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.