Financial Crisis Alert: FBI Probes Role of 26 Firms in Financial Crisis

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Law enforcement officials have said that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and American International Group (AIG) are 4 of 26 companies subject to corporate fraud investigation by the FBI. The investigations come in the wake of the demise or near-demise of these major institutions and will consider whether the companies misstated their assets. Top management at the firms are also under investigation and, in the coming months, may prove to be the focus of the investigations. In the midst of the crisis that has threatened the financial system, the FBI?s criminal probe and related civil enforcement efforts by the Securities and Exchange Commission appear aimed at holding top executives accountable. FBI Director Robert Mueller said the cases would be pursued ?as far up the corporate chain as necessary to ensure those responsible receive the justice they deserve.? The Wall Street Journal reports the FBI has said the corporate probes are part of a general effort to pursue allegations of higher level fraud than the retail-level infractions that have been at the center of most cases brought so far.

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