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20 Feb, 2010 02:40

Economic crimes bureau launched in New York to look after Wall Street

A major economic crimes bureau has been created in New York to crack down on financial crimes on Wall Street.

The new bureau combines the frauds bureau and lawyers from the investigation division. Senior US Justice Department official Richard Weber will head the new body, which will employ 60 investigators, including 30-35 lawyers – all with experience dealing with financial fraud cases.

The new bureau will be looking after how money is made in the world’s financial heart, Wall Street, to make sure it’s made legally. It will focus on securities, mortgage and financial fraud, money laundering and other economic crimes.

"There is a greater need than ever for offices like ours to be vigilant and competent in prosecuting complex fraud cases,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. was quoted by Reuters as of saying.

Les Leopold, author of “The Looting of America”, says Wall Street is totally disconnected from US society.

He claims that, unless financial reform is conducted, Washington will face a new economic meltdown.

“I think this is going to be a long-term chronic unemployment period. It could last a decade. It could be that long before we get anywhere near full employment. And unemployment is the most corrosive thing you could do to society. But what is going on right now is that Wall Street is shielded,” Les Leopold explains. “They have a record profit year, a record bonus year due to our bailouts. Meanwhile, the rest of the economy is suffering and that means they are disconnected terribly from society. It is going to cause a great deal of stress and pain.”