The Department of Justice has recently begun using the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) as a tool in its arsenal to combat financial fraud, including bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud and making false statements. In the last two years, DOJ has filed FIRREA claims against financial institutions in civil lawsuits seeking potentially billions of dollars in civil penalties. This article, reprinted with permission from BNA Bank Report (99 BBR 186, 7/24/12) examines the scope and limitations of FIRREA in the context of the requirement that certain frauds are actionable only if the conduct "affects" a federally insured financial institution. It includes citations to cases illustrating the principle that a financial institution need not have been the victim or object of the fraud to be "affected" by it.
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