11 months, 16 days.
That’s how long it took former Association of Independent Mortgage Experts boss Anthony Casa to get back into AIME’s good graces after resigning in the wake of his lewd and misogynistic video texts about the wife of a rival.
Casa, who took a leave of absence in July and officially stepped down in October, will participate in a panel discussion Friday at AIME’s annual Fuse conference – billed as the “largest nationwide gathering of independent mortgage professionals” – at the swanky Bellagio in Las Vegas. The panel will be moderated by Casa’s successor, AIME CEO Katie Sweeney.
United Wholesale Mortgage – a longtime backer of AIME and Casa – is the title sponsor of the conference.
Casa came under fire in July 2020 after The Mortgage Note shared videos he sent to Quicken executive Austin Niemiec falsely alleging Niemiec’s wife Theresa performed oral sex on UWM CEO Mat Ishbia in college – though she was 11 years old when Ishbia was a senior at Michigan State.
Casa later followed up those videos with more inappropriate texts to Niemiec before Mrs. Niemiec filed a defamation lawsuit against him. Those texts included Casa writing of Mrs. Niemiec, “I’ll do that no lip kisses, that is Ishbia’s d*** on her breath” and “You never trusted her anyway; right?”
AIME quickly lost two of its three platinum sponsors for 2020, as well as a silver and bronze level sponsor. Other sponsors condemned his remarks, with UWM saying, “Anthony Casa is separate from AIME” – even though Casa founded AIME in 2018 “to fill the void of a dedicated trade association for the wholesale broker channel.”
AIME is closely aligned with United Wholesale Mortgage and Ishbia, whom Casa referred to in the video. In 2018, UWM was announced as AIME’s first title sponsor, has been a significant sponsor of AIME events ever since, including this week’s conference in Las Vegas. Additionally, Ishbia regularly appeared on Casa’s video presentations.
Homepoint, one of the platinum sponsors that suspended its sponsorship of AIME in the wake of Casa’s comments, is back on board as a platinum sponsor of the conference at the Bellagio.
Flagstar, which suspended its silver sponsorship of AIME, also is a bronze sponsor of the conference.
When Casa took a leave of absence, Sweeney kept the door open for his return – despite the lewd and deeply misogynistic texts. “In light of recent events, Anthony made the difficult decision to step away,” Sweeney wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post. “The industry and its current leaders have some hard work ahead to ensure women are treated with the same respect as our male counterparts. I trust that AIME and Anthony will play a role in that positive change. I intend to make sure of it.”
That “hard work” must be done. 435 days after Casa first took his leave of absence, Anthony Casa is back sharing a stage with Katie Sweeney at the biggest AIME event of the year.