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For Immediate Release
March 9, 2012

Grassley Asks Justice Department for Details on its “Thousands” of Cases Brought on Mortgage Fraud

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, today asked the Department of Justice for detailed information about the “thousands” of mortgage fraud cases the department has brought forward and about the claim that the department has “secured numerous convictions against CEOs, CFOs, board members, presidents and other executives of Wall Street firms and banks for financial crimes.”  

Grassley’s letter to Attorney General Eric Holder follows a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday about lending foreclosure abuse in relation to the housing crisis.  In a follow-up article in the Blog of Legal Times, a spokesperson from the Justice Department stated, “The Department of Justice, through our U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and litigating divisions, has brought thousands of mortgage fraud cases over the past three years, and secured numerous convictions against CEOs, CFOs, board members, presidents and other executives of Wall Street firms and banks for financial crimes.”

At the Judiciary Committee hearing, Grassley noted that the Criminal Division in the Justice Department, headed by Lanny Breuer, failed to bring criminal charges against the former Countrywide CEO who was accused of lying about the risks of Countrywide’s loans.  

Grassley said in his opening statement at the hearing that, “The department’s message is that crime does pay.  Light settlements and no prosecutions not only do not deter.  They invite crimes of this sort to occur against similar future victims. How are the department’s enormous resources being used?”

Here is a copy of the text of Grassley’s letter.  A signed copy can be found here.

March 9, 2012

The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Attorney General of the United States
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20530

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

            At a March 7, 2012 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I stated , “The Justice Department has brought no criminal cases against any of the major Wall Street banks or executives who are responsible for the financial crisis” (emphasis added).  In response, the Justice Department issued the following statement: “The Department of Justice, through our U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and litigating divisions, has brought thousands of mortgage fraud cases over the past three years, and secured numerous convictions against CEOs, CFOs, board members, presidents and other executives of Wall Street firms and banks for financial crimes.”

            In light of the Department’s statement, please provide for each of the thousands of mortgage fraud cases, the caption of those cases, the crimes for which convictions were sought and obtained, the outcome of the case, including any penalties of imprisonment and/or fines, and please indicate which of these convictions were obtained against CEOs, CFOs, board members, presidents and other executives of Wall Street firms and banks that were responsible for the financial crisis.

            Please provide this response by March 31, 2012.

            Thank you.                                                      

                                                                    Sincerely,


                                                                    Charles E. Grassley
                                                                    United States Senator