WASHINGTON (5/21/09)—The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 cleared both the House and Senate this week and has been sent to the White House to await the president’s signature. The measure, known as FERA, amends the federal criminal code and expands its definition of “financial institution” to include “a mortgage lending business or any person or entity that makes, in whole or in part, a federally related mortgage loan.” If signed into law, the act will:
* Extend the prohibition against making false statements in a mortgage application to employees and agents of a mortgage lending business; * Apply a prohibition against defrauding the federal government to fraudulent activities involving the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) or a federal economic stimulus, recovery, or rescue plan; * Expand securities fraud provisions to cover fraud involving options and futures in commodities; and * Expand the concept of monetary proceeds, for purposes of enforcing prohibitions against money laundering, to include gross receipts.
The legislation also would create an independent commission charged with studying the causes of the country’s current financial crisis. Use the resource link below to read more of the bill’s provisions.