Published August 21, 2013
Attorney General Eric Holder is putting Wall Street on notice that the Justice Department is preparing to bring civil or criminal charges against those responsible for the 2008 financial meltdown.
That’s according to the Wall Street Journal, which reports the Justice Department is nearing decisions on a number of probes involving large financial firms and plans to announce new cases stemming from the economic meltdown in the coming months.
Holder told the Journal Tuesday, "My message is, anybody who's inflicted damage on our financial markets should not be of the belief that they are out of the woods because of the passage of time. If any individual or if any institution is banking on waiting things out, they have to think again."
The Attorney General didn’t specify who exactly will be charged or when the cases will be announced, but he did tell the paper that he wouldn't leave his job before making major charging decisions on cases stemming from the financial collapse and that he expects to be around to “announce a series of significant matters that we'll be bringing.”
Holder has previously said he doesn't plan to serve through the end of the Obama administration and associates tell the Journal he could leave by the end of this year.
The warning comes as the Obama administration faces mounting criticism for the lack of charges brought against senior executives related to the crisis. But Holder tells the Journal his orders to prosecutors around the country have been: "Remain aggressive and pursue these kinds of cases."
As for whether the new cases will be civil or criminal, Holder says his department will pursue whichever type of case is most likely to work in court.