Before Steve Mnuchin was in charge of the nation's economy, he was a foreclosure kingpin who left Goldman Sachs to found OneWest Bank (with money from George Soros!) in 2008; after the crisis, OneWest Bank acquired busted mortgage lender IndyMac, and became a notorious foreclosure mill, using robo-signed, back-dated, fraudulent documents to steal peoples' houses.
One of Mnuchin's customers was Cesar Sayoc, the man accused of sending bombs to a collection of people vilified by Donald Trump (including George Soros!).
IndyMac foreclosed on Sayoc in 2009, having converted his mortgage to a MERS ("a shell company that housed an electronic spreadsheet where mortgages could be quickly traded between buyers") using the Law Offices of David J. Stern, notorious for sleazy, fraudulent tactics.
Sayoc's foreclosure was typically fraudulent: backdated documents, never served, fraudulently executed, used to steal a home, signed by a woman who eventually admitted to forging signatures on documents used in foreclosure frauds.
Mnuchin denied wrongdoing for years, before finally accepting a consent decree and stipulating to wronging homeowners. Mnuchin might have faced prosecution in California, except Kamala Harris -- then California Attorney General -- declined to prosecute the case her staff built against Mnuchin and his bank. Harris is one of the people targeted by the bombs that Sayoc is accused of mailing. At the federal level, Eric Holder (Obama's Attorney General and another bombing target) declined to bring criminal charges against any of the bankers involved in the crisis of 2008 and the epidemic of house thefts that followed it (today, Holder earns $3m/year working for an elite lawfirm servicing the banks he declined to prosecute).
Life sure comes at you fast.
Not even two years after the mortgage sale, on January 7, 2009, IndyMac Bank filed for foreclosure. The docket in the case indicates that Sayoc did not receive notice of this lawsuit; the summons was returned unserved in February.
The legal representation for IndyMac was the Law Offices of David J. Stern, a notorious foreclosure mill that prosecuted about one-fifth of all foreclosures in the state at the height of its powers, many of them in slipshod ways and with fraudulent documents. They often served “notice by publication,” placing the foreclosure notice in a local paper called the Daily Business Review.
In order to foreclose, IndyMac needed to assign the mortgage back from MERS to IndyMac, making them the mortgage holder and therefore eligible to enforce the lien. This appears to have been done after the fact. The documents state that the assignment was executed on January 5, 2009, but elsewhere in the document the date is listed as January 23. And the document was not filed with the county clerk’s office until April 23.
Cesar Sayoc’s Home Was Foreclosed On By Steve Mnuchin’s Bank, Using Dodgy Paperwork [David Dayen/The Intercept]