FRONTLINE's "The Untouchables" examines Wall Street fraud
Patrick Center January 22, 2013 | WGVU “To prosecute Wall Street investigators needed to find proof of what the bankers knew and what they intended.”
“Wall Street’s argument is that greed for one is not a criminal offense and that dilution, mass dilution, grips markets on a fairly regular basis and that what we had here was mass dilution at worst but not criminal activity. I think there’s a lot of evidence that runs against that unfortunately.”
“This meant identifying people on the inside who were willing to talk.”
As the writer and of “The Untouchables” Martin Smith sought out whistleblowers, the men and women who worked in the bank’s credit department. In particular, the people who inspected the quality of loans known as Due Diligence Underwriters.
“Fraud in the Due Diligence world fraud was the F-word, or the F-bomb. You didn’t use that word. By your terms and my terms, yes, it was fraud. By the [industry's] terms, it was something else.”
I asked Smith why the Justice Department has not acted?
“I think they’re a bit like a batter frozen at plate and unwilling to take a swing for fear that he might not hit the ball. I think that from sources whom we spoke to who worked inside the criminal division at the Justice Department there was a reticence to mount a criminal case because they might lose.”
FRONTLINE’s “The Untouchables” airs tonight @ 10 on WGVU-TV.
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