
2 arrested in death of champion boxer
Phoenix police have made two arrests in connection with the beating death of a 17-year-old national champion boxer.
Police say Alexis Urbina was found unconscious and covered in blood in his family’s south Phoenix home in September. He died of his injures two days later.
Police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump confirms 22-year-old Robert Chavez and 23-year-old Joseph Corrales were arrested Friday night. Both men were booked on charges of murder, burglary and trafficking in stolen property.
Urbina won the 141-pound Youth Men’s Division at the USA Boxing National Championships in April at Spokane, Wash. His family says he had Olympic aspirations.