Warning: This story and the embedded videos include crude and misogynistic language.
The head of the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts sent a mortgage company executive expletive-filled video messages falsely alleging the man’s wife performed sexual acts on United Wholesale Mortgage President & CEO Mat Ishbia while in college.
“Austin, great to see you’re having a great time. Love to meet your wife. It’s amazing that’s the girl who sucked Ishbia’s d*** in college. Way to marry up,” AIME CEO Anthony Casa said in the video directed at Quicken Loans Executive Vice President Austin Niemiec – and apparently distributed to others.
In response, Theresa Niemiec – Austin’s wife – filed a lawsuit against Casa, alleging he “published and distributed derogatory, misogynistic and per se defamatory material about Mrs. Niemiec.” The lawsuit notes that Casa’s allegations are “false and untrue.”
Mrs. Niemiec said she demanded a retraction from Casa through her attorney on July 6, to which Casa allegedly mockingly responded via text to her husband that he would see him soon, asking how his wife was and multiple emojis representing sexual organs.
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Mrs. Niemiec’s lawsuit alleges Casa sent the videos on July 2. In addition to the comments above, Casa sent a second video that says: “Classy my friend. I’m ready to f*** you up. Guess what, I got one more surprise for you, one big one. It’s a really big one. And it’s not Bob Walters’ d*** in your mouth. It’s me f***ing you up in the fourth quarter. I’m coming motherf***er.”
Bob Walters is the president and chief operating officer of Quicken Loans.
The lawsuit includes screenshots of a text chain Casa sent to Mr. Niemiec and others, including Kevin Peranio (the chief lending officer at PRMG) and Ramon Walker (owner of Mount Diablo Lending). Casa’s texts said: “I’ll do that no lip kisses, that is Ishbia’s d*** on her breath” and “You never trusted her anyway; right?”
In the lawsuit, Mrs. Niemiec claims, “Both Peranio and Walker recorded video clips of each of them viewing and reacting to Casa’s defamatory video clips and text messages in a disparaging, derisive and ridiculing manner” – which Casa then sent to Mr. Niemiec and others “in a deliberate effort to crowd shame Mrs. Niemiec.” She alleges he sent them to “various friends, acquaintances and family members of Mrs. Niemiec.”
Peranio recently appeared on AIME’s Facebook Live with Casa.
See Peranio’s video here:
According to the lawsuit, Walker responded by saying, “That had to be the funniest text train I think I’ve ever seen. This motherf***** Casa says, `Beautiful house, beautiful wife, she sucked Ish’s d***.’ [laughs] I dropped my f***ing phone. You are a fool. That is awesome, so awesome. I gotta toast. I gotta 1942 toast to this sh**. You motherf****** are amazing. I love you guys.”
Mrs. Niemiec’s lawsuit – filed in Oakland County (Michigan) Circuit Court – is seeking a full retraction via video to each of the recipients of the earlier videos. She is seeking damages, attorney fees and “further relief as is appropriate.”
Casa published an eight-minute video on his Facebook page Sunday, saying he made a “big mistake” and “an error in judgment.” He says he is a “passionate person” who “at times finds myself being too vested” in his support of mortgage brokers.
Casa said he was responding to a message from Mr. Niemiec that included a picture with his wife as they celebrated a record month at Quicken and “they were trying to egg me on.”
“I said some really inappropriate, lewd comments. … Things I should have never said, things I don’t believe, things that are inappropriate and hurtful. … I am beyond sorry to everyone for making those comments. The truth of the matter is in the moment I lost all sense of reality.”
In the video, Casa never specifically retracted his comments – beyond saying he didn’t believe them and issuing a general apology.
All of the comments on Casa’s post are supportive of Casa, though it appears at least one critical comment was deleted. Journalist Jared Whitley – who has written on AIME and its relationship with the industry – shared links to the videos and the lawsuit in a comment that no longer showed up under the post after a matter of minutes.
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 – who 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, and Ishbia regularly appears on Casa’s video presentations.
Casa issued the following statement to HousingWire:
“Two and a half years ago, when we created this association, we did it to combat the unfair practices of big banks and to give a voice to the small brokers across the United States. Those brokers have been bullied for years and they needed someone to stand strong and be their voice. It is not news to anyone that I have taken a very combative approach and I did that because we needed to bring attention to what was going on against banks that have a lot more money and resources than we do.
“However, during a heated conversation via text message, I sent some private communications that I understand were inappropriate and hurtful to select parties who previously engaged with me in an equally unprofessional manner.
“I do regret sending these messages and apologize to those hurt by my actions,” Casa continued. “I will own that I let my emotions get the best of me. One of the toughest challenges of leadership is admitting mistakes but more importantly learning and growing from them. What makes me sad is that what I said does not reflect my values and I will address that directly with my team and ensure that all of our members know that my statements do not reflect the values of this association.”