11.19.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Committee On The Judiciary, On Record-Breaking Fraud Enforcement Penalties In 2014

[Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) commented Thursday on news that the Department of Justice has recovered a record-breaking $24 billion in settlements and judgments under the False Claims Act and similar laws in 2014.  Much of these penalties were paid by financial institutions, including Citibank and JPMorgan, for their roles in the mortgage and financial crisis that began in 2008.  Senator Leahy is the author of the Fraud Enforcement Recovery Act, a law that strengthens tools and increase resources available to federal prosecutors to find, prosecute and jail those who commit financial fraud, which was signed into law in 2009.  Last Congress the Judiciary Committee also overwhelmingly supported the bipartisan Fighting Fraud to Protect Taxpayers Act, a bill coauthored by Senator Leahy and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that would responsibly reinvest a small portion of money collected from fraud cases back into fraud enforcement at no expense to taxpayers.]

 

“This is a win for taxpayers, for law enforcement, and for accountability.  The Justice Department should be commended for its record-breaking recovery of nearly $24 billion in civil and criminal penalties for fraud against the government and the American people, and particularly those families who suffered financial hardship as a result of the 2008 economic crisis.  Many of these cases were brought under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act – a critical tool I have long supported which fights waste, fraud and abuse.  Congress can and should do more to ensure that law enforcement can prosecute these crimes.  We can do that by coming together to support the bipartisan Fighting Fraud to Protect Taxpayers Act, a bill I have previously coauthored with Senator Grassley that would responsibly reinvest a small portion of money collected from fraud cases back into fraud enforcement at no expense to taxpayers.  I look forward to continuing my work with Senator Grassley on the Judiciary Committee on this important issue.” 

 

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