AFR Calls For Increased Resources To Tackle Financial Crimes

For Immediate Release
March 31, 2010

Washington, DC – Americans for Financial Reform, a coalition of over 200 groups, called upon Congress to support the “Financial Crisis of 2008 Criminal Investigation and Prosecution Act of 2009” authored by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). The bill is directed at giving the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission the resources they need to fight financial crime and bring successful prosecutions. Among other things, the bill authorizes the Director of the FBI to hire 1,000 more agents and additional forensic experts.

“In the eighteen months since fraudulent and corrupt business practices, in the mortgage area and on Wall Street, collapsed the economy – costing taxpayers millions of jobs and trillions in lost wealth and savings – it is the brashness of the impropriety and deceit that is so appalling. We must make real systems changes and hold those accountable who created the problem.” said Heather Booth of Americans for Financial Reform.    AFR has taken the lead in fighting to strengthen the law in areas including consumer and investor protections, regulation of the shadow markets and preventing another financial crisis.

“After all this time, it is difficult to point to any successful prosecutions of major players in the financial crisis. Without this type of serious and sustained effort to book the crooks and hold the big banks accountable, Wall Street will not learn its lesson and will surely lead us down this path again,” said Mary Bottari, of the Center for Media and Democracy and Citizens can send an email to the FBI on this topic at

“Recent revelations about Lehman Brothers show that accounting fraud was at the heart of the Wall Street meltdown with staggering consequences for the global economy. But where are the indictments? Where is the follow up? The FBI needs to get cracking,” said Tom Matzzie of Accountable America.

After the Savings and Loan (S&L) crisis of 20 years ago, no less than 1,072 S&L officials were jailed. Over 500 of these were top officers.

Click here to see the letter AFR sent Congress supporting Representative Kaptur’s bill.