Texas Police Accused of Highway Robberies

CNN reports that police are accused of having robbed at least 150 drivers in Tenaha, Texas. The amount stolen is close to $3 million, says a lawyer who has filed a class action suit against the town and police department there.

Some of the victims (who are mostly African American) said that when they complained to the police about the police, the police threatened to take the victims’ children away.

In one case, the district attorney sent a couple who’d been robbed a form letter to sign that said, in exchange for forfeiting the $6000 that had been stolen from them, “…no criminal charges shall be filed…and our children shall not be turned over to [child protective services].”

The video is loaded with lots of other tragicomically sordid details.

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Police In Texas Accused of Committing Highway Robberies

William K. Black Criticizes the Bailout Plan — Might Destroy the Obama Presidency

Regulator from the S&L Crisis opposes Geithner’s plan. Author of “The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.” He recently helped the World Bank develop anti-corruption initiatives and served as an expert for OFHEO in its enforcement action against Fannie Mae’s former senior management.  

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In his book, The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One (University of Texas Press 2005), “a classic.”  Paul Volcker praised its analysis: 

Bill Black has detailed an alarming story about financial – and political – corruption.  The specifics go back twenty years, but the lessons are as fresh as the morning newspaper.  One of those lessons really sticks out: one brave man with a conscience could stand up for us all.

Robert Kuttner, in his Business Week column, proclaimed: 

Black’s book is partly the definitive history of the savings-and-loan industry scandals of the early 1980s. More important, it is a general theory of how dishonest CEOs, crony directors, and corrupt middlemen can systematically defeat market discipline and conceal deliberate fraud for a long time — enough to create massive damage.

Black developed the concept of “control fraud” — frauds in which the CEO or head of state uses the entity as a “weapon.”  Control frauds cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime combined and kill and maim thousands. “Control fraud” is what happens when the person who controls a large company is a criminal. Enron was only the most conspicuous example of a pervasive phenomenon in corporate behaviour, says this white-collar criminologist.

The following is from Bill Moyers Journal interview:

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Well, certainly in the financial sphere, I am. I think, first, the policies are substantively bad. Second, I think they completely lack integrity. Third, they violate the rule of law. This is being done just like Secretary Paulson did it. In violation of the law. We adopted a law after the Savings and Loan crisis, called the Prompt Corrective Action Law. And it requires them to close these institutions. And they’re refusing to obey the law.

BILL MOYERS: In other words, they could have closed these banks without nationalizing them?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Well, you do a receivership. No one — Ronald Reagan did receiverships. Nobody called it nationalization.

BILL MOYERS: And that’s a law?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: That’s the law.

BILL MOYERS: So, Paulson could have done this? Geithner could do this?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Not could. Was mandated-

BILL MOYERS: By the law.

WILLIAM K. BLACK: By the law.

 

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