Madoff Appears in Court, Cuomo Calls Merrill 'Misleading', Fraud Prosecutions Surge
— President Obama's remarks on earmark reform and spending
Madoff's Day in Court » As Bernard Madoff prepares to plead guilty to 11 felony charges related to his role in a massive Ponzi scheme, at least 50 of his victims are expected to be in court, awaiting a chance to speak after the disgraced financier enters his plea. — USA Today
Cuomo: Merrill 'Misleading' on Bonuses » New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is accusing Merrill Lynch of misleading Congress last November when it described plans to issue bonuses at year end, saying the financial firm actually had decided to expedite the payouts. Cuomo also blasted Bank of America with interfering in the Merril bonus investigation. — Reuters, ABC
A Surge in Fraud Prosecutions » Across the country, attorneys general have begun indicting dozens of loan processors, mortgage brokers and bank officers. Last week alone, there were guilty pleas in Minnesota, Delaware, North Carolina and Connecticut and sentences in Florida and Vermont — all stemming from home loan scams. — New York Times
Tribune's Zell Questioned in Blago Probe » Tribune Co. Chairman Sam Zell hired well-known defense lawyer Anton Valukas and was interviewed in January by federal prosecutors as a "potential witness" in the criminal investigation of former Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, the company acknowledged Wednesday. — L.A. Times
Inside Murtha's 'Earmark Factory' » Over the course of the past decade, Rep. John P. Murtha has earmarked millions of dollars for the Electro-Optics Center at Penn State University — money that has, in turn, gone to clients of the PMA Group, the Murtha-linked lobbying shop that was raided in November as part of a federal criminal probe. — Politico
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