The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the office of New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman have formed the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group under President Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.
According to a press statement issued by the DOJ, the new working group brings together the federal agencies and several state attorneys general to ‘investigate those responsible for misconduct contributing to the financial crisis through the pooling and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities.’
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the DOJ has ‘recently issued civil subpoenas focusing on issues related to the market for residential mortgage-backed securities to 11 different financial institutions – and you can expect more to follow.’ He did not identify the subpoenaed companies.
Holder stated that the new working group will consist of at least 55 DOJ attorneys, analysts, agents and investigators; currently, 15 civil and criminal attorneys are part of the working group, along with 10 FBI agents and analysts. An additional 30 attorneys, investigators and other staff around the country will join the working group efforts in the coming weeks.Â
‘This working group brings together federal and state partners to strengthen current and future efforts to investigate and prosecute instances of wrongdoing in the residential mortgage-backed securities market,’ said Holder. ‘With this focus on collaboration – and by bringing our government's full enforcement resources to bear – I have no doubt that we will improve our ability to recover losses, to prevent fraud, to bring abuses to light, and to hold those who violate the law accountable. That's what the challenge before us demands, and that's what the American people deserve.’
The working group was first announced during President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.