Top. Men.

"Mortgage Fraud is a Top Priority for This Administration"

By Matt Stoller, Naked Capitalism

Friday, January 27, 2012

Department of Justice official Tony West, July 2009

Mortgage fraud is a top priority for this Administration, especially when public dollars are at stake.

US Attorney Lawrence Brown, Oct, 2009

The vigorous pursuit of real estate professionals who perpetrated mortgage fraud is a top priority for federal authorities in this region.

Department of Justice official Tony West, Jan 2010

Mortgage fraud is a top priority for this administration. We will aggressively pursue both individuals and corporations who defraud federal mortgage insurance programs, which are so important to this economy.

US Attorney Dennis Burke, March, 2010

Mortgage fraud is a top priority for the U.S. Justice Department in the District ofArizona, where it has destroyed property values, lending institutions, and entire neighborhoods in our community. No question, complex fraud schemes – a prime example, here – played a role in crashing our real estate market. Culprits like these defendants will be tracked down, prosecuted and convicted. I congratulate the FBI for their thorough investigation that led to this significant sentence.

U.S. Attorney David Gaouette April, 2010

The prosecution of those who commit mortgage fraud is a top priority of the Department of Justice and this U.S. Attorney’s Office. Those who commit such crimes seriously erode the confidence of financial institutions to lend money which is a key element of the future strength of our economy.

US Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer, Southern District of Florida, May, 2010

There is rampant fraud in South Florida. I think that’s unfortunate. It is embarrassing that we are known in some circles as the fraud capital of the country. I don’t like that title.

US Attorney John Walsh, Jan 2011

The investigation and prosecution of mortgage fraud is a top priority of the Justice Department and this office. Prosecuting these cases helps protect the integrity of the housing market.

Promises Made, and Remade, by Firms in S.E.C. Fraud Cases

By EDWARD WYATT, The New York Times

Published: November 7, 2011

Nearly all of the biggest financial companies, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America among them, have settled fraud cases by promising the S.E.C. that they would never again violate an antifraud law, only to do it again in another case a few years later.

A New York Times analysis of enforcement actions during the last 15 years found at least 51 cases in which 19 Wall Street firms had broken antifraud laws they had agreed never to breach.

S.E.C. officials say they allow these kinds of settlements because it is far less costly than taking deep-pocketed Wall Street firms to court and risking losing the case. By law, the commission can bring only civil cases. It has to turn to the Justice Department for criminal prosecutions.

FCIC Referred Criminal Securities Fraud Violations to Justice Deparment a Year Ago

By: David Dayen, Firedog Lake

Monday January 30, 2012 11:39 am

I remember confirming with the Justice Department that they received those referrals of potential violations of law from the FCIC. As it turns out, that happened a year ago Saturday. And we’ve heard nothing arising out of those criminal referrals from the existing Financial Fraud Task Force.

In addition, we knew at the time that those criminal referrals related to violations of secruties law, in other words precisely what the new RMBS working group would want to investigate.

The Justice Department has had this information, contained in depositions and official testimony, for a little over a year. They’ve done nothing. The Securities and Commodities Fraud working group would have been the natural arm of the Financial Fraud Task Force to which to refer those FCIC findings. The co-chairs of that group included Lanny Breuer and Robert Khuzami, who are also co-chairs of the RMBS working group that Schneiderman co-chairs.

Even those excited about this working group would have to admit that the same people at the federal level had the same access to the same violations of law and sat on their hands for the entire tenure of the Obama Administration. That’s why some people are skeptical that this new working group will lead to anything real. I recognize the claims that the dynamic around financial fraud and making Wall Street pay has changed generally, and that the Administration’s political people know they have a problem with coziness toward Wall Street, and so they may let the rope out a little bit. Plus there are prosecutors in DoJ at a lower level who may be dying to get their hands on some of this material and work with the new mandate to make some real noise. I understand that perspective. Time will tell if that will resolve in any different manner than the FCIC criminal referrals did.

Angelides closes by saying that “I look forward to President Obama’s newly appointed task force righting the financial wrongs that were committed, including the matters identified by the FCIC and referred to the Department of Justice.” So do I.


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