Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The FBI has had to shift agents from terror and other crime work to Wall Street investigations including the alleged Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, said David Cardona, head of the New York office’s criminal division.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has had to engage in “triage” in responding to successive frauds involving subprime mortgages, auction-rate securities and Madoff, who prosecutors said confessed this month to bilking investors out of $50 billion, Cardona said in an interview yesterday.
“We have to work those cases which we think pose the greatest threat,” he said. “In this case, it’s a threat to the financial system and Wall Street. It’s the same with mortgage fraud. I’m ramping these squads up.”
Special Agent Rachel Rojas, who once worked on tracing terrorist financing and al-Qaeda, now oversees 15 agents investigating mortgage fraud, said Cardona, a career agent with 23 years at the bureau who once worked as a New York state accountant. He declined to say how many other agents he has reassigned from anti-terror work to financial-crimes.