Author Guest Post
One of the big winners was the Colombian drug cartels. They made a killing in real estate while most were sweating blood.
In the early 2000’s, cash was king in NYC. The cartels were so wealthy from cocaine sales that they were desperate to unload their cash. They were willing to take a loss and gladly went into business with undercover cops posing as legitimate bankers, knowing full well that if a million dollars got cleaned, they’d probably lose the next million. They might get lucky and get two million cleaned and then lose the third. To the cartels, it was just the cost of doing business.
The money laundering cells knew the cops would have to clean the first installment to prove their bona fides to the cartels. After that, it was anyone’s bet.
Fifty percent of two million was still a million in clean U.S. greenbacks.
And then in the mid 2000’s the cash seemed to evaporate. The cops weren’t making as many arrests, putting as much cash on the table. A Detective I knew in NYC talked to an old confidential informant who said the reason the cash dried up was, real estate, plain and simple. And he explained how it worked.
The government had a program in place at the time called the Foreign National Loan Program. If you were an alien with a passport, visa, good credit, and you could put ten percent down on a house, you were good to go.
All the major banks were making these loans.
The cartels recruited straw buyers for this government program. They’d fly them into the country, pay them fifteen grand for their name and clean credit, and go to town.
The cartel’s went into a neighborhood, paid cash for a house using drug money and a false social security number, and then put the house back on the market.
The straw buyer would step in and make an offer on that house. The ten percent came out of a bank account controlled by the cartel. When the bank approved the loan, the cartel was paid for the home with clean money and they still owned the house.
Scams like this fueled the housing boom in Las Vegas and South Florida.
The cartels would get a dirty appraiser to inflate the homes value, and then refi. The bank would lend on the higher value and the cartels would skim the profit. They’d flip the property until the loan was upside down, and then walk away.
Everyone turned a blind eye, because everyone made his or her money upfront. The banks, the brokers, the appraisers, underwriters, inspectors, and title companies all got fat.
The politicians went along for the ride because the tax bases in their cities grew along with the false bubble creating paper wealth.
Everyone got rich until the musical chairs stopped and entire neighborhoods went into bankruptcy from fraudulently inflated home values.
At the end of the day, the Colombian drug cartels were big winners.
Interestingly, we never really heard that part of the story.
About The Author
John Lansing started his career as an actor in New York City. He spent a year at the Royale Theatre playing the lead in the Broadway production of Grease. He then landed a co-starring role in George Lucas' More American Graffiti, and guest starred on numerous television shows. During his fifteen year writing career, Lansing wrote and produced Walker Texas Ranger, co-wrote two CBS Movies of the Week, and he also co-executive produced the ABC series Scoundrels. John's first book was Good Cop Bad Money, a true crime tome with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano. The Devil's Necktie is his first novel.
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The Devil's Necktie by John Lansing ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours
The Devil's Necktie - Book Trailer
The Devil's Necktie by John Lansing
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: December 31, 2012
Format: eBook - 295 pages / Kindle - 1159 KB / Nook - 3 MB
Genre: Crime / Thriller
BUY THE BOOK: The Devil's Necktie
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.
Retired Inspector Jack Bertolino had strict rules when dealing with confidential informants. But Mia had the kind of beauty that could make a grown man contemplate leaving his wife, his job, and his kids. After a passionate night together, Mia is found murdered, and Jack is the lead suspect. Facing threats from the LAPD, the 18th Street Angels, and a Columbian drug cartel, Jack delves deeper into the seedy world of drug dealers and Murderers. Jack is torn between fearing for his life and seeking revenge for his slain lover... either way the body count will rise.
My Book Review:
The Devil's Necktie is a riveting tale that takes the reader into the seedy underworld of crime, drug cartels and murder. Author John Lansing weaves a fast-paced crime thriller set in Los Angeles and written in the third person narrative, that follows the dangerous quest of retired NYPD inspector Jack Bertolino as he investigates the heinous murder of Mia, his former confidential informant, and the woman whom he had recently shared a passionate night together. Jack's investigation leads him into the seedy underworld of drug cartels, where he finds himself caught up in a dangerous and deadly world that he thought he had left behind.
This riveting realistic story is full of intrigue, action, drama, suspense, murder and dark humor that draws the reader in and keeps them captivated and turning the pages. As the reader follows Jack into the shady world of cops and crime, the multitude of plot twists and turns will keep them guessing what will happen next. Jack takes the reader on a wild ride when his dangerous adventure takes him into the upscale areas and seedy gang infested neighborhoods of LA. It is a seedy and gritty world of drugs, gangs, money laundering, and murder ... where he clashes with cops, drug gangs, ruthless drug cartels, and a variety of old and new enemies... all in the pursuit of Mia's killer.
With a multidimensional cast of characters who leap off the pages; gritty dialogue and vivid interactions; richly detailed description of the neighborhoods and local landmarks in Los Angeles; and a no-holds-barred storyline that keeps the reader sitting on the edge of their seats holding their breath as the chilling trail of crime and murders leads up to an explosive climax; The Devil's Necktie is one hell of a thrilling story that you won't be able to put down and leaves you wanting more!
RATING: 5 STARS *****
Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaways
Win An eBook Copy of The Devil's Necktie
During the virtual book tour of The Devil's Necktie, author John Lansing is offering one (1) lucky winner an eBook copy of The Devil's Necktie and a Kindle! Enter the contest giveaway using the Rafflecopter entry form below. Contest Dates: June 1 - July 31, 2013.
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Win An eBook Copy of The Devil's Necktie
Contest Dates: June 28 - July 6, 2013
Author John Lansing has offered one (1) eBook Copy of The Devil's Necktie to be given away on each tour stop. Enter the contest giveaway by using the Rafflecopter entry form below. One lucky winner will be notified by the author and/or a representative from Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.
Virtual Book Tour Schedule
06/02 ~ Interview & Showcase @ CMash Reads
06/03 ~ Showcase @ Lauries Thoughts and Reviews
06/05 ~ Guest Post @ Omnimystery
06/06 ~ Review & Giveaway @ Deal Sharing Aunt
06/10 ~ Showcase @ J. C. Martin, Fighter Writer
06/11 ~ Showcase @ Hott Books
06/12 ~ Review @ I Read a Book Once
06/13 ~ Review by Carol
06/14 ~ Review & Interview @ The Bunnys Review
06/17 ~ Review @ Book Nerd Designs
06/18 ~ Showcase @ Read 2 Review
06/24 ~ Showcase @ The Stuff of Success
06/28 ~ Review & Guest Post @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
07/02 ~ Review @ Teena in Toronto
07/05 ~ Review & Giveaway @ Wanted Readers
07/09 ~ Showcase @ The Book Divas Reads
07/10 ~ Review @ Celticladys Reviews
07/19 ~ Review @ My Cozie Corner
07/22 ~ Review @ The Top Shelf
07/25 ~ Review @ Marys Cup of Tea
07/30 ~ Review @ THE SELF TAUGHT COOK