A Little Tarnish for BB&T

Winston-Salem based BB&T has enjoyed a very strong, positive public image especially during the last few years as other "local" banks like Wachovia painted themselves as evil-banker-villain people.  Well, it looks like the sterling image is in danger of being tarnished.  To wit, two stories in the last week (h/t to Ed Cone for lead to first story):

Visions of Profits Gone, Lot Buyers Sue (News & Observer)

Attorney Wes Hodges, whose firm filed the suits against Saunders, said that buyers were subjected to high-pressure sales tactics. He said they were told it was certain that they would reap big profits by the time the two-year loans came due and that the subdivisions would be finished by then.

He said prices of the lots were artificially increased via fraudulent appraisals and that the lender – BB&T in most cases – signed off on the loans knowing the prices had beenhyped. The frontline bankers approving the loans were paid bonuses of up to 100 percent of their annual salary for hitting targets for the number of loans written, he said.

BB&T is a defendant.A spokeswoman for the bank said it doesn't comment on ongoing litigation but that it will vigorously contest the allegations.

Whistle-Blower Ordered Re-Hired in a Ponzi Scheme (Associated Press)

The BB&T Corporation must rehire a former company investigator who said she was fired after exposing a $100 million North Carolina development scam, an administrative law judge said in a ruling released Friday. The decision, made by Judge Jeffrey Tureck, said the investigator, Amy Stroupe, should be reinstated to her position with back pay because of protection afforded by whistle-blower laws…

Investigators say the development, known as the Village of Penland, was a Ponzi scheme, and Judge Tureck said in his ruling that the bank was assisting the fraud by making loans to investors in the community.

1 thought on “A Little Tarnish for BB&T

  1. 4thbg

    Carl Sanburg was right when he wrote that “everyone has their price and no ear is deaf to song that gold sings.” This is exactly the same as what happened back in 2000 when it was discovered that the major investment banks were underwriting massive IPOs for companies that had no revenue. As along as the fees kept coming, management turned a blind eye. Of course they all scream that they were all shocked to discover that there was gambling going on in the casino. All were complicit, seller, lender and buyer. Anytime there is “easy” money to be made, you can be assured that there is something either illegal or unethical going on somewhere. Plenty of ways to get rich in this country, but quick tends to not be one of them save a few exceptions with the lottery, etc.


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