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Monday, October 24, 2016

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) rose to the floor of the Senate on Thursday morning to introduce the Truth in Settlements Act, which is co-sponsored by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK).

“Several years ago the government announced a $385 million settlement with Fresenius Medical Care for allegedly defrauding Medicare and other health programs for years,” Warren said. “When the agreement was originally announced, the Justice Department touted the sticker price as the agency’s largest civil recovery to date in a health care fraud case. But the DOJ didn’t say a word about the tax treatment. The agency’s failure to even consider that issue was a very costly mistake. By the time the company finished claiming all its tax deductions from the settlement, it ended up paying $100 million less than originally advertised. In other words, the taxpayers picked up more than a quarter of the tab.”

The senator also compared a settlement last year between Wells Fargo and the Federal Housing Finance agency for $335 million in fraudulent sales to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which was about 6 percent of what JPMorgan paid to the same agency for a similar claim.

What was the difference in the two settlements?

“Well, we’ll never know because the JPMorgan settlement is public. But the much smaller Wells Fargo settlement is confidential.”

The bill implements several requirements on settlements made in disputes that are not being litigated, including a requirement that the government offer a rationale whenever an agreement is kept confidential.

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  • daniel bostdorf

    The taxpayers are paying for the excesses of the 3% who own everything…They simply get bailed out when it is convenient.

    There was a remarkable article addressing how USA corporations are getting scared that these sweethearts deals that bail them out will get exposed….

    and the debate here:

    I fear for Elizabeth Warrens safety….. She is challenging large multinational billionaires and the “smallest” of those who defraud the taxpayer…

    I had a remarkable humanities teacher, Sam Oberholtzer, that forced us to read the 11 volumes of Will and Ariel Durant; The History of Civilization….and special attention to fiscal reformers and whistleblowers Gracchi brothers of Rome..

    The Gracchi brothers….very much like John and bobby Kennedy…were eliminated because they challenged ultimate authorty…

    Warren is doing he same…

    The Gracchi brothers, Tiberius and Gaius, were Roman plebeian nobiles who both served as tribunes in the late 2nd century BC. They attempted to pass land reform legislation that would redistribute the major patrician landholdings among the plebeians, in addition to other reform measures. After achieving some early success, both were assassinated for their efforts.


    Exposing sweetheart deals in rome and now in the USA version of a falling Roman Empire means that desperate corporations will do desperate things to keep their wealth…

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”….
    George Santayana

    • Independent1

      Let’s hope you’re not right about Elizabeth’s safety being at risk – us 98% really need her fighting for us.

      • daniel bostdorf

        Me too—prophets achieve on earth….they pass…and it releases the angels in us….waiting for a miracle…as all of those that have passed before….we are not unique…i want humanity to achieve their sweetheart deal….that Warren won’t challenge…

  • Stephen M Starr

    Elizabeth Warren is a national treasure. She is performing one of the most essential tasks that is the foundation of our democracy: demanding accountability and transparency of those who would seek to lead us.

    All of her actions and her words seem to have a singular purpose. And that purpose is to move us closer to the ideal of “justice for all”.

    In her own way, using her own methods, she could be considered the Gandhi of our times.

  • John Pigg

    I can’t stand this new layout…..

    • RobertCHastings

      Oh, come on, John, suck it up!

      • John Pigg

        I’d rather complain…
        I don’t know why websites are trying to make everything more tablet friendly… It’s annoying.

        • dtgraham

          John, you’re a website curmudgeon after my own heart.

        • RobertCHastings

          I agree with you. The change is somewhat disorienting, especially for those of us of an age that does not handle change that well. I am just grateful to be able to express and share my views on a format that is, believe it or not, easier than many others to negotiate.

    • daniel bostdorf

      At least disqus is back so we flag and vote down trolls.

      Rolling out this wondeful new site will always have glitches.

      Fortunately it was NOT designed by the folks who gave us a botch obamacare site….GOP cronies at CGI in Canada!

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    I bet the Republicans are sorry that they tanked her nomination to head the new Consumer bureau now. Whereas she would have been shunted off to obscurity by constant House and Senate investigations, she now gets front page news just about every day by exposing the (to quote a former co-worker) “Greedy Republican Bastards” for what they are.

  • RobertCHastings

    The worst of the “sweetheart deals” comprise over 75% of our current Tax Code, in which individuals and other entities are given tax subsidies and breaks that the rest of us don’t. It is great to expose what is going on right now – one bank settling for $2B when they defrauded the country and homeowners out of 50 times that. Rewriting the Tax Code and eliminating ALL preferential items would simplify and it and make it much more equitable for ALL Americans. The biggest thing would be adding something in to repair the damage done over the past 40 -50 years.

  • sealbeams

    Bipartisan support not likely. Thanks for trying.

  • Howa4x

    This is why white collar crime is epidemic. Our religions have become a joke in trying to establish morality in the business class. Churches so much depend on large gifts that they look the other way. We have to start treating corporate criminals as we treat street criminals. When we start putting them is jail as common criminals that is when we will see change.

  • idamag

    And people waste their time worrying about the non-existent welfare Cadillac.

  • The truth is that …

    Marxism failed, in part, because it deprived natural human aggression of an outlet toward the internal channel of private property.

  • Jim Myers

    There are several posts here that state the fear of an assassination attempt on Elizabeth Warren.

    She is not stupid. She knows fully well that she is one of the biggest threats to the “WELFARE FOR THE WEALTHY” syndrome that is prevalent in Congress today.

    The problem for those who benefit from all this Corporate largess is that if they have her eliminated, there will very likely to be a HUGE groundswell of retribution against them.

    They are likely to be much worse off without her being here than they are now.

    Even though she is causing them so much pain.

    She is probably a Chess Grandmaster.

    She certainly has the ability to create gambits that give them choices without any good outcome for them.