N.H. didn't do its job



Published:

To the editor:FRM exploded two years ago, and the governor and government are still trying to sweep the whole mess under the proverbial carpet. Why?The most recent sweeping is by the governor's office, claiming ex-Banking Commissioner Peter Hildreth resigned his office in the midst of his removal hearing, thus denying the public the benefit of his complete testimony.Hildreth didn't resign -- he retired, and his retirement was effective weeks later, which provided him with a bigger pension check and medical benefits. The official transcript of the last day of the removal hearing is not and has never been available to the public.The Attorney General's report was written by "an insider" of the government's failure-to-act team. This same insider also reviewed and redacted all of former Attorney General (Now U.S. Senator) Kelly Ayotte's emails before releasing them to the public under right-to-know requests by the press.Maybe the AG's report didn't get the facts right because no one was under oath. How does one determine whether or not a mortgage brokered by FRM is a security or not if your Boston law firm doesn't even look at one mortgage?The failure-to-act insider also did not include in his report a statement by a Banking Department attorney that said clients of the law firm of Gallagher, Callahan and Gartrell were to be handled in a special way. FRM had been a Gallagher client for more than six years and never paid a single fine to the Banking Department.The first legislative committee reviewing FRM followed on the heels of the AG's report. The committee chair didn't want to hear from America's leading expert on securities law, saying it's not the New Hampshire way to hear from outsiders. Another way to use that broom.Unfortunately, the independent Chandler report ordered by the secretary of state with testimony under oath was limited to the FRM Ponzi scheme itself. Further evidence of the AG's office knowledge that FRM's Scott Farah was a bad actor was not explored. The AG's office, more specifically the failure-to-act insider, had knowledge about another company where Farah was a partner, received allegations of embezzlement, drugs and mob connections that he considered were not crimes to be investigated by the AG.The last report by yet another legislative committee also parrots some of the incorrect facts of the AG's report, even though it heard repeatedly that the insider did not put anyone under oath. Somehow bona fide recorded mortgages morphed into securities because the middleman was insolvent.The obvious repeated failures and tactics by the retired bank commissioner to avert responsibility for FRM after not enforcing the laws of New Hampshire for seven years and blaming another agency are barely mentioned. The broom sweeps some dirt toward the only -- repeat, only -- agency to take action against FRM.This committee's chairman boiled the restitution issue down to not wanting to pay for everyone who loses money on the stock market. At best, this statement says he didn't understand that restitution was not because a bunch of people lost their money, but because the state did not do the job they are paid to do by shutting FRM down at least six years ago and investigating Farah for criminal acts that eventually resulted in hundreds of people losing their money.What is the consequence to the state for not doing its job? Nothing. And, at worst, the latest legislative committee didn't want to get it, and had their hands on the broom handle too.Susan McIlveneKittery Point, Maine

 

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