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After the Crash, Big Banks Got Bailouts. Abacus Faced Charges.
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of PBS

PBS, September 12, 2017
Posted: June 4th, 2018

In 2009, shortly after the housing market crashed and the markets melted down, the owners of a small community bank in New York Citys Chinatown discovered fraud within their loan department. The banks owners, the Chinese-American Sung family ... reported the fraud to their regulators. But two-and-a-half years later, the bank was accused of mortgage fraud by the Manhattan District Attorneys Office making Abacus Federal Savings the only U.S. bank to be prosecuted in relation to the financial collapse and the first bank indicted in New York since 1991. Why did Abacus face charges, while the biggest banks on Wall Street all avoided prosecution for fraud? Thats the question at the heart of [the new documentary film] Abacus: Small Enough to Jail. Abacus chronicles the Sung familys quest to clear their names, the district attorneys case against the bank and how 19 of the banks ex-employees, largely immigrants, were treated by the justice system. When 12 ex-employees of the bank who refused to plead guilty were arraigned, [they were] handcuffed to each other, and in the words of one of their attorneys, herded like cattle down courthouse hallways. Reporters ... were treated to this extraordinary photo opportunity, this almost Stalinist looking chain gang of Asian Americans, says journalist Matt Taibbi. I had never seen that in my entire time at the DAs office, says Chanterelle Sung, whose father, Thomas, is the banks founder. She had worked at the office as a prosecutor for seven years.

Note: You can watch the PBS special on this strange story on this webpage. A transcript of this documentary is available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.

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