United States Files Civil Fraud Complaint Against Former Deutsche Bank Head of Subprime Mortgage Trading

Monday, September 11, 2017

Defendant Involved in the Sale of Over $1 Billion in Deutsche Bank Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities

The United States today filed a civil complaint in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, against Paul Mangione, former Deutsche Bank head of subprime trading. In its complaint, the United States alleges that Mangione engaged in a fraudulent scheme to misrepresent the characteristics of loans backing two residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) that Deutsche Bank sold to investors that resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. This suit is brought pursuant to the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) and seeks an appropriate civil penalty.

As alleged in the complaint, Mangione engaged in a fraudulent scheme to sell ACE 2007-HE4 (HE4) — a $ 1 billion security — and ACE 2007-HE5 (HE5) — a $400 million security — by misleading investors about the quality of the loans backing the securitizations. The complaint further alleges that Mangione also misled investors about the origination practices of Deutsche Bank’s wholly-owned subsidiary, DB Home Lending LLC (DB Home) (f/k/a Chapel Funding LLC), which was the primary originator of loans included in the deals. Mangione approved offering documents for HE4 and HE5 even though he knew they misrepresented key characteristics of the loans, including compliance with lending guidelines, borrowers’ ability to pay, borrowers’ fraud and appraisal accuracy.

The HE4 and HE5 offering documents also falsely represented that DB Home had “developed internal underwriting guidelines that it believe[d] generated quality loans” and that DB Home had instituted a quality control process that “monitor[ed] loan production with the overall goal of improving the quality of loan production,” among numerous other representations designed to instill in investors trust in DB Home’s underwriting processes. As alleged in the complaint, Mangione knew that these statements were false.

“The defendant fraudulently induced investors, including pension plans, religious organizations, financial institutions and government-sponsored entities, to name only a few, to invest nearly a billion and a half dollars in HE4 and HE5 RMBS, and caused them to suffer extraordinary losses as a result,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Rohde for the Eastern District of New York. “We will hold accountable those who seek to deceive the investing public through fraud and misrepresentation.”

“The government’s complaint alleges that Mr. Mangione knew that certain of Deutsche Bank’s RMBS contained unsound mortgages that did not meet the credit or appraisal standards that the bank represented,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “By allegedly misleading investors about the riskiness of these securities, Mr. Mangione prioritized his and his employer’s bottom line over principles of honesty and fair dealing. The Department of Justice will continue to pursue those who engage in fraud as a way to conduct business.”

“As alleged in today’s filing, this individual knowingly took steps during the lead up to the financial crisis to sell defective mortgage loans while hiding the poor quality of the loans from investors,” said Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Rene Febles for the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of the Inspector General. “This conduct was deliberately fraudulent and resulted in significant losses for the investors. We are committed to working with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York to hold accountable those who engaged in fraud in the secondary market for mortgages.”

In January 2017, the Department of Justice settled a related RMBS matter with Deutsche Bank.

The United States’ case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Edward K. Newman and Ryan M. Wilson. Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Rohde and Acting Assistant Attorney General Readler thanked the Office of the Inspector General for the Federal Housing Finance Administration for its assistance in conducting the investigation in this matter.

The Case number is E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CV-5305 (NGG).

Kentucky-Based Defense Contractors, Owners Agree to Pay $6.25 Million to Resolve Allegations That They Submitted False Statements and Claims to Obtain Army Contracts Intended for Small Businesses

Kentucky-Based Defense Contractors, Owners Agree to Pay $6.25 Million to Resolve Allegations That They Submitted False Statements and Claims to Obtain Army Contracts Intended for Small Businesses

Kentucky-based Lusk Mechanical Contractors and Commonwealth Technologies, and their owners, Harry Lusk and Wendell Goodman, have agreed to pay $6.25 million to resolve allegations that they submitted false statements to the Small Business Administration and false claims to the Army, the Justice Department announced today.


Congress established the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program in 1997 to help inner cities and rural counties that have low household income and high unemployment, and whose communities have suffered from a lack of investment.   Under the HUBZone program, small businesses that maintain their principal office in a designated HUBZone, and meet certain other requirements, can apply to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for certification as a HUBZone company.  HUBZone companies can then use this certification to their advantage when bidding on government contracts.


