National Roundup

New York
Judge: Ex-Fannie Mae boss must face civil trial

NEW YORK (AP) — A former Fannie Mae top executive must face a civil trial over Securities and Exchange Commission charges he misled investors about subprime mortgages before the housing bubble burst, a judge has ruled.

A jury could conclude ex-CEO Daniel Mudd acted with intent or recklessness, U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty in Manhattan said in a decision Monday.

“The same evidence that would support a finding that Mudd acted recklessly would necessarily support a finding that he acted negligently,” the judge said.

The judge said the SEC had produced evidence that Mudd knew or should have known his public statements and Fannie Mae disclosures he reviewed, edited and certified were materially false and misleading.

Defense attorney John Keker urged the judge in January to dismiss the charges. He said there’s no evidence to support the allegation Mudd understated the level of high-risk subprime mortgages Fannie Mae held. He did not immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.

Fannie Mae is a government-controlled company that helps provide money for the housing market by buying residential mortgages and packaging pools of those loans for sale to investors. The company, whose name is short for Federal National Mortgage Association, was seized by the government in 2008 and is overseen by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Mudd led Fannie Mae in 2007, when home prices began collapsing. The SEC says he misled investors about billions of dollars in subprime loans.

Pennsylvania
EEOC files sexual ­orientation ­discrimination suit

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says for the first time it has sued challenging sexual orientation discrimination, alleging two companies’ employees were harassed because they’re gay.

The EEOC Philadelphia office says in its lawsuit against Scott Medical Health Center a gay employee quit after his manager used gay slurs. It says in a separate lawsuit in Baltimore a lesbian employee of IFCO Systems NA was fired after complaining her supervisor made comments regarding her sexual orientation and appearance.

EEOC General Counsel David Lopez says the agency is committed to ensuring people aren’t discriminated against in workplaces because of their sexual orientations.

No one from Scott Medical Health Center was available to comment Tuesday. A message left seeking comment from IFCO Systems hasn’t been returned.

Scott Medical has several western Pennsylvania locations. IFCO is a global company.

New York
Feds: Metals firm owner sent Iran powder illegally

NEW YORK (AP) — The head of an international metallurgical company has been arrested on charges he illegally exported to Iran a specialized powder used in aerospace and in building missiles, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Erdal Kuyumcu and other people at the company, Global Metallurgy LLC, conspired to obtain more than a thousand pounds of the cobalt-nickel metallic powder to send it without federal agency approval, prosecutors said.

The powder is used as a thermal spray to protect surfaces against corrosion at high temperatures. It also has some nuclear applications, prosecutors said.

Kuyumcu was accused of exporting the power twice to Iran via Turkey without first obtaining the required export control license. Prosecutors said he and others used coded language, calling Iran “the neighbor” when discussing sending the powder, according to court papers unsealed Tuesday.

If convicted, Kuyumcu, of New York, could face up to 20 years in prison. Kuyumcu, 44, appeared in federal court Tuesday and was put in home detention and ordered to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, prosecutors said. His attorney didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment; a call to his company rang unanswered, and an email wasn’t immediately returned.

According to Global Metallurgy’s website, the company is a provider of specialty metal products, services and supply chain solutions. It operates in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Last month, four people were indicted on charges they conspired to violate trade sanctions by sending technical equipment to Iran.

The arrests come after the breakthrough U.S-Iran nuclear deal, in which the U.S. agreed to drop charges against 14 Iranian nationals, some of whom were accused of trying to send arms and electronic test equipment there. The landmark agreement brought about the lifting of international sanctions after the United Nations verified that Iran had curbed its nuclear activities.

Florida
FBI arrests man in heist of $4.8M in gold from truck

MIAMI (AP) — The FBI has arrested a South Florida man in the heist last year of $4.8 million in gold bars from a truck along Interstate 95 in North Carolina.

Miami FBI spokesman Mike Leverock says 46-year-old Adalberto Perez was taken into custody Wednesday at his home in Opa-Locka. Details about the charges and Perez’s alleged role in the robbery were expected to be released later.

Court records didn’t list an attorney for him.

The truck shipment of 275 pounds of gold bars was intercepted in March 2015 by three armed thieves on its way from Miami to Massachusetts. The men bound the hands of the driver and fled with the gold in a white van.

A Miami man previously pleaded guilty to extortion by attempting to sell one gold bar.

Florida
Father indicted on murder charge in death of baby

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — A grand jury indicted a Florida man on a first-degree murder charge in the death of his 7-week-old son.

The indictment came Tuesday, some four and a half months after the body of Chance Walsh was found in a shallow grave near Sarasota.

Authorities say Joseph Walsh beat and choked the baby on Sept. 16. The child’s mother, Kristin Bury, has pleaded no contest to aggravated man­slaughter in the boy’s death and will testify against Walsh. She led authorities to the child’s body on Oct. 15 after the couple was arrested in South Carolina.

The Herald-Tribune reports prosecutors aren’t seeking the death penalty because the case doesn’t meet the statutory criteria. If convicted, Walsh faces a mandatory life sentence.

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