Thursday, January 31, 2008
News that the FBI is investigating 14 mortgage lenders and investment banks for allegedly making improper sub-prime loans to homebuyers and for other practices that have triggered or exacerbated the nation's housing crisis raises some interesting questions. FBI Director Robert Mueller said Thursday that more than 1,000 mortgage fraud investigations had been opened in all 50 states. "There is not a state that does not have some investigation," Mueller told reporters in Hawaii, according to the Associated Press. "It is a substantial problem but we've been through problems like this in the past." He did not name any of the companies, nor did he mention what investigation tools would be used. But what does the FBI plan to do, beyond the cooperation with the Security and Exchange Commission that Mueller discussed today? Will everything be done using records, or will agents be going to banks and lenders to question employees and officers? Will suspects be taken to secret locations for interrogation? Will waterboarding or other invasive interrogation techniques be employed? An anxious nation wants to know.