While the US Department of Justice is busy trying to squeeze perfectly legitimate businesses out of business, and working feverishly to avoid enforcing federal drug laws in order to accommodate the voters of a swing state, it appears to be mysteriously absent from recent allegations that Fannie Mae may have more than one rotten apple in its bottomless barrel.
A metro Denver real estate broker has sued the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), claiming that her contract work with the federally-sponsored company dried up after she tried to report fraud.
In her federal complaint, Karen Frisone alleges that the fraud involved kickbacks, attempted bribes and a fake office scheme by other Denver brokers.
Frisone, at one time a top broker of FNMA REO properties in Denver, claims that a Fannie Mae official tried to solicit a bribe from her and when she not only didn't play ball, but reported that another brokerage was getting more than its fair share of listings due, she alleged, to fraud, Fannie Mae terminated her contract. Litigation has ensued, and Aunt Fannie has issued the typical response: Frisone's claims are "without merit."
I suppose that response might have more of an impact if it weren't for the fact that Frisone is not the only one singing the same sad song about how they've got The Fannie Mae Fraudster Blues.
The case mirrors a case in Irvine, Calif., where a former employee of Fannie Mae was indicted in 2013 on charges that he solicited illegal payments from a broker, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. That office’s supervisor was fired in June.
The nefarious doings in Tinsel Town may be an isolated case. Frisone's allegations may be unsupported. Fannie Mae may be as pure as the driven snow.
Pigs may fly.
Whether or not the allegations ultimately turn out to have a basis, you would hope that the DOJ would be in the thick of an investigation as to whether or not Frisone's allegations are true. After all, Fannie Mae, and its red-haired step-cousin twice removed, Freddie Mac, are wards of the state, having been in conservatorship since before The One became The One. If there are kickbacks and bribes being paid, that would speak ill of the ability of the Feds to manage their affairs. I know, that's a harsh allegation, but there you have it.
Let's hope AG Holder can resist his illicit love for disparate impact and his gut-wrenching aversion to payday lending long enough to cast a piercing glance at Fannie Mae's minions in the Mile High City before they're covered in a thick haze of (perfectly legal) cannabis smoke. If there's something wicked there, it might be nice to actually stop it before it spreads to a Red State, where sober people might be harmed.