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Marshall C. Watson | Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi Settles Investigation Against One of Florida’s Largest Foreclosure Firms

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Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi Settles Investigation Against One of Florida's Largest Foreclosure Firms

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Jenn Meale
Phone: 850.245.0150
jennifer.meale@myfloridalegal.com

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi Settles Investigation Against
One of Florida’s Largest Foreclosure Firms

TALLAHASSEE,
FL – Today Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi  announced a
first-of-its-kind settlement against attorney Marshall C. Watson and
his law firm, one of the largest foreclosure firms in Florida, for
alleged improprieties in the prosecution of foreclosure cases
throughout Florida.

This settlement, which calls for a $2
million payment and imposition of certain requirements to conduct
business, is the first stemming from numerous investigations into
Florida foreclosure law firms.

“We are aggressively
investigating these law firms in order to protect the interests of
everyone involved in foreclosure proceedings.  Homeowners, lending
institutions and the courts deserve to know that the law is being
followed and all documentation is true and accurate,” stated Attorney
General Pam Bondi. “Anything short of total assurance of complete
accuracy during such serious situations is unacceptable.”

Florida
led the nation in the investigation of law firms engaged in the
improper production and filing of foreclosure documents. The Marshall
Watson firm fully cooperated with the investigation since its
inception.
Half of the $2 million payment from Marshall Watson’s
firm to the Attorney General’s Office will be contributed to the
Florida Bar Foundation to continue the Florida Attorney General
Mortgage Foreclosure Grant Program.

This grant program provides
for the funding of Legal Aid attorney positions throughout Florida
specifically devoted to the representation of low-income individuals
facing foreclosure actions.

The investigations into the practices of several other Florida law firms are ongoing.

 

www.4closureFraud.org

 

 

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Tue, 03/29/2011 - 14:23 | 1113599 MrBoompi
MrBoompi's picture

This agreement is a fucking joke. Want proof we live in a banana republic? Read the goddamn papers.

How many people were illegally foreclosed upon? Did you see anything about them? Where are their damages?

Did you see who gets the two "fines"? The State of Florida, Office of AG, get a million bucks, and the other million is a "donation" to the Florida Bar Association.

Give me a fucking break. Look for more bullshit settlements just like this one, where douchebags admit no wrongdoing, pay off fellow laywers, and keep their licenses.

And I'd like to know how much money these people made from their foreclosure practices. Chances are, it's another situation just like Mozillo's.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 13:54 | 1113476 Boxed Merlot
Boxed Merlot's picture

Construction of Agreement

9.1 “It is further agreed that the parties jointly participated in the negotiation of the terms of this Assurance. No provision of this Assurance shall be construed for, or against any party, on the grounds that one party had more control over establishing the terms of this Assurance, than another.”

We sure wouldn't want to think a state's AG would actually have anything other than a conjugal relationship with a scofflaw now would we?

The offspring of this affair should rightfully be named "Injustice", and will be the cause of many embittered citizens whose lives, fortunes and futures have been disregarded as irrelevant in the hopes of speedily concealing known breaches of trust for personal gain.

imo.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 13:12 | 1113307 Bitch Tits
Bitch Tits's picture

I can vouch for the fact that Florida is THE most corrupt state in the Union, with the possible exception being Iowa.

Both states are swamplands, only one doesn't know it.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 12:15 | 1113099 aerial view
aerial view's picture

This is a joke and total travesty of justice. This crook has a $9.8 million dollar home in Ft. Lauderdale! If I were the DA, the settlement would have allowed all those who were illegally foreclosed on to now live in Mr. Marshall's palace!

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 11:43 | 1112952 Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

Fraudulent activity has "recovered" nicely.

Wondered where the recovery was.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 11:37 | 1112923 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture

lol 2 mill whats that 1/10th of the ceo's bonus?

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 11:36 | 1112917 earnulf
earnulf's picture

I have to agree that the fine and "voluntary" acceptance by the firm are a joke and a travesty of the AG's office.    How much has the AG spent on "investigating" this firm compared to what was recovered?    Not only did the firm get a touch on the wrist, the Taxpayers were screwed by an AG that spent taxpayer money to accomplish this feat!

