Ameriquest Owner to Quit Post as Ambassador to the Netherlands

By Joseph Rhee

Feb 22, 2008 12:47pm

Roland Arnall, the embattled founder of the subprime mortgage company Ameriquest, is giving up his position as U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, the Los Angeles Times reports today. According to the Times, Arnall submitted his resignation to President Bush last month and will step down on March 7.  Arnall’s company Ameriquest was accused by attorneys general across the country of fraudulent, misleading and deceptive practices in arranging mortgages for hundreds of thousands of homeowners. While admitting no wrongdoing, Ameriquest paid $325 million to settle lawsuits brought by 49 states. There is also a current class-action lawsuit against Ameriquest brought on behalf of thousands of homeowners who claim they were defrauded by the company. Meanwhile, profits from Ameriquest made Arnall one of America’s wealthiest men. Arnall was a major contributor to President Bush’s reelection campaign, and the president nominated him as U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands in 2005. According to Arnall’s most recent financial disclosure report, he has huge real estate holdings worldwide as well as extensive investments in film, oil and communication companies. Class-action attorneys are currently attempting to sue Arnall individually, claiming that he became a billionaire on the backs of defrauded borrowers.  According to attorney Jill Bowman, "Mr. Arnall knew or should have known that the practices he put in place would result in this kind of conduct. He didn’t have to see any of the fallout; he just got to sit at the top and collect the profits." Read the Blotter’s previous report on Arnall.

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