Sonoma Housing Bubble

Pulling the cork out of Sonoma's bubbly housing foolishness

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Holy SuperSized Shredder, Batman!!!

Today's Shred-Delicious Scoop is brought to you by an eagle eyed reader (not much gets by him... and today this is what he saw in Sonoma County)...

"I just observed National City Mortgage in Santa Rosa (on corporate center parkway) with a mobile document shredding van sitting outside. I watched as a dozen or more garbage cans full of documents were dumped into the shredder."

"A lady standing out side said, after I asked her what was going on, "the same old shit that is going on on Pennsylvania Ave".

I have heard people say the real estate bubble collapsing is going to make Enron look like child's play... Didn't Anderson Consulting get in a bit of trouble for their industrial sized shredding related to their role in Enron? I believe they got in big trouble, faced lawsuits and criminal charges, and much public scorn that they changed their identity toute-suite to Accenture to try to distance themselves from those guys who committed fraud and destroyed evidence. hmmm

I suppose this might all be innocent... I mean it could be that National City Mortgage is going to throw a huge party and is making their own confetti from their stash of scratch paper in the recycle bins?


At 9/20/2006 05:07:00 PM , Anonymous tom stone said...

we will see a lot more of this,and "accidental" fires as well.however getting rid of the e-mails will be a bit more difficult.

At 9/20/2006 05:37:00 PM , Blogger Athena said...

maybe they can switch over to dell laptops?

At 9/20/2006 05:47:00 PM , Anonymous tom stone said...

good idea Athena,however this monster truck in the parking lot is their way of being discreet...

At 9/21/2006 02:17:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I should also say that the lady who made the statement about "same old sh*t as is going on on Penn Ave" had just come out of the mortgage business door. So probably an employee. She didn't want to talk about it she was so POed so I could not dig deeper.

At 9/21/2006 02:24:00 PM , Blogger Athena said...

Niiice! Now that is a good scoop! Wow!!!

At 9/21/2006 02:47:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Think it has something to do with all the blog speculation of creative financing to qualify ("mortgage fraud" is such a bitter-renter term...)

At 9/21/2006 03:02:00 PM , Blogger Athena said...

anon... that's Jealous Bitter Renter ;-D

At 9/21/2006 03:46:00 PM , Anonymous rocklin renter said...

While I admire your desire to bring negative attention to the troublemakers, I feel I must add that one of these trucks is parked in front of my office building for a few minutes almost every day.

There are several destruction vendors that arrrive here, and grab a few bins each, dump, and leave.

In this building, we have 3 construction companies (one very large one), a business bank, a title company, a CPA firm, and one commmercial mortgage company.

That said, many barrels from a single office would be suspect. From a 90k sqft office building, not so much.

Anyhow, that is just my $0.02

At 9/21/2006 05:16:00 PM , Anonymous tom stone said...

i automatically assumed the worst,which may affect my membership in the ancient and honorable order of companies are legally required to hold on to their files for 5 years,and they may be merely cleaning out the old files in preparation for the rush of new business the NAR predicts...after all destroying these records prematurely could cause the corporation to be fined by the ever vigilant forces of order at the state and federal levels.....

At 9/21/2006 11:06:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Normally this blog is cool, but this post it plain SILLY. All companies have to as a order of practice shred documents with personal data on it. You can't just throw away mistakes, duplicates, rejected applications, yada yada yada, in the municiple garbage with everyone's SSI# and account information.

And all vendors who do the shredding drive these big trucks, because to keep within policy the shredding is done on site, so the truck actually has a huge shredder inside.

Man - take off the tin foil hats on this one people.

At 9/22/2006 02:16:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This really is the most ridiculous post. This kind of shredding is perfectly normal, and is designed to ensure customer confidentiality - would you want your rejected mortgage application blowing about on a municipal garbage site?

Second, the stuff about Andersen Consulting (and that's the correct spelling btw) - utter, utter nonsense. AC split acrimoniously from Arthur Andersen in the late 80's and the two companies then embarked on years of litigation. In 1999 the International Chamber of Commerce ruled the split was legal, but the name 'Andersen' belonged to AA - so Andersen Consulting was forced to change its name to Accenture in 2000. Shortly after that, the Enron scandal broke and Arthur Andersen, its reputation runined as the company's auditors, bit the dust.

During the time of all that litigation, Enron was never a client of Andersen Consulting and was not a client of its later incarnation as Accenture. Enron had absolutely nothing to do with Accenture. Nothing at all.

