U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado John Walsh Speaks at the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group Press Conference


WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 3, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — Thank you, Attorney General Schneiderman for that kind introduction. First and foremost, this announcement is a reflection of the hard work of the men and women of the New York Attorney General’s Office. We on the federal side commend those efforts, and the dedication and commitment Attorney General Schneiderman brings to the RMBS Working Group’s mission.

As Associate Attorney General West said in his opening remarks, the collaboration fostered by the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force’s RMBS Working Group makes announcements like the one you just heard from Attorney General Schneiderman possible. The members of the Working Group — including the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices, the Department of Housing & Urban Development, the Securities & Exchange Commission and the state attorneys general — bring a varied and powerful blend of investigative and statutory tools to the RMBS investigation effort. Yesterday’s filing underscores the strength of the Working Group’s structure, which gives each office and law enforcement team the opportunity to bring unique investigatory and enforcement strengths to the table.

But our differences only give truth to the old adage that there is strength in numbers. As we promised when Attorney General Holder announced the Working Group back in January, we have worked closely together to share information and assess our respective investigations and, where appropriate, provide substantial resources in support of our partners.

Yesterday’s filing by the New York Attorney General’s Office is direct proof that this approach to conducting this critically important work is smart and achieves results.

As you have heard, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made available substantial resources and expertise in support of the NY Attorney General’s Office’s work. Moreover, hard-working attorneys and agents from the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General reviewed countless documents and interviewed many witnesses. And alongside our Working Group partners, the Department of Justice contributed substantial resources in support of the New York Attorney General’s investigation. Specifically:

When the call went out to assist this effort, the U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country sprang into action without hesitation: Eleven Assistant U.S. Attorneys from offices all over the United States interviewed more than 40 significant market participants;

The Department of Justice’s response from Washington was also immediate and forceful: Three civil attorneys and a financial analyst from the Department’s Civil Division, two financial analysts from the RMBS Working Group’s Coordination Team, and a paralegal from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Texas reviewed more than 50 deposition transcripts taken in other litigation for significant evidence;

In addition, and importantly, the Department of Justice provided 12 investigative analysts to review millions of pages of documents; and

Finally, the Department’s Civil Division conducted additional interviews of critical witnesses in support of New York’s investigation.

By dedicating attorneys, agents and analysts in support of New York’s investigation, and by offering expert advice regarding the often-complicated financial products at issue in these investigations, the Department of Justice, FHFA-OIG, and the SEC strongly supported New York’s investigation, and helped contribute to yesterday’s filing. Today we are all proud of the work accomplished so far — but not satisfied. Much work on many investigations remains to be done. We look forward to more announcements from the Working Group in coming months. Thank you.

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