Tuesday, November 18, 2008

U.S. Attorney-General Designate Holder's Law Firm & "The Superior Bank Scandal"

U.S. Attorney-General Designate and Columbia University Trustee Eric Holder became a law partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling after serving as a Deputy Attorney General in the Democratic Clinton Administration until 2001. (See the following link: http://www.cov.com/eholder/ )

But as the Covington & Burling web site at http://www.cov.com/practice/white_collar_and_investigations/financial_insitutions_investigations/notes, Holder's law firm "represented Coast-to-Coast Financial Corporation in government inquiries and civil litigation regarding the failure of its subsidiary, Superior Bank, fsb, the largest bank failure in recent years."

Coincidentally, the 2008 Obama presidential campaign's national finance Chair, Penny Pritzker, sat on the board of the Coast-to-Coast Financial Corporation whose special corporate interests U.S. Attorney-General Designate Holder's law firm represented before U.S. government regulators and in federal court.

As the Feb. 6, 2002 Office of Inspector General's report noted:

"Superior was orginally established in 1988 when the Pritzker and Dworman interests acquired Lyons Savings Bank...The corporate structure consisted of Superior being wholly-owned by Coast-to-Coast Financial Corporation (CCFC), the holding company, with the Pritzker and Dworman interests each owning 50 percent of the holding company..."

Yet the Office of Inspector General's Feb. 6, 2002 report also observed:

"Oftentimes the line between poor business judgment and fraud and abuse is difficult to draw. Nevertheless, based on our review of the failure of Superior Bank it appears that some of the decisions made by Superior management rise to the level of insider abuse...

"As early as 1996, Superior submitted Thrift Financial Reports that were inaccurate...

"Questionable management practices were evident at Superior for many years...

"...Examiners discovered that during the fourth calendar quarter of 2000 Superior sold loans at fixed prices to Coast-to-Coast Financial Corporation. This transaction violates various federal regulations by selling assets to an affiliate at a price less than fair market value..."