Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

August 4, 2014

TARP’s Smallish Rogues Gallery

By David Reiss

The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) issued its Quarterly Report to Congress on July 30, 2014. There is a lot to digest in this 500+ page document, but I thought that readers of this blog might be interested in the rogues gallery found at Figure 1.3 on pages 54-56 (note that this is the pagination found in the document, which is different from the pdf’s pagination of the document). Figure 1.3 lists the 85 people sentenced to prison as a result of a SIGTARP investigation, the sentences they received, and their affiliations:

Many of the criminal schemes uncovered by SIGTARP had been ongoing for years, and involved millions of dollars and complicated conspiracies with multiple co-conspirators. On average, as a result of SIGTARP investigations, criminals convicted of crimes related to TARP’s banking programs have been sentenced to serve 77 months in prison. Criminals convicted for mortgage modification fraud schemes or other mortgage fraud related investigations by SIGTARP were sentenced to serve an average of 39 months in prison. Criminals investigated by SIGTARP and convicted of investment schemes such as Ponzi schemes and sales of fake TARP-backed securities were sentenced to serve an average of 88 months in prison. (53-54)

Hard to tell if that is many or only a few people being held accountable. But it is interesting to note that restitution and forfeiture from crimes related to TARP have so far “resulted in more than $5.11 billion in court orders for the return of money to victims or the Government.” (59) That comes out to roughly $60 million for each of the 85 prisoners and about $800,000 for each of the 77 months each of them was sentenced (on average) to prison. While these metrics are merely impressionistic, they certainly make me wonder if this report is right to being touting SIGTARP as an agent of accountability so much.

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