Today’s settlement resolves allegations that Lusk Mechanical, Commonwealth Technology and their owners made, or caused to be made, false statements to the SBA to obtain certification as a HUBZone company, and then used this certification to wrongfully obtain Army contracts to build a courthouse in Fort Knox, Ky., and to complete maintenance and other repairs to Army facilities in Fort Knox.   Specifically, the United States alleged that in February 2005, Commonwealth submitted an application to the SBA representing that it was a small business with its principal place of business in a designated HUBZone.   In fact, Commonwealth allegedly operated out of Lusk Mechanical’s headquarters, which was not located in a HUBZone area.  Commonwealth’s business office was identified on the application as 212 East Caroline Street, Irvington, Ky.   The United States alleged that this location was nothing more than a vacant office space with no employees, and that Commonwealth’s application did not disclose that Wendell Goodman and Harry Lusk were, in fact, affiliated with Lusk Mechanical.   At the time, Harry Lusk and his wife were the sole owners of Lusk Mechanical and Wendell Goodman was the chief executive officer of Lusk Mechanical.   According to the United States’ allegations, neither Lusk nor Goodman disclosed in the application to the SBA that Commonwealth did not operate as an independent company, but instead shared facilities, equipment, personnel, insurance and bonding with Lusk Mechanical, nor did they inform the SBA about the financial relationship between Commonwealth and Lusk Mechanical.  The United States alleged that, using the falsely obtained HUBZone certification, the companies obtained contracts from the Army that had been restricted to qualified HUBZone companies, in violation of the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA).


Under the terms of the settlement, Commonwealth, Lusk Mechanical, Goodman, and Lusk have agreed to pay $3,741,739.96, and to forfeit $2,506,260.24 seized by federal agents from their bank accounts under a civil forfeiture action.


“As our economy continues to improve, the HUBZone program provides a critical lifeline to small businesses that voluntarily choose to locate in areas that often have difficulty attracting business,” said Stuart F. Delery, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.   “Companies that set up sham offices not only break the law, but deprive the HUBZone communities and legitimate HUBZone businesses of the benefits of the HUBZone program.”


“They abused a program meant to assist small businesses located in financially disadvantaged communities,” stated David J. Hale, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky. “Today’s multimillion dollar settlement is the result of a successfully coordinated effort among law enforcement agencies and the Department of Justice, working together to hold these business owners accountable.”


“The HUBZone Program offers significant benefits to eligible small businesses and is an important tool for unlocking the potential of historically underutilized business zones,” said Inspector General Peggy E. Gustafson of the Small Business Administration. “Preferences for federal contract awards must not be given to persons who lie in order to claim eligibility.   I applaud the dedication and perseverance of our law enforcement partners as justice is served here today on behalf of the American taxpayer”


“SBA’s contracting programs, including the HUBZone program, provide small businesses with the opportunity to grow and create jobs,” stated SBA’s General Counsel Sara Lipscomb.  “But, SBA has no tolerance for waste, fraud or abuse in any government contracting program and is committed to ensuring the benefits of these programs flow to the intended recipients.  SBA works closely with our federal partners to prevent bad actors from participating in contracting programs and taking action and holding those accountable when they lie to or mislead the government.”

“This investigation is the result of a highly successful joint effort by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) and one of our key law enforcement partners — the SBA’s Office of Inspector General, in collaboration with the Department of Justice.   Fraud in military contracting undermines the confidence of the American public who demand a military procurement system that spends their tax dollars wisely and responsibly.   This investigation should serve as a warning for those who submit false claims for U.S. military and public funds that DCIS will aggressively investigate these matters,” said Bret Flinn, Resident Agent in Charge of the DCIS Dayton Resident Agency.


Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Delery thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky, the Office of General Counsel and the Office of the Inspector General for the Small Business Administration, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the Justice Department’s Commercial Litigation Branch for the collaboration that resulted in today’s settlement.   The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.