|Gerald Bard Tjoflat|
How does a federal judge get away with unlawfully ruling on cases where he has a financial stake in one of the parties? Gerald Bard Tjoflat, an 89-year-old geezer from the Richard Nixon/Gerald Ford era, still serves on the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta (covering Alabama, Georgia, and Florida), and his hatchet job on "The House Case" -- where we lost of our home of almost 25 years in Birmingham via a wrongful foreclosure -- provides a classic example of how ethically bankrupt our federal courts have become.
One of the basics of American law is this: A federal judge automatically is disqualified from hearing a case in which he or an immediate family member has a financial interest. But our research shows Tjoflat has been hearing such cases for decades -- almost always ruling in favor of his own pocket book.
That was the situation in "The House Case," where one of the defendants was Chase Mortgage, which held the mortgage on our home. We are aware of at least one other such case, involving an alleged wrongful foreclosure, where a three-judge panel led by Tjoflat ruled against a Daphne,, AL couple named Karun and Ursula Jackson -- while ruling in favor of the Jacksons' mortgage company, Bank of America (BOA).
How does this happen? The decision on whether to hear a case often is left to the crooked judge himself -- with little or no oversight waiting in the wings. We invite you to follow us on the money trail for details about how Gerald Bard Tjoflat has made a habit of scamming the American people, especially those who live in the Deep South.
The money trail begins with Tjoflat's financial disclosure forms, One of the most recent disclosure forms we can find on the Web for Tjoflat is from 2012. It shows he has investments in the following entities:
(1) Alliance Bernstein Global Techology (Mutual Fund)
(2) Columbia Marsico Focused Equities Fund (Mutual Fund)
(3) Manulife Financial (401K)
(4) Quaker Strategic Growth Fund (Mutual Fund)
(5) Merrill Lynch Wealth Management (401K)
(6) Rogers, Towers, Bailey, Jones and Gay P.A.(401K)
What holdings are included in these financial instruments? Let's take a look:
(1) AllianceBernstein (AB) Global Technology -- This instrument now is called the AB Global Thematic Growth Fund, and a 2014 document from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows it has a forward currency exchange contract with JPMorgan Chase Bank. In 2017, AB picked long-time JPM Chase executive Seth Bernstein as its CEO
(2) Columbia Marsico Focused Equities Fund -- A report from Kiplinger's says two of this fund's largest positions are in JPMorgan Chase and Vestas Wind Systems of Denmark. This fund also is intimately connected to Bank of America, with founder Thomas Marsico buying the firm back from BOA in 2007, seven years after selling it to the No. 2 U.S. bank.
(3) Manulife Financial (401K) -- Manulife, based in Toronto and operating as John Hancock in the United States, issued a $750-million U.S. public offering in 2017. JPMorgan Securities LLC acted as one of the joint book-running managers for the offering.
(4) Quaker Strategic Growth Fund -- According to MarketWatch, JPMorgan Chase is among this fund's top 10 holdings. According to mutualfunds.com, Bank of America also is among the fund's top holdings.
(5) Merrill Lynch Wealth Management -- According to brightscope.com, Bank of America is the largest fund in this plan.
(6) Rogers, Towers, Bailey, Jones and Gay P.A. -- This appears to be a retirement fund for a Florida-based law fim, and information about the fund does not appear to be publicly available.
The public record is clear: Judge Gerald Bard Tjoflat's finances are tied up with JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America -- and it's hard to imagine he does not know it. Does that keep him from hearing cases involving those two parties? Nope. Does it keep him from ruling in favor of those two parties? Definitely not -- and we have the evidence to prove it.
(To be continued)