Apparently it is more important to keep the firm open and it's employees with jobs than to actually dispense justice.   Another SPIN doctor with rose colored glasses and a overly hyped opinion of herself and the "job" she thinks she is doing.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 12:49 | 1113227 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

+1000

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 11:48 | 1112847 AN0NYM0US
Tue, 03/29/2011 - 11:15 | 1112817 OutLookingIn
OutLookingIn's picture

 

 This is a joke. A sad, cruel joke. The fine? A slap on the wrist.

Half the 2 million bucks goes back to lawyers?

No deals. Prosecute, fine and incarcerate. Period. Take away bar status. Disbar crooked lawyers and law firms. Make the rest walk on egg shells!

The only way to return "honesty" to the system. At the moment it's still rotten to the core.  

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 12:38 | 1113179 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

The above settlement does not prohibit the state bar from also making its own sanctions.....  including requiring fancy pants to hang up the spurs (which should probably happen to all the foreclosure mills).

PS, generally speaking, disbarment is a pretty difficult achievement...  especially where the attorney(s) in question zealously defended/prosecuted their client(s)' interests.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 11:13 | 1112806 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

Condo prices are so low, in some places lower than when they were built 25 years ago. At what point to the banks stop foreclosure simply because they don't want to add to their deflating inventory of REOs? Not to mention the legal costs of paying associations back fees of 1%

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 11:09 | 1112792 beastie
beastie's picture

4closurefraud,

In case you missed this as I didn't see it on your site. The JP Morgue was forced into a more generous settlement in Massachusetts 

http://screwtapefiles.blogspot.com/2011/03/fun-facts-about-jpm-and-their...

Bunch of links within the article with exact details of the numerous frauds perpetrated. For anyone trying to explain what the Morgue etc have been up to and numerous ways they screwed everyone they touched it's all in the settlement doc. 

 

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 11:05 | 1112777 Fernley Girl
Fernley Girl's picture

As long as a bunch of fat cat lawyers and banks can donate more to a political campaign than Joe & Jane Doe, no one will ever see any justice from foreclosure fraud.  NO criminal charges?  Voluntary compliance?  State-sanctioned license to steal.  Did anyone really expect a different result?

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 11:04 | 1112776 lamont cranston
lamont cranston's picture

Willful fraud without jail time is ludicrous. How many were screwed out of their homes? Am willing to bet that the $2MM was drop in the bucket. I ran through the document quickly - did Watson get disbarred?

Perhaps Florida should change its name to Fraudida, The Sunset of Meaningful Prosecutions State.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 12:31 | 1113160 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I'm willing to bet an incredibly small number were screwed out of their homes...  about the only scenario I would consider someone being screwed out of their home in this case would be if they were not in default at the time of the foreclosure...  in which case, if true, should warrant punitives of biblical proportions.  (even though there has already been a judicial cap imposed for due process reasons).

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 11:04 | 1112748 Mercury
Mercury's picture

I'd be willing to bet that when it comes to Florida real estate there really aren't any completely innocent parties.

What I do no with full certainty is that Pam Bondi is the hottest AG in the country:

http://media.marconews.com/media/img/photos/2010/11/03/SP_330092_ZUPP_Bondi_4_t607.jpg

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 14:26 | 1113607 MrBoompi
MrBoompi's picture

Sorry, wouldn't pay $1M to hit that.

Wed, 03/30/2011 - 05:30 | 1116199 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

so the Attorney General has accepted a $2m pay-off (bribe) from a firm of fraudsters to her own AG office and Bar Association....you really couldn't get more fuking out in the open 'in your face' corrupt than this if you tried

at least we know how corruption works, the legal system/machine eats money to keep its mouth shut ...all is well, all is crystal clear

 

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 11:51 | 1112990 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

she is really quite disgusting , if you look closely

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 11:43 | 1112955 Montgomery Burns
Montgomery Burns's picture

And that's saying a lot ?

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 10:48 | 1112694 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Does this establish facts for a slam dunk class action, at least?

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 10:54 | 1112721 Rogerwilco
Rogerwilco's picture

LOL, class action = wealthy lawyers.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 11:20 | 1112854 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

And busted defendants.  It's a question of how deep the pockets are--deep enough to pay the plaintiffs after the lawyers get paid?  Just looking for upside. It is a travesty and a totally agree with the poster below who said disbarment and jail would be the appropriate outcome--not the Wall St. resolution of disgorging some minority percent of fraud profits.

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