The following story mirrors many many over the last few years underlining the criminal acts of the financial industry and their essential "Free Ride" they are getting for serious fraud etc that was a major factor in our economic collapse and that of much of the Western world. No criminal indictments, and fines that are slaps in the hand for people/corporations who wrecked millions of lives through their duplicity. Some of these fines are in the billions yet those fined can make up the fine in a very short time.
From Democracy Now website and program on/about 1/8/13:
The financial giant Bank of America has agreed to pay more than $11 billion to the government-backed mortgage finance company Fannie Mae for flooding it with toxic mortgages during the financial crisis. The Justice Department says Bank of America executed a scheme that would blindly hand out mortgages without proper checks and then turn around and sell the toxic loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. While Bank of America reaped a windfall, Fannie and Freddie were stuck with huge losses and foreclosed properties
In another major settlement, Bank of America and nine other major lenders have agreed to pay $8.5 billion to settle claims of wrongfully foreclosing on millions of American homeowners. The settlement covers a number of foreclosure abuses including flawed paperwork, robo-signing, and wrongly modified loans. The settlement will end an independent review of all foreclosures, meaning the banks could be avoiding billions of dollars in further penalties. Diane Thompson, a lawyer with the National Consumer Law Center, criticized the deal, telling the Associated Press: "The settlement caps banksâ€™ liability at a total number thatâ€™s less than they thought they were going to pay going in."