Judge: Case against ex-Mass. speaker can proceed
A federal judge has declined to dismiss corruption charges against former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi and three co-defendants.
But Judge Mark Wolf also said last week that he would consider holding a hearing on whether newer charges filed against the four last fall should be dropped. The defense has argued that the charges in an expanded indictment are not related closely enough to the original case to be a part of it.
The initial indictment accuses the former speaker, a Boston Democrat, and his three co-defendants of a scheme to rig two lucrative state contracts for the software company Cognos in exchange for payments. The expanded indictment added extortion to the public corruption counts. All four defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Mass. reaches $3B settlement with Countrywide
The Massachusetts attorney general’s office has announced a $3 billion settlement with mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp.
The settlement filed last week in Suffolk Superior Court expands on an agreement that Countrywide reached with the attorneys general in 43 states and the District of Columbia.
Attorney General Martha Coakley alleged that Countrywide engaged in unfair lending practices by marketing some products without accounting for borrowers’ ability to pay.
The settlement allows for principal forgiveness for some delinquent borrowers that Coakley says will help thousands of families stay in their homes and put them on the road to financial recovery.
Countrywide is now owned by Bank of America. The bank says in a statement that the settlement protects borrowers and the lender.