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AG Coakley reaches $60 million subprime deal with Goldman

ASSOCIATED PRESS

AG Coakley reaches $60 million subprime deal with Goldman

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has reached a $60 million settlement with investment banker Goldman Sachs for its role in the state’s subprime lending problem.

Goldman has pledged to provide $50 million in relief to homeowners and make a $10 million payment to the state as part of the settlement. A spokeswoman for Coakley says the deal is the first of its kind in the country.

Coakley has mounted a series of legal actions, as she has traced the state’s subprime problem from street-level brokers to mortgage providers and, now, to investment houses that turned the risky home mortgage loans into stock market commodities.

Ex-tribal leader sentenced for fraud, embezzlement

The former leader of a Massachusetts tribe traced back to the country’s first Thanksgiving was sentenced last Thursday to nearly three and a half years in prison for embezzling tribal funds and violating campaign laws while working with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Glenn Marshall, who once chaired the Cape Cod-based Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, was sentenced to the 41 months recommended by prosecutors after Marshall pleaded guilty three months ago to several charges.

In imposing the sentence, the judge rejected claims by Marshall’s lawyer that he was merely a “pawn” in the hands of Washington lobbyists who offered to help the 1,600-member tribe win federal recognition.

“I think the defendant, Mr. Marshall, was motivated to do good things for the tribe, but he, too, was ultimately corrupted,” U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel said.

The judge also ordered Marshall to pay restitution of $383,000 to the tribal council and $84,600 to the Social Security Administration for collecting fraudulent disability payments.

Ancestors of the Wampanoag attended what is historically considered the first Thanksgiving.

Marshall, 59, successfully led the push for the tribe to gain federal recognition as part of a plan to build a casino. He stepped down in 2007 after it became public that he was a convicted rapist and had lied about his military past.

In February, Marshall pleaded guilty to five charges, including making $60,000 in illegal campaign contributions to members of Congress.

Last Thursday, he told the judge he was happy he was able to help some members of the tribe and to gain federal recognition, and said he didn’t understand the ins and outs of campaign finance laws. He then offered an apology.

“I know that what I did was wrong. I apologize to my people, to my family, to my friends and the court,” he said.

Prosecutors said Marshall also misused tribal money for personal expenses, including groceries, vacations, tuition for his daughter, restaurant tabs, home repairs and jewelry.

Marshall is to begin serving his sentence June 8.

One-time lobbyist Abramoff, involved in an influence-peddling scandal, is in prison for defrauding his clients and bribing public officials.

Audit: Mass. celebrity records improperly checked

Call it a different kind of star search.

A new audit finds Massachusetts law enforcement officials have conducted hundreds of criminal record searches on local celebrities such as Tom Brady and Matt Damon.

The report doesn’t identify the celebrities by name. But a state official briefed on the findings says Brady was the celebrity whose information the report says was checked 968 times. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of privacy concerns, says others who were checked include singer James Taylor and Boston Celtics captain Paul Pierce.

State Criminal Systems History Board Director Curtis Wood says agencies know who ran the checks, and anyone who conducted an illegitimate check on a celebrity will be punished.


R.I. coalition wants to hear profiling stories

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A coalition of 11 Rhode Island organizations is gathering personal stories of possible racial profiling by police.

Tish DiPrete, director of advocacy and public policy at the Urban League, said last Monday that the coalition would use the input in support of proposed legislation to stiffen the state’s anti-racial profiling laws and to educate the public about the problem.

Current state law bars racial profiling and searches of vehicles by consent of the motorist but without probable cause. It also allows people to seek damages from police departments in violation of the law.

The group told The Providence Journal it wants to hear not just from people who were profiled because of race or ethnicity while driving, but people who may have been stopped while walking.

(Associated Press)