Extraordinary though it may seem, soon to retire Attorney General Eric Holder did not find at least find one token case to prosecute some bank senior executive for crimes that led to the creation of the financial crisis and the global Great Recession.
You might think that Sol Wisenberg, a former government prosecutor, who is now primarily devoted to representing individuals and businesses exposed to federal criminal and regulatory inquiries or charged with federal crimes would have no problem with this laxity on the part of the Department of Justice. You might well think that, but you’d be wrong: Wisenberg is no “poacher turned gamekeeper”. As he makes clear in the interview below, Wisenberg is a strong believer in the rule of law and is highly critical of the lax approach of the Holder Department of Justice.
It’s also worth noting that Wisenberg did secure prosecutions for fraud when he was on the other side. Whereas AG Holder never reestablished the criminal referral process (which is from the banking regulatory agencies, who are the only ones who are going to do widescale criminal referrals against bank CEOs, because, of course, banks won’t make criminal referrals against their own CEOs), Wisenberg directed approximately 75 to 100 criminal investigations during his tenure as an Assistant United States Attorney in Texas and North Carolina. His two-year investigation of the Victoria Savings Association scandal, identified by Congress as a “Top 100” savings and loan failure causing $200 million in losses, resulted in the conviction of nine defendants (after a two-month jury trial). Mr. Wisenberg received the Director’s Award from Attorney General Janet Reno for his service in the Victoria Savings case.
He discusses the current state of play and the importance of upholding the rule of law in the interview.