Trump's economic advisor was just charged in high-profile scheme to steal top presidential posts

If you really want to know how corrupt President Donald Trump's team really is, look no further than the charges coming from the Southern District of New York today involving Trump's "economic advisor" Stephen Calk, the CEO of the Federal Savings Bank.

Stephen Calk became Trump's economic advisor only after handing out millions of dollars to a high-level member of Trump's presidential transition team. Talk about quid-pro-quo.

Also - Calk was wanting promises and reassurances that by giving out the loans, that he could get President Trump to appoint him to an even greater post. He gave the person a "ranked list of the governmental positions he desired, which started with Secretary of the Treasury, and was followed by Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Commerce, and Secretary of Defense." Calk also sought 19 ambassadorships, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy.

The entire "Corrupt Scheme" carries with it a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Here are the details resulting in the charges:

"Between in or about July 2016 and January 2017, CALK engaged in a corrupt scheme to exploit his position as the head of the Bank and the Holding Company in an effort to secure a valuable personal benefit for himself, namely, the Borrower’s assistance in obtaining for CALK a senior position in the presidential administration.  During this time period, the Borrower sought millions of dollars in loans from the Bank.  CALK understood that the Borrower urgently needed these loans in order to terminate or avoid foreclosure proceedings on multiple properties owned by the Borrower and the Borrower’s family.  Further, CALK believed that the Borrower could use his influence with the Presidential Transition Team to assist CALK in obtaining a senior administration position.

CALK thus sought to leverage his control over the Bank and the loans sought by the Borrower to his personal advantage.  Specifically, CALK offered to, and did, cause the Bank and Holding Company to extend $16 million in loans to the Borrower in exchange for the Borrower’s requested assistance in obtaining a high-level position in the presidential administration.  For example, and while the Borrower’s loans were pending approval, CALK provided the Borrower with a ranked list of the governmental positions he desired, which started with Secretary of the Treasury, and was followed by Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Commerce, and Secretary of Defense, as well as 19 ambassadorships similarly ranked and starting with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy.

In approving these loans to the Borrower, CALK was aware of significant red flags regarding the Borrower’s ability to repay the loans, such as his history of defaulting on prior loans.  Moreover, given the size of the loans, the Borrower’s debt became the single largest lending relationship at the Bank.  In order to enable the Bank to issue these loans without violating the Bank’s legal limit on loans to a single borrower, CALK authorized a maneuver never before performed by the Bank, in which the Holding Company – which CALK also controlled – acquired a portion of the loans from the Bank.

During the same time period, the Borrower provided CALK with valuable personal benefits.  First, in or about the summer of 2016, during the Presidential Campaign – and just days after CALK and the rest of the Bank’s credit committee conditionally approved a proposed $9.5 million loan to the Borrower – the Borrower appointed CALK to a prestigious economic advisory committee affiliated with the campaign.  And second, in or about late November and early December 2016 – after the presidential candidate had been elected president, after the Borrower’s first loan from the Bank had been issued, and while a second set of loans worth more than $6 million sought by the Borrower was pending approval by the Bank – the Borrower used his influence with the Presidential Transition Team to assist Calk, recommending CALK for an administration position.  Due to the Borrower’s efforts, CALK was formally interviewed for the position of Under Secretary of the Army in or about early January 2017 at the Presidential Transition Team’s principal offices in New York, New York.  CALK was not ultimately hired.

As a result of its independent review of the Bank’s loans to the Borrower, in or around July 2017, the bank’s primary regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”), downgraded the credit quality of those loans to “substandard,” concluding that the Bank’s classification of them as satisfactory had been inappropriate.  Moreover, to conceal the unlawful nature of his scheme, CALK made false and misleading statements to the OCC regarding the loans to the Borrower.  Among other things, CALK falsely stated to the OCC regulators that he had never desired a position in the presidential administration.

In or about October 2017, the Borrower was charged with federal crimes and the U.S. Government sought the forfeiture of the Borrower’s interests in properties securing the loans he had received from the Bank.  The Borrower subsequently ceased making loan payments to the Bank, and the Bank and the Holding Company foreclosed on the cash collateral securing the loans and have currently written off the remaining principal balance – totaling over $12 million – as a loss."