At 9/22/2006 08:53:00 AM , Anonymous dano said...

maybe the previous anon is correct, but saying andersen had nothing to do with enron isn't entirely accurate either. there are still news reports all over the web about their shredding activity. that doesn't mean that this mortgage company is aldo doing something wrong, but it is kind of one of those interesting asides. I am sure we will think back to this post if national city mortage finds itself on the wrong end of a fraud lawsuit in the future. anyway... for what it's worth, being there are still thousands of articles like this all over the internet it is easy to understand how people make the andersen/enron shredding connection.

USA: Andersen Charged for Shredding Enron Documents

by James Vicini and Kevin Drawbaugh, Reuters
March 14th, 2002

WASHINGTON -- A federal grand jury has indicted accounting firm Andersen for obstruction of justice tied to probes of Enron Corp.'s collapse, federal officials announced on Thursday, prompting Andersen to say its business was damaged but it had no plans for bankruptcy.

The U.S. Justice Department said Andersen was indicted in connection with the destruction of tons of documents and computer files sought in probes of fallen energy trading giant Enron, the center of a storm of controversy since it filed the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history on Dec. 2.

Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson said the indictment included allegations of widespread criminal conduct by Andersen, charging the firm sought to undermine the justice system by destroying evidence relevant to investigators.

"Dozens of large trunks were brought in to haul documents from Andersen's office and Enron's building to Andersen's firm office in Houston in order to destroy literally tons of documents," Thompson told a news conference.

The indictment alleged that Andersen partners and others, at urgent and mandatory meetings, told employees to immediately destroy documents on Enron, a top campaign contributor to President Bush and others in Washington.

Confirming business damage from client defections, Andersen spokesman Charlie Leonard said that, as of Wednesday, the firm had lost about two percent of its annual U.S. revenues. "I would be the first to acknowledge that we're looking at a significant hit," Leonard said on a conference call.

The Justice Department alleged that Andersen partners began a plan for the wholesale destruction of documents just days after Enron alerted the auditor on Oct. 19 that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had begun an inquiry into special partnerships created by the energy firm.

Shredder Ran Constantly
"Employees were told to work overtime if necessary to finish the job of destroying documents. The shredder at the Andersen office and Enron building ran virtually constantly," Thompson said.

The indictment "alleges that, at the firm's direction, Andersen personnel engaged in the wholesale destruction of tons of paperwork and attempted to purge huge volumes of electronic data or information," Thompson said.

According to the indictment, the destruction effort had spread far beyond Andersen's Houston office.

"In addition to shredding and deleting documents in Houston, Texas, instructions were given to Andersen personnel working on Enron audit matters in Portland, Oregon; Chicago Illinois; and London, England to make sure Enron documents were destroyed there as well," according to the indictment.

Thompson said the records were destroyed in late October and early November, at a time when Andersen knew they were relevant to federal inquiries into Enron's collapse.

At 9/22/2006 08:59:00 AM , Anonymous dano said...

a couple more:

David Duncan, the former Arthur Andersen LLP auditor whose shredding of Enron Corp. documents led to his firm's criminal indictment, pled guilty to obstructing justice Tuesday and admitted that he directed the destruction to thwart a federal investigation.

Duncan, who has agreed to serve as a government witness, entered the guilty plea to a single felony charge in federal court in Houston Tuesday afternoon as part of a deal with prosecutors. The former Andersen auditor read a statement to the court in which he admitted to overseeing the shredding of Enron documents while knowing about an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Documents were in fact destroyed so that they would not be available to the SEC," Duncan said.

Duncan was responsible for the destruction of documents between Oct. 23 and Nov. 9, when he was the global managing partner on the Andersen team handling the Enron account, according to a Justice Department (DOJ) document filed with the court earlier Tuesday.

Until Tuesday, Duncan had maintained that he oversaw the shredding of Enron documents after receiving an Oct. 12 e-mail from Nancy Temple, a staff attorney at Andersen, in which she reminded the Houston office about the firm's document retention policy.

At 9/22/2006 09:06:00 AM , Blogger Athena said...

Wow. Thanks Dano for those. You know, Anon was right though. I really was just speaking off the top of my head from a vague recollection. I did not follow Andersen or Enron more than listening to news reports. I remembered the shredding allegations, and the guilty pleas and then I remembered hearing about the name change. I erroneously assumed that they changed their name because of the scandal but that is not correct.

They did in fact have an internal battle and Andersen lost the right to use the name Andersen (according to wikipedia) and then they changed their name to Accenture- and Accenture had nothing to do with Enron just as Anon said.

Thanks anon for pointing this out. That will teach me to blog without looking up some details first. ;-D

At 9/22/2006 10:07:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work one block away from this mortgage company and I walk past it each day on my afternoon walk which happens at various times of the day. I've been doing this for the last 2.5 years. I've not once seen a shredding van parked outside of any office in this area.


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