SAN DIEGO, CA — As a supervisor at a Washington Mutual mortgage processing center, John D. Parsons was accustomed to seeing baby sitters claiming salaries worthy of college presidents and schoolteachers with incomes rivaling stockbrokers’. He rarely questioned them. A real estate frenzy was under way and WaMu, as his bank was known, was all about saying yes.
Yet even by WaMu’s relaxed standards, one mortgage four years ago raised eyebrows. The borrower was claiming a six-figure income and an unusual profession: mariachi singer.Mr. Parsons could not verify the singer’s income, so he had him photographed in front of his home dressed in his mariachi outfit. The photo went into a WaMu file. Loan Approved!
While Mr. Parsons oversaw a team screening mortgage applications, he was snorting methamphetamine daily, he said.
“In our world, it was tolerated,” said Sherri Zaback, who worked for Mr. Parsons and recalls seeing drug paraphernalia on his desk. “Everybody said, ‘He gets the job done.’ ”
COMMENTARY: Yes, he got the job done all right. He did quite a job on us, the American taxpayer, who have now had to bail out the failed Washington Mutual Bank with billions of tax dollars on account of his behavior and that of his boss.
This type of conduct is worthy of far worse than jail. It is worthy of personal visits and dramatic, direct action.