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TARP Cop: 20 Criminal Probes Opened

He's also looking into the AIG disbursements to counterparties, which will open a fresh can of worms: WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) -- The top cop tracki

He's also looking into the AIG disbursements to counterparties, which will open a fresh can of worms:

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) -- The top cop tracking the government's $700 billion bailout program said Tuesday that he has opened 20 criminal investigations and six audits into whether tax dollars are being pilfered or wasted.

Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program, released a 250-page report detailing a long list of concerns about government efforts to prop up hundreds of banks, Wall Street firms and auto companies.

Barofsky, whose investigations could lead to criminal charges, told CNNMoney.com in an interview that he wants taxpayers to understand where their money is going. At the same time, he wants to alert officials to weaknesses in TARP that could invite corruption or fraud.

Bug - or feature? Hmmm.

"Our recommendations are forward looking and there are no vulnerabilities that can't be addressed," Barofsky said. "The balance of what we're trying to do is to inform, bring transparency and make appropriate recommendations."

The report reveals that Barofsky is looking into whether bailout decisions were influenced by those who stood to benefit from them and whether companies receiving bailout dollars are adhering to caps on executive pay.

Barofsky's report also makes several recommendations to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and other officials charged with implementing the bailout. Among them: Require all TARP recipients to detail how they use bailout dollars and safeguard a new mortgage rescue effort against scams.

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