02.26.09

Snowe, Whitehouse Introduce Bill to Strengthen FBI Investigations of White-Collar Crimes

“FBI Priorities Act” to add 1,000 new financial crime agents in wake of ruinous greed and possible corruption on Wall Street

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today introduced legislation to strengthen the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) financial crime investigation unit by hiring 1,000 new agents dedicated to white-collar crimes. The "FBI Priorities Act," which authorizes $150 million in each of the next five years for the expansion, mirrors the steps taken by the FBI following the September 11th terrorist attacks in which approximately 1,000 agents were re-directed to counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence activities.

"The corrupt abuses and greed of Wall Street that contributed to the global financial crisis and continue to wreak havoc on our economy and must be thoroughly investigated. The public is rightfully outraged and so are we," Senator Snowe said. "We must ensure that the FBI has the adequate resources to bring these culprits to justice and guarantee that hardworking Americans' pocketbooks and pensions will never be vulnerable to such market and lending abuse again."

"Mortgage fraud and white collar crime have likely cost many thousands of Americans their homes, and we deserve to see those crimes investigated and prosecuted fully," said Whitehouse, a former U.S. Attorney and Attorney General for Rhode Island. "We need to make sure the FBI has sufficient resources to do that."

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