Thinking of stealing money from the feds? First, meet Jeff Grant, an ex-con who committed loan fraud
Thinking about stealing the government loan money you received in pandemic help?Before you do, listen to Jeff Grant’s story.After his opioid addiction, his theft of U.S. loan funds, and a federal prison sentence, Grant’s life as a lawyer and business professional was over.But according to him, his new life was just beginning. And for small business owners feeling desperate — enough to steal — he’s created a safe place to talk anonymously and seek guidance.Now clean and sober, remarried and out of prison, Jeff Grant, 64, co-founded the online organization Progressive Prison Ministries, what cou...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Wells Fargo fires workers for allegedly defrauding feds in pandemic loan applications
Wells Fargo has fired as many as 125 workers for allegedly defrauding the Small Business Administration in applications to a pandemic relief loan program.A bank investigation found that some workers had made false representations in applications for relief funds through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program run by the SBA. The funds were sought for the workers personally, and not related to their official duties at the bank, according to the bank.“If we identify additional wrongdoing by employees, we will take appropriate action,” said David Galloreese, Wells Fargo’s human resources head, ...
The Charlotte Observer
U.S. Bancorp profit falls 17% due to low interest rates, slumping economy
U.S. Bancorp’s profit dropped 17% in the third quarter as it set aside another $635 million for possible loan defaults due to economic challenges from the coronavirus pandemic.The provision would also cover expected losses from a credit card portfolio it acquired from State Farm, the company said.But the special charge was smaller than the $1.7 billion it set aside in the previous quarter, a sign that the parent of U.S. Bank sees economic conditions improving.Its net income in the third quarter was $1.58 billion, or 99 cents a share, compared to $1.91 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Th...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Wall Street rating agencies still hate Quicken Loans. Here's why.
DETROIT — Quicken Loans is enjoying some of its most profitable months ever amid ultra-low mortgage rates and the fruits of its IPO this summer as part of Dan Gilbert’s Rocket Companies family of financial businesses.Over in Dearborn, Mich., Ford Motor Co. has been burning through billions in cash during the global pandemic and economic slowdown.Aside from its metro Detroit geography, the global automaker and nationwide mortgage lender have little in common. But one other thing they do share is below-investment grade credit ratings from the Wall Street rating agencies, also known as “junk” rat...
Detroit Free Press
Ex-Jets receiver Josh Bellamy charged with COVID relief fraud
A former New York Jets wide receiver had sticky hands — for COVID relief funds, prosecutors charged Thursday.Federal authorities in South Florida announced they’d intercepted Josh Bellamy’s scheme with 10 others to file at least 90 fraudulent loan applications seeking more than $24 million.Bellamy, who was officially released from the Jets Tuesday, obtained a loan of $1,246,565 for his company, Drip Entertainment LLC, from a federal relief program for small businesses impacted by coronavirus. The money was intended only for job retention and certain other expenses, but Bellamy allegedly splurg...
New York Daily News
Quicken Loans' parent Rocket Companies shows $3.4B profit in first earnings report
Detroit-based Rocket Companies, the new publicly traded firm that includes Dan Gilbert’s Quicken Loans, announced a massive profit Wednesday in its first earnings report since its IPO last month.Rocket reported net income of $3.4 billion in the second quarter that ended June 30, compared to a net loss of $54 million during the same three-month period last year.The company also did a record $72.3 billion in closed loans, which was 126% more than the same period in 2019.Rocket closed Wednesday at $31.30, up about 2%.“Record low interest rates are driving demand for home loans,” Rocket Companies ...
Detroit Free Press
Par Funding threatened violence, trashed reputations after businesses took out loans at brutal interest rates, borrowers say
When two beefy men cornered Dwayne Stewart in a Wawa parking lot in Pennsauken, N.J. last year, he was worried. But he never dreamed it could be related to his business loan.In 2019, he and his partner had borrowed roughly $50,000 from a Philadelphia cash-advance lender, Par Funding, to keep their small transportation business afloat.When the lender said they fell behind in payment, the firm declared them in default and unexpectedly froze $29,000 in his partner’s business bank account. Sums of $200 to $300 a day began disappearing from Stewart’s own accounts, withdrawn by Par Funding without h...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
New York attorney general probes perplexing Trump Tower Chicago loan deal
CHICAGO — New York’s attorney general is trying to answer one of the most perplexing questions surrounding the troubled financing of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago: whether President Donald Trump failed to pay taxes on a $100 million loan deal related to the project.According to a court filing, Trump’s lender on a high-interest $150 million loan on the Chicago property, Fortress Credit Corp., made a 2012 deal to accept a $48 million payoff — in essence, forgiving more than $102 million in debt.New York Attorney General Letitia James included the allegation in the Monday fil...
Red Lobster faces its 'most challenging time,' as big loan payment looms amid pandemic
Red Lobster is facing the “most challenging time” in its history during the coronavirus pandemic, CEO Kim Lopdrup says, at the same time that outside analysts worry about a looming $355 million loan the company has due next summer.The privately held seafood chain of more than 700 restaurants has a $380 million term loan, with more than $355 million outstanding, reaching maturity next July, according to a June report from Moody’s, which earlier in the year cut the company’s credit rating to Caa1, defined as “poor.”Upcoming financial events mean it is “critical to repair the balance sheet,” said...
5 business owners charged in COVID-19 relief fraud scheme
ATLANTA — Five small-business owners are facing federal charges after prosecutors said they defrauded the Paycheck Protection Program out of a collective $4.1 million in loan funding.Darrell Thomas, 34, Andre Lee Gaines, 66, Khalil Gibran Green, 46, and Bern Benoit, 44, are all facing several charges including conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, U.S. Attorney BJay Pak said. The fifth business owner, 52-year-old Carla Jackson, is charged with money laundering, he said.Investigators said Thomas, Gaines, Green and Benoit submitted loan applications on behalf of five businesses and sought ab...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution