Christy Romero, Special Inspector General: “Congress created SIGTARP to combat white collar crime committed by those who view Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”) bailout funds as an opportunity for fraud and other illicit activity. Congress authorized SIGTARP to investigate, search, seize, and arrest. SIGTARP investigations have already resulted in 51 defendants sentenced to prison for their TARP-related crime. It is morally reprehensible that anyone would commit crimes related to the TARP bailout. All TARP-related crime equates to crime against the American taxpayers. SIGTARP generated safeguards to prevent TARP-related fraud and developed tools to detect and stop ongoing fraud. The fraudulent schemes we have uncovered have been creative, complex, and covert. In our 4½ years, SIGTARP investigations with its law enforcement partners have resulted in 144 defendants being criminally charged, including 92 senior executives. Already 107 of these defendants have been convicted, while others await trial. In addition to the 51 defendants already sentenced to prison, 9 defendants were sentenced to probation, and 47 additional convicted defendants await sentencing. Our investigations have resulted in court orders for $4.3 billion in assets to be returned to victims or the Government. This includes forfeiture to the Government of 38 vehicles, 25 properties, 20 bank accounts, bags of silver, U.S. currency, antique and collector coins, artwork, and antique furniture.”
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