Attorney General Eric Holder is preparing a string of new cases related to the 2008 financial meltdown, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In a Tuesday interview with the Journal, Holder wouldn’t say when the new cases would be announced or discuss specific upcoming cases. However, Holder -- who has previously said he doesn’t plan to serve through the end of President Obama’s second term -- said he would be making “major charging decisions” before leaving the administration.
“My message is, anybody who's inflicted damage on our financial markets should not be of the belief that they are out of the woods because of the passage of time,” Holder told the Journal. “If any individual or if any institution is banking on waiting things out, they have to think again.”
Recent SEC filings by financial institutions like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America have revealed that the DOJ is investigating them for possible abuses in the mortgage-backed securities industry.
Holder wouldn’t say whether the new cases would be criminal or civil, but told the Journal that the Justice Department would pursue whatever kind of litigation would be most likely to work in court.
The Obama administration has faced criticism for being slow to prosecute cases involved in the meltdown and for failing to bring criminal charges against senior executives. John Coffee, a law professor at Columbia University, told the Journal that Holder is “responding to the tenor of the times” by announcing a new round of cases, but added that the 5-year statute of limitations on many white-collar crimes may prove a stumbling block to successful prosecutions.