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Letter to Rep. Kaptur in Support of H.R. 3995

Submitted by on March 31, 2010 – 9:21 am

The Honorable Marcy Kaptur
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

March 31, 2010

Dear Representative Kaptur:

We are writing in support of H.R. 3995, the “Financial Crisis of 2008 Criminal Investigation and Prosecution Act of 2009,” authored by Representative Marcy Kaptur.

In the eighteen months since fraudulent and corrupt business practices in the mortgage area and on Wall Street collapsed the economy – costing taxpayers trillions in lost wealth and savings – it is difficult to point to any successful prosecutions of major players in this debacle. Compare this to what happened after the Savings and Loan (S&L) crisis of 20 years ago. According to Department of Justice (DOJ) statistics, no less than 1,852 S&L officials were prosecuted and 1,072 were jailed. Over 500 of these were top officers.

Why the difference? In the wake of the S&L crisis, Congress pushed regulators to investigate and prosecute. Congress also provided significant new resources to this end. A series of strike forces based in 27 cities was staffed with 1,000 FBI agents and forensic experts and dozens of federal prosecutors.  Given the size and sophistication of the institutions now involved, even more resources will be needed to give prosecutors a fighting chance.

The “Financial Crisis of 2008 Criminal Investigation and Prosecution Act of 2009” authorizes the Director of the FBI to hire 1,000 more agents and additional forensic experts. The bill also authorizes the DOJ and the Securities and Exchange Commission to hire additional investigators and prosecutors to step up the pace of criminal and civil prosecutions.

Without these additional resources, it is highly unlikely that sufficient criminal prosecutions will be undertaken to deter the next corporate crime wave. Worse, the American people who have lost so much during this crisis will be bereft of the justice they deserve.

We urge your support of this important measure.

Sincerely,

Americans for Financial Reform

Click here for a pdf version

Click here for the pdf version of this letter with a complete list of sign-on organizations.

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