Stop Crimes

The Untouchables
Tuesday, January 22, 2013, at 10 P.M. on PBS

Twitter: @frontlinepbs #frontline

More than four years since the financial crisis, not one senior Wall Street executive has faced criminal prosecution for fraud. Are Wall Street executives “too big to jail”?

In The Untouchables, premiering Jan. 22, 2013, at 10 P.M. on PBS (check local listings), FRONTLINE producer and correspondent Martin Smith investigates why the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has failed to act on credible evidence that Wall Street knowingly packaged and sold toxic mortgage loans to investors, loans that brought the U.S. and world economies to the brink of collapse.

Through interviews with top prosecutors, government officials and industry whistleblowers, FRONTLINE reports allegations that Wall Street bankers ignored pervasive fraud when buying pools of mortgage loans. Tom Leonard, a supervisor who examined the quality of loans for major investment banks like Bear Stearns, said bankers instructed him to disregard clear evidence of fraud. “Fraud was the F-word, or the F-bomb. You didn’t use that word,” says Leonard. “By your terms and my terms, yes, it was fraud. By the [industry’s] terms, it was something else.”

Former Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), who was appointed to fill Joe Biden’s long-held Senate seat when he was sworn in as vice president in January 2009, was determined to see bankers in handcuffs. “I was really upset about what went on on Wall Street that brought about the financial crisis,” Kaufman recalls. “That doesn’t happen if there isn’t something bad going on.”

Yet Kaufman left office in late 2010 frustrated by the lack of criminal prosecutions. Jeff Connaughton, Kaufman’s chief of staff, remains convinced that the DOJ failed to make prosecuting Wall Street a top priority. “You’re telling me that not one banker, not one executive on Wall Street, not one player in this entire financial crisis committed provable fraud?” asks Connaughton. “I mean, I just don’t believe that.”

Smith asks Lanny Breuer, assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s Criminal Division, about his failure to criminally indict Wall Street executives. “I think there was a level of greed, a level of excessive risk taking in this situation that I find abominable and very upsetting,” says Breuer. “But that is not what makes a criminal case.”

Critics, including two high-level sources within Breuer’s own division and former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, disagree. “They have not done what needed to be done,” Spitzer says. “The greater risk is that corrupt behavior that is damaging to our economy, that leads to something as enormously painful as the cataclysm of ’08, goes unaddressed.”

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman finally filed a major lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase and Bear Stearns in 2012. It closely mirrors claims first made by private plaintiffs almost two years earlier. Despite strong evidence of fraud, the government again decided not to pursue criminal charges. Meanwhile, banking scandals continue to surface almost weekly.

The Untouchables is written and produced by Martin Smith. Co-producers are Linda Hirsch and Ben Gold. The deputy executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is David Fanning.

FRONTLINE is produced by WGBH Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund. FRONTLINE is closed-captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers by the Media Access Group at WGBH. FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of WGBH Educational Foundation.

SOURCE: http://www.pbs.org



  1. Tim says:

    We the people………….are screwed ! Once gov rounds up all our guns and rewrites our Constitution wall street issues wont matter, they will have it all.. I wish AOL would stop shoving the Sandy Hook incident down our throats….propaganding gun laws..its just govs way of manipulating thru AOL…….Is our gov going to hold these wall street crooks responsible? NO they are not ! and I think most Americans are sick of Obamas and governments BS programs that are supposed to help and dont…..like the Banks AG settlement hahaha…..once they get that money they keep it….does anyone care about the millions of foreclosed Americans on the street now ? Naaa…….theirs new fresh meat out there but they have to take the guns first so its easier to rob us,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Im in foreclosure (IndyMac One West Bank..Obamas buddy Soros) INDX 2007FLX-3 w Deutshe Bank….so they say….wifes leaving me…..Ive been on this stuff for 3 years non stop and my conclusion is were being muscled by Big Banks and Gov and we are screwed!!!and I voted for Obama because I thought he might have found out who all the assholes were during his first term and I had hoped he really cared this time around…smokin mirrors so far….nuff said.

  2. LDean says:

    I would love to be able to be a part of this. I would love to have somebody investigate my mortgage from America’s Wholesale Lender, Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon
    CWABS 2007-2. I would love to know who the note holder is. I would like to see MERS show get blind sided an a News Media camera walk in on them and say MERS, your job is to keep track of the Securitized Mortgages. You should know exactly where that promissory note is, you should be able to say who the note holder is, how many times was the note sold, transferred, endorsed, where on those assignments and if you don’t have them show us in your data base the information. Catch these mother’s off guard. Take them by surprise. Go to Recontrust, Bank of America, tell them to pull the file on mortgages and show how you had a standing to legally foreclose. Make them go step by step into the process. You will see this trash become infested with maggots because of their dirty rotten scams. The truth will come out right in front of the public eye. It will be for everybody to see. I believe in God, In God I Trust. Good will overtake Evil and these crooks will pay. It is just a matter of time.

  3. James M. Seymour says:

    I hope someone can get this information to FRONTLINE Producers of Untouchables prior to completion of the script. The answer to the question of why no criminal prosecutions is an obscure Policy within of the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice has a Policy Manual (Bible) by which all DOJ policy is disseminated to US Attorneys et. al.

    A policy was revised in August of 2008 (just prior to President Bush announcing the financial meltdown). Maybe it is is just a coincidence, but the revised policy specifically states (paraphrase) that individual prosecutions were to be downplayed. Something to do with “to hard to prove” or other such nonsense. So a conspiracy nut could jump to the conclusion that the Bush administration knew weeks in advance of the financial meltdown and changed the policy to protect the 1%. Just a hunch on my part as an auditor and financial professional for 30 years.

Leave a Reply