The DOJ has been making increasing and aggressive use of the Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act (“FIRREA”)
FIRREA was an outgrowth of the savings and loan crisis in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The DOJ is looking to prosecute and obtain civil penalties by using this statute. This statute allows the DOJ to bring a civil lawsuit whenever any person violates or conspires to violate about 14 criminal statutes. The DOJ seeks civil penalties that create a great deal of consternation among financial institutions. Primarily, the DOJ has used this statute against banks and it will continue to do so. However, if you have a bank that also has a BD component, one could see issues relating to that operation as well.
Caution is therefore required for all of those entities.