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Mukasey Declines to Create a U.S. Task Force to Investigate Mortgage Fraud
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times

New York Times, June 6, 2008
Posted: June 10th, 2008

Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey rejected ... the idea of creating a national task force to combat the countrys mortgage fraud crisis, calling the problem a localized one akin to white-collar street crimes. He gave his most definitive answer ... in a briefing for reporters, saying that he did not think that the kind of national task force created at the Justice Department in 2002 to investigate the collapse of Enron was the proper response to the current crisis. Some critics have called for the same sort of broad federal law enforcement response seen in the Enron case and a wave of other corporate scandals earlier this decade, or in the collapse of the savings and loan industry in the 1980s and 1990s. This is disappointing, Representative Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who leads the House financial services committee, said. Calling the mortgage crisis worse than Enron, Mr. Frank said Enron didnt cause a worldwide recession. This has more innocent victims. Mr. Frank noted that a $2.4 billion bill to prevent mortgage foreclosure, which has already passed the House, includes a provision backed by Republicans to provide an additional $300 million for law enforcement officials to fight mortgage fraud. He questioned how that money could be spent without a more centralized effort. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating 19 major corporate fraud cases related to the mortgage crisis. The targets of most of those investigations have not been disclosed. In addition, the F.B.I. has 1,380 small mortgage fraud investigations now open in field offices around the country.

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