“Suspicious Behavior that is not in violation of the law.” WTF?
Some behavior deserves the big smack-down: Miss a child support payment and you could go to jail. Heck, in some cities failure to pay a late library fine could be grounds for spending time in the big house. Yet illegally foreclose on homes and you walk away unscathed. Excuse my French, but WTF? One lawmaker is asking for an investigation.
According to Consumerist, Representative Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) sent an inquiry to FBI Director James Comey underscoring that “in 2004, four years before the [real estate bust of 2008], the FBI had already expressed concerns about questionable mortgage practices that would ultimately result in the loss of trillions of dollars in household wealth.”
Consider that by the time the bubble burst in 2008, the FBI was investigating potential crimes such as accounting fraud, insider trading at at least 14 different companies and since 2009, the government and other civil plaintiffs have received billions through penalties, settlements, and judgments.
This is all well and good, but Rep. Pascrell, in his letter to the FBI, questions why “several years later, no senior executives have been charged with any criminal activity, in spite of evidence that many bankers deliberately (and drastically) understated the risk of mortgage-backed securities, misled investors, and hoarded profits.”
All about accountability
It is shocking that millions of Americans lost their jobs, houses, savings, and more when the housing market collapsed under the weight of mortgages that many believe should never have been approved. That no senior Wall Street bank executives were ever held accountable is believed to be even more of a stretch.
Adds Pascrell, “It is my belief that as much unclassified material as possible from these investigations ought to be made public.”
Chaffetz, Goodlatte approached for support
For his part, according to the Consumerist, Pascrell also wrote to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the Chairs, respectively, of the House Oversight Committee and the House Judiciary Committee, seeking their support in unearthing these FBI files.
Wrote Pascrell, “With pronounced public interest in the events surrounding the financial crisis and its aftermath, I imagine your committee[s] would take a particular interest in this topic. Surely the documents surrounding the investigations into criminal activity on Wall Street would be of high value to the American public.”
How this plays out is anyone’s guess, but many believe that a reckoning is surely due. No one is above the law.