Paramount Residential Mortgage Group issued a statement Monday condemning the lewd video messages produced and distributed by Association of Independent Mortgage Experts Chairman Anthony Casa several weeks ago that resulted in a defamation lawsuit, while defending a response video made by its Chief Lending Officer, Kevin Peranio, which is noted in the lawsuit.
Over the July 4 holiday, Casa sent a video to Quicken Loans Vice President Austin Niemiec in which he made comments of a sexual nature about Niemiec’s wife. These videos were then circulated by Casa to prominent mortgage industry executives, including Peranio and Mount Diablo Lending Broker/Owner Ramon Walker. Niemiec’s wife, Theresa Niemiec, filed a lawsuit against Casa for defamation. Click here to see the lawsuit complaint in full.
After receiving Casa’s videos, Peranio and Walker made response videos and sent them back to Casa, who forwarded them to Austin Niemiec.
The lawsuit states: “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. Casa then sent the defamatory reaction video clips of Peranio and Walker to Mr. Niemiec and others in a deliverate effort to ‘crowd shame’ Mrs. Niemiec.”
In Peranio’s video, he films himself watching Casa’s video clip and, according to the lawsuit, “laughs so hard he spits out his drink.”
However, PRMG said Peranio’s response in the video was one of shock.
“PRMG and its owners, officers and leadership do not condone, support or tolerate any form of misogyny, sexism or bullying,” a company spokesperson told HousingWire. “Video messages from Anthony Casa of AIME, in which PRMG is a sponsor, were disseminated among certain individuals of which PRMG’s Chief Lending Officer, Kevin Peranio was one. Mr. Peranio was in disbelief that Mr. Casa would make the public comment he did and made his own video comment as a response to display his shock.”
“As PRMG’s Founder and CEO and speaking on behalf of my partners and entire organization, I was disturbed by the contents of the complaint filed against Mr. Casa,” PRMG continued in its statement. “None of this is acceptable behavior. The statements and videos made by Anthony Casa about the spouse of an industry executive are unprofessional, inappropriate and unacceptable.
“PRMG and Kevin Peranio stand with the victim in this case, Mrs. Niemiec, as no woman should be subjected to such behavior in or out of the workplace. It is sad to see that this type of behavior continues in our industry and society. PRMG is committed to doing our part, both internally and externally, to help eliminate gender inequality and harassment.”
HousingWire asked PRMG if it plans to continue supporting AIME in light of recent events, but had not received a response as of press time.
“PRMG has and will continue to remain actively involved in diversity and inclusion focused organizations including PRMG’s very own Women’s Advisory Counsel, NAHREP, NAREB, NAMMBA, AREAA and support their efforts as we have always done,” the company stated. “PRMG as an organization will continue to monitor this set of circumstances and evaluate with careful consideration the most appropriate path forward.”
Flagstar Bank and Caliber Home Loans both announced this week that they are suspending their relationships with AIME due to Casa’s comments.
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