Obviously, the $19.3 million in penalties that Atlanta mortgage mogul Patrick Markert and two of his companies were ordered to pay after allegedly duping thousands of borrowers didn’t hurt his financial situation.
Markert was the mysterious buyer who paid $15.4 million for actor Matt Damon’s Miami Beach house earlier this month. Of course, Markert, according to records, took out a $10 million mortgage to pay for Damon’s 12,700-square-foot mansion.
Earlier this year, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered Markert, his Amerisave Mortgage Corporation and an affiliate to pay $14.8 million in refunds to borrowers for using bait-and-switch techniques. Fines were involved, including $1.5 million from Markert personally.
“Amerisave lured consumers in with deceptive advertising, trapped them with costly upfront fees, and then illegally overcharged them for services from an undisclosed affiliate,” CFPB boss Richard Cordray said in August.
“(This) puts an end to Amerisave’s unacceptable bait-and-switch scheme and holds Patrick Markert personally responsible for his illegal actions.”
Markert couldn’t be reached Friday at Amerisave headquarters.
Ironically, Damon has been an outspoken critic of the behavior of financial tycoons in this country. In 2010, the Good Will Hunting star narrated the critically-acclaimed documentary Inside Job, which described the systemic corruption of the U.S. financial services industry.
The Las Vegas auction of big screen legend Burt Reynolds’ memorabilia earlier this month in Las Vegas didn’t net the actor nearly as much as it seemed.
Get this: Reynolds pocketed less than half the auction’s $2.5 million bounty. Reynolds, 78, took home about $1 million from the 676 items sold.
“When you factor in the commissions for the auction house and the fact that several big-ticket items were no longer owned by Burt, he didn’t get that much,” a source close to the star of Deliverance and The Longest Yard said.
And certainly not enough for Reynolds to cover the $1.2 million-mortgage on his Jupiter area house, which has been in foreclosure since 2011.
That 1977 Trans Am used in the promotional tour for the release of Reynolds’ Smokey and the Bandit that sold at the auction for $450,000? It was no longer Reynolds’, and he didn’t get a penny from its sale.
Julien’s Auctions owner Darren Julien, who organized the event, confirmed that Reynolds’ cut was “easily $1 million.”
No more Knowles
CBS4 reporter Summer Knowles, who routinely places high on the hottest local TV talent lists, quietly left the station on Christmas Eve after management turned a deaf ear to her pleas to become a full-time anchor.
With Knowles’ departure, the station loses one-third of its black on-air personalities.
“I’ve got family here, and my best friend just moved to town,” bachelorette Knowles tells us. “But I want to be an anchor, and I need to go where those jobs are.”
When it comes to her destination, Knowles is playing it close to the vest. But we know she started looking for a new gig shortly after station officials went to Houston to hire a prime-time black anchorwoman, Irika Sargent.
Knowles is the second high-profile personality in as many weeks to leave the station. Sportscaster Kim Bokamper announced he is leaving to spend more time with his family, travel and manage his restaurant chain.