The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation disclosed Tuesday it has opened more than 200 civil cases against former bank officers, directors and outside third parties over bank failures and possible mortgage fraud.
The bank regulator said its board had approved civil cases against more than 80 former banks directors and officers of failed firms; the cases are aimed at recovering about $2 billion.
An FDIC spokesman said the agency also has opened 191 mortgage malpractice or fraud cases, mainly against outside attorneys, accountants, appraisers, brokers and others.
“There will be many more (cases),” FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said at a briefing for reporters.
The FDIC is seeking to recover some of the billions it spent to takeover banks that failed in the financial crisis, in no small part because of bad mortgage lending.
The agency has already filed two lawsuits against former bank officers and directors. One involves four directors and officers at the former home building division of IndyMac, which failed in 2008. The other is against 11 directors and officers at Heritage Community Bank in Illinois; Heritage failed in 2009.
Bair declined to comment on 50 criminal cases opened separately by the inspector general of the FDIC and the FBI against former bank executives and directors.
In the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, federal officials prosecuted about 1,850 bank officers, directors and employees, according to the Wall Street Journal. More than 1,000 of them went to prison, the Journal said, and federal agencies collected $4.5 billion in claims.