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Obama signs executive order establishing new unit to combat financial fraud

[JURIST] US President Barack Obama signed an executive order [text] Tuesday creating a Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force [press release] to be headed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] as lead agency. The task force, which continues the work of and replaces the federal government's Corporate Fraud Task Force (CFTC) [official website], is charged with building on "efforts already underway to combat mortgage, securities and corporate fraud by increasing coordination and fully utilizing the resources and expertise of the government's law enforcement and regulatory apparatus." Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Attorney General Eric Holder [official profiles] say the group will act aggressively to combat fraud and and prevent another economic meltdown. Holder will convene the first meeting of the task force within 30 days.

This latest effort to battle corporate fraud is part of a wide-ranging plan of financial reform [JURIST news archives] that includes new Senate legislation and executive proposals [JURIST reports] intending to strengthen legislation and limit loopholes. Members of the Obama administration have proposed strengthened regulations and increasing restrictions on financial institutions [JURIST report] in response to the current crisis.

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