Here’s What Makes Schneiderman’s Mortgage Task Force Far Scarier Than Any Other

The Untouchables

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This Sunday New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman appeared on MSNBC’s Up With Chris Hayes.He said what he’s been saying since the beginning: The mortgage crises was a man made disaster, and this country needs accountability, relief, and to stop “these guys from re-writing history.”

“Listen to some of the rhetoric in the Presidential campaign on the Republican side. They’re dishing out the same recipe for disaster,” he said.

But what everyone one Wall Street wants to know is, what makes this “working group” different? Why are they so powerful? Here’s Schneiderman’s answer:

  • He got involved in going after mortgage-fraud cases because every mortgage backed security in the last decade either went through a New York Trust of a Delaware Trust in doing that he found that one of the hurdles to prosecuting people for what happened in the mortgage industry was jurisdiction — multiple departments had to be involved and coordinated on one case. Getting an “overlay of jurisdiction” across state lines and one that includes federal statutes of limitations was an important part of forming this task force.
  • That said, individual investigations (from states etc.) will continue. Schneiderman’s working group will have 55 lawyers on hand, plus anyone else the IRS (because we could be talking about tax fraud in some cases), DOJ, U.S. Attorney General’s, or CFPB can muster. That means resources.
  • Having resolved the jurisdiction issue, this working group will have the power to put Wall Streeters in jail — “The folks who have criminal jurisdiction are a part of this working group,” Schneiderman said.

Also, ominously, Schneiderman pointed out that he was once a lawyer for banks (Merrill Lynch, specifically), and “lawyers who are looking at this now, especially… people representing the financial services industry, they understand the implication of this combination of resources and forces.”

Basically, it sounds like Schneiderman’s group is prepared to hammer Wall Street with a deluge of lawsuits and man-power coming from all sides.

You can watch the full interview below:


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