Unfortunately it seems like there’s no one to prosecute him for fraud. Or for killing a whole bunch of Mexicans.
he Justice Department made a long-overdue disclosure late Friday: Last year when U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder boasted about the successes that a high-profile task force racked up pursuing mortgage fraud, the numbers he trumpeted were grossly overstated.
We’re not talking small differences here. Originally the Justice Department said 530 people were charged criminally as part of a year-long initiative by the multi-agency Mortgage Fraud Working Group. It now says the actual figure was 107 — or 80 percent less. Holder originally said the defendants had victimized more than 73,000 American homeowners. That number was revised to 17,185, while estimates of homeowner losses associated with the frauds dropped to $95 million from $1 billion.
Even Hillary Clinton can spot the difference between 95 million and 1 billion. Even Hillary.
So how did Holder pull off the scam? In the time-honored government fashion of moving a lot of numbers around and taking credit for other people’s work.
Some of the cases included in the Justice Department’s tally occurred before the initiative began in October 2011. At least one was filed more than two years before President Barack Obama took office.
Speaking of crooks in high places…
When Holder first trotted out these figures last October, he bragged during a press conference about the results of the government’s “Distressed Homeowner Initiative,” which he called “a groundbreaking, yearlong mortgage-fraud enforcement effort” and “the first ever to focus exclusively on crimes targeting homeowners.” Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan joined him at the press conference.
What a charade. No wonder the government found it so difficult to bring a meaningful number of accounting-fraud cases against bank executives after the financial crisis. Its own books were cooked.
But every high official gets to make one random mistake, right? It’s not like there’s a pattern.
This was the second time, mind you, that Holder’s Justice Department had pulled a stunt like this. In December 2010, Holder held a press conference to tout a supposed sweep by the president’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force called “Operation Broken Trust.” (The mortgage-fraud program was part of the same task force.) As with the mortgage-fraud initiative, Broken Trust wasn’t actually a sweep. All the Justice Department did was lump together a bunch of small-fry, penny-ante fraud cases that had nothing to do with one another. Then it held a press gathering.
Broken Trust. What an appropriate name.
The Obama administration has been on the defensive for years over its lack of decisive, high-profile prosecutions related to the financial crisis
It can’t prosecute its own donors… can it.