Continuing on the theme of prosecutions for fraud during the housing collapse, though in this case civil rather than criminal ones, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman just announced a new lawsuit against Credit Suisse for defrauding investors in its mortgage backed securities business. The case mirrors the previous suit filed by Schneiderman against JPMorgan Chase over Bear Stearns’ MBS business. Curiously, both of these banks engaged in settlements just this past weekwith the SEC over precisely the same conduct, settlements where they didn’t have to admit wrongdoing.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday November 20, 2012 2:35 pm|
|By: David Dayen Tuesday October 2, 2012 6:10 am|
The delay in bringing the case cost tens of billions of potential exposure for JPMorgan Chase. And more than anything, the lack of federal participation in the suit shows that the federal agencies involved in the task force are simply disinterested in prosecution, forcing Schneiderman to cobble together an off-the-shelf suit from other sources to make it look like this move against the banks represents anything real. The timing, one month before voters go to the polls in the Presidential election, is similarly obvious.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday December 20, 2011 2:50 pm|
Until now, only the State Attorney General could bring action under the Martin Act, a securities fraud law in New York State that is much more expansive than federal statutes. Typically the plaintiff must prove intent to commit fraud; under the Martin Act the plaintiff need only prove that fraud was committed. Now, as a result of a new ruling, any aggrieved private actor can use the Martin Act as part of their lawsuit. This empowers investors of all sizes to go after the banks on securities fraud.