Ameriquest Capital founder Roland Arnall was nominated by President George W. Bush late last month as U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands. Bush's announcement came on the same day Arnall's subprime lending company - the largest privately held mortgage company in the U.S. - announced it had set aside $325 million toward a possible settlement of predatory lending allegations in 30 states (see ASR 7/25/05).
Arnall, his wife Dawn Arnall and the company have been Bush's largest political donors since 2002, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The California billionaire and his wife contributed $1.1 million toward Republican candidates and some $900,000 to Democrat party candidates between 2000 and 2004, the center points out.
The New York Daily News this week reported the ironic relationship between AmeriQuest and rock legends The Rolling Stones. AmeriQuest is the presenting sponsor of the U.S. leg of The Rolling Stones on Stage World Tour and is holding a consumer sweepstakes to attend -- at the same time Stones lead singer Mick Jagger has penned "Sweet Neo Con," a song some interpret as a rip on the Bush administration.
The Daily News reports a Democratic Senate aide gloating, "The one redeeming factor in this whole mess is that Arnall will be paying for 10 lucky winners to hear Jagger sing 'Sweet Neo Con' in person."
AmeriQuest has been plagued this year by complaints of excessive charging of points and fees and reports of brokers originating fraudulent loans, among other allegations.