NY AG Files First RMBS Working Group Action, Expects More to Follow

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On October 2, the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) Working Group announced its first legal action. The civil complaint, filed against a major bank by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on behalf of the people of that state, alleges that an underwriter acquired by the bank made fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions in the sale of RMBS to investors. The suit claims that losses resulting from the allegedly fraudulent sales total approximately $22.5 billion to date, but the complaint does not specify the damages sought. In announcing the suit, Attorney General Schneiderman, as well as Acting U.S. Associate Attorney General Tony West and other federal Working Group members, described the coordinated efforts that culminated in this filing. Specifically, Working Group members stressed the assistance provided by the SEC and the FHFA. Indeed, the allegations in the New York Attorney General’s complaint are similar to allegations previously made by the FHFA on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac against numerous financial institutions. The allegations also parallel those made by private plaintiffs. On behalf of the RMBS Working Group, which was first announced by President Obama during his 2012 State of the Union address, Mr. Schneiderman has promised more civil, and potentially criminal, enforcement activity against other financial institutions.

 


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