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Saturday, June 15, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Citi Whistleblower Says|Bank Will Pay Her

O'FALLON, Mo. (CN) - A woman who says she suffered from "brute force" pressure to hide bad loans said she will receive $31 million after blowing the whistle on Citigroup.

Sherry Hunt worked on the quality-control team in Citigroup's O'Fallon outlet. She filed a sealed lawsuit against Citigroup in August 2011, which the government eventually joined.

Hunt told Bloomberg News that she will receive the money in a settlement.

Hunt said she was still finding flaws in new loans, including altered tax forms, straw buyers and borrowers who listed fictitious employers, 4 years after the collapse of the housing industry due to bad mortgages.

Hunt's payout is part of a $158.3 million settlement with the Federal Housing Administration, Bloomberg reported. The settlement encompasses misconduct from 2004 to the present.

Citigroup received a $45 billion bailout by taxpayers in 2008. The bank lost a total of $29.3 billion in 2008 and 2009.

Even so, Hunt claimed her co-workers continued approving risky loans. She claims Citigroup employees acted as "gatekeepers" and applied "what they describe as 'brute force' to pressure" Citigroup's quality control managers into playing down a loan's defects.

Hunt says she finally became convinced she was being asked to look the other way on some serious flaws last year, and she decided to blow the whistle.

"All a dishonest person had to do was change the reports to make things look better than they were," Hunt told Bloomberg. "I wouldn't play along."

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