February 6, 2015
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Coleman Report
When Congress bailed out the banking system with its Troubled Asset Relief Program, it allocated funds for a Special Inspector General.
Six years later, the investigation continues to snare primarily community bankers and their borrowers on multiple counts of fraud charges.
As of December 31, 2014, SIGTARP investigations have produced the following results:
Criminal charges against 222 individuals, including 143 senior officers (CEOs, owners, founders, or senior executives) of their organizations
Criminal convictions of 160 defendants (others are awaiting trial)
Prison sentences for 91 defendants (others are awaiting sentencing)
Civil cases and other actions against 66 individuals (including 52 senior officers) and 67 entities (in some instances an individual will face both criminal and civil charges)
Orders temporarily suspending or permanently banning 90 individuals from working in the banking or financial services industry, working as a contractor with the Federal Government, working as a licensed attorney, or other types of businesses.
“SIGTARP was established by Congress to provide oversight, law enforcement, and accountability over the unprecedented, taxpayer-funded bailout known as TARP,” says Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP). “SIGTARP roots out crime related to TARP, and as a result of our investigations, $1.48 billion has already been returned to the government and to other victims of TARP related crime and civil violations of the law. Profit must be taken out of crime, and SIGTARP and our law enforcement partners stand united in ensuring justice and accountability on behalf of federal taxpayers.”