SIGTARP is a law enforcement agency that conducts investigations of TARP related crime. Congress gave SIGTARP the power to search, seize and arrest. From SIGTARP's inception through December 22, 2016, SIGTARP investigations resulted in:
SIGTARP Crime Tips
- Criminal charges filed against 371 individuals
- Criminal convictions of 263 defendants; 173 have been sentenced to prison (others await sentencing)
- $10 billion recovered for taxpayers
SIGTARP (877-SIG-2009) provides a simple, accessible way for the American public to report allegations, information, and evidence of violations of criminal laws in connection with TARP. SIGTARP can receive information anonymously and protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers to the fullest extent possible.
Selected Investigative Cases
Following SIGTARP's investigation, in 2016 DOJ brought a fraud action under FIRREA related to Goldman Sachs' packaging, securitization, marketing, sale and issuance of RMBS. Goldman Sachs paid $5.06 billion to DOJ, $2.385 billion civil penalty, and $1.8 billion relief to underwater homeowners, distressed borrowers and communities, in the form of loan forgiveness and financing for affordable housing, $875 million to resolve claims by other Federal Government entities. In October 2008, Goldman Sachs took $10 billion in TARP bailout funds knowing that it had fraudulently misrepresented to investors the quality of residential mortgages bundled into mortgage backed securities-investors who suffered billions in losses.
Following a SIGTARP investigation, in 2016 TARP recipient Morgan Stanley paid a $2.6 billion penalty to resolve claims related to its marketing, sale and issuance of RMBS. Morgan Stanley admitted its failure to disclose critical information to prospective investors about the quality of the mortgage loans underlying its RMBS, and about its due diligence. Investors, including federally insured financial institutions, suffered billions of dollars in losses from investing in RMBS issued by Morgan Stanley in 2006 and 2007. In October 2008, Morgan Stanley received $10 billion in TARP funds knowing it had misled investors and knowing that its toxic subprime mortgage securities caused billions of dollars in losses.
Following a SIGTARP investigation, TARP recipient Ally Financial agreed to pay $52 million settle allegations that its subsidiaries acted improperly in relation to 10 subprime residential mortgage backed securities in 2006 and 2007. It will also immediately discontinue operations of its registered broker-dealer, Ally Securities, LLC, which served as the lead underwriter on the subprime residential mortgage backed securities at issue in this matter. With this agreement, Ally acknowledges that the underwriting and diligence process was deficient in connection with the securitization of 40,000 toxic subprime mortgage loans by its subsidiaries - exactly the type of abuse that contributed to the financial crisis. In December 2008 and May 2009, Ally received a total of $17.2 billion in TARP funds.
Following a SIGTARP investigation, in September 2015, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York charged General Motors Company ("GM"), a $50 billion dollar TARP recipient, with concealing a potentially deadly safety defect from its U.S. regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from the spring of 2012 through February 2014, and, in the process, misled consumers concerning the safety of certain of its cars. The DOJ deferred prosecution based on GM's agreement to change their process so that this never happens again. GM paid a $900 million financial penalty and is changing its policies, practices, and procedures relating to GM's safety related public statements, sharing of engineering data, and recall processes. The defect consisted of a faulty ignition switch that could move easily out of the "Run" position into "Accessory" or "Off." When the switch moved out of the Run position, it could disable the affected car's frontal airbags - increasing the risk of death and serious injury in certain types of crashes in which airbags were otherwise designed to deploy. To date, GM has acknowledged a total of 15 deaths, as well as a number of serious injuries, caused by the defective switch. It is a safer world when defective parts in cars manufactured by one of the largest car companies in the world are replaced before injury or loss of life.