From the Washington Post:
A bank executive in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison. Another from Orlando received eight years. In Stockbridge, Ga., a top bank officer is serving 12 years.
At a time when the government is being criticized for not holding senior bank executives liable for crisis-era crimes, a little-known federal agency is compiling a growing list of criminal convictions.
Since 2008, the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program has pursued criminal charges against 107 senior bank officers, most of whom have been sentenced to prison. Created to supervise the government bailout of the auto and financial industries, the agency has found dozens of cases of bank executives who misused bailout funds.
SIGTARP has a strong record, but the office has mainly taken down community bankers, not Wall Street titans, for brazen acts of fraud, some observers say.
When the ones going to jail are from JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and others of that size I’ll be impressed. As it is, we’re asked to believe these little community bankers who’ve stolen billions are where the fraud stops on the banking food chain.
Somehow we’re supposed to believe the big banks hire only angels, who don’t deserve prison time for stealing trillions. Or, perhaps it has something to do with those little guys not being smart enough to buy off the right U.S. Senators, such as Bob Corker, to keep the heat off. (Corker’s done a bang-up job for his patrons, that’s for sure.)
I commend a good start, but wish they’d go after the worst offenders. Better yet, let’s shut down the Fed—the banker’s counterfeit money machine—and dry up the leverage for the fraud!
[Note: Martha Stewart served time for virtually nothing while the SEC was given warnings about Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme and never investigated.]