Thrift Failures:

Federal Enforcement Actions Against Fraud and Wrongdoing in RTC Thrifts

GGD-93-94: Published: Aug 10, 1993. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on civil and criminal enforcement against offenses in failed thrifts under the Resolution Trust Corporation's (RTC) control, focusing on the number of: (1) federal civil actions; (2) referrals concerning suspected criminal activity in RTC thrifts; and (3) sentences imposed on criminal offenders.

GAO found that: (1) RTC has filed 217 civil professional liability claims involving 157 of the 723 RTC-controlled thrifts; (2) civil claims total nearly $6.4 billion, and RTC has recovered nearly $111.4 million; (3) the Department of Justice does not have comprehensive data on the number of civil actions it has taken against RTC-thrift related offenses; (4) RTC, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and various thrifts have filed 2,912 referrals of suspected criminal conduct involving 508 RTC thrifts and losses totalling $5.4 billion; (5) at the end of 1992, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secret Service had 415 ongoing criminal investigations against failed thrifts; (6) Justice has filed 304 cases since the beginning of 1989 and has won convictions against about 93 percent of the RTC defendants prosecuted; (7) nearly 70 percent of convicted RTC thrift defendants have received prison sentences of less than 2 years; (8) courts ordered thrift offenders to pay over $176 million in fines and restitution, and the government has collected over $5.9 million; (9) 57 RTC thrifts, that controlled 21 percent of the 723 RTC thrifts' total assets, had civil and criminal actions filed against them, and those thrifts were associated with more numerous and egregious offenses; and (10) defendants associated with those 57 thrifts received longer sentences than did other offenders.

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