New Bill Would Strengthen the US Justice Department’s Ability to Prosecute Fraud

The 2011 Fighting Fraud to Protect Taxpayers Act is a new bill that would enhance the ability of the US Justice Department to fight fraud. The legislation would channel part of the money recovered from fines and penalties toward the prosecution and investigation of mortgage fraud, financial fraud, foreclosure fraud, and health care fraud.

In a joint release put out by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who is a ranking committee member, the Justice Department collected more than $6 billion in penalties and fines over the last fiscal year. The proposed bill would up the percentage of funds that the agency can retain in its Working Capital Fund from 3% to 3.5%. That additional 5% would go toward fraud enforcement. This would give the DOJ approximately another $15 million to investigate and prosecute fraud. It would also lead to greater accountability and transparency at DOJ.

In addition, bill would authorize more funds to DOJ that would go toward the prosecution and investigation of False Claims Act violations. It would also expand the Secret Service’s authority to use funds to advance under cover operations.

Grassley also recently submitted a separate action to FINRA Chairman Richard Ketchum talking about how insider trading is “alive and well” in the US financial markets. He noted the recent criminal charges against hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors LP employees Noah Freeman and Donald Longueuil, who are among those that the Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against over the alleged $30 million insider trading scheme involving at least six public companies. Grassley wants FINRA to provide more information about any referrals from self-regulatory organizations involving SAC Capital Advisors.

Related Web Resources:
Leahy, Grassley Roll Out New Anti-Fraud Legislation, May 5, 2011

S. 890: Fighting Fraud to Protect Taxpayers Act of 2011

More Blog Posts:

SEC to Propose Rule Banning “Felons and Bad Actors” From Involvement in Private Offerings, Institutional Investors Securities Blog, May 29, 2011

FINRA Chief Ketchum Says Securities Regulators Worried Whether Investors Betting on High-Yield Corporate Bonds Really Know What They Are Getting Into, Stokbroker Fraud Blog, March 21, 2011

SEC Staff Wants an SRO to Oversee Investment Advisers, Stokbroker Fraud Blog, January 31, 2011

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