Bankers nabbed in bid-rigging scandal
A federal crackdown is proceeding quietly against bankers accused of systematically defrauding states, local governments and non-profits, CNN reports.
Since 2009, federal authorities have secured 19 convictions or guilty pleas as part of the investigation, including seven since April. The cases have put a spotlight on the municipal bond market, an esoteric corner of the finance world where prosecutors say Wall Street firms have repeatedly used inside information to pad their bottom lines at the public's expense.
"[T]hese complex, seemingly uninteresting backroom deals have a real impact on taxpayers," Richard Weber, head of the Internal Revenue Service's criminal division, said following the convictions of three former UBS (UBS) bankers last month.
Those implicated over the course of the investigation have come from firms including Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), JPMorgan (JPM, Fortune 500) and General Electric (GE, Fortune 500). Government agencies have collected more than $740 million in penalties, restitution and other fees from the institutions involved.