TARP investigations climb 41% in 4Q, Watchdog Reports

Troubled Asset Relief Program’s watchdog has stretched probes into misconduct in the Government’s $700 billion federal bank rescue program, pushing the number of opened cases by 41 per cent during the final three months of last year.

As per latest figures, Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general overseeing the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, initiated 25 criminal and civil investigations in the fourth quarter, taking the total number of active cases to 77.

Earlier in the third quarter of 2009, the Washington-based watchdog had opened 61 cases with 54 active cases.

A team of investigators is looking into possible wrongdoing related to the financial-industry bailout at the peak of recent economic crisis.

The report said that possible cases of wrongdoing could include mortgage fraud, accounting violations, money laundering and insider trading. 

Mr. Barofsky said in a statement that his office was probing whether the New York Federal Reserve concealed information about AIG bailout from his office. 

Mr. Barofsky also said that he would launch a second investigation into the New York Fed's level of co-operation with an earlier audit carried out by his office into the AIG payments to the US and foreign-owned banks.