In written testimony before Congress today, FBI Director Robert Mueller admitted that the growing numbers of mortgage fraud investigations “are straining the FBI’s resources.” He cited recent statistics from the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, that the number of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) on mortgage fraud has continued to climb.
Back in December, the Center reported on how SARs on potential mortgage fraud incidents – which are filed by financial institutions — ballooned more than 10-fold between 2001 and 2007. Now, says the FBI boss, “there is no sign that our mortgage fraud caseload will decrease in the near future.” Mueller cited stats that the mortgage fraud SARs jumped more than 36 percent in fiscal year 2008, to 63,173. And already in FY2009, Treasury has received 28,873 of the reports.
As the Center reported earlier, the FBI’s work in pursuing white-collar cases, which include mortgage fraud and various other crimes, dropped dramatically after 2001. But in his testimony Mueller wrote that the FBI is shifting resources from other areas to deal with issues around the economic crisis, ramping up the number of agents working solely on the financial crisis to 250 from 120 in 2007.