President Obama has established an interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force that will work with state and local authorities to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes.

The task force will be led by the Justice Department. The Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Housing and Urban Development will be on the steering committee. They will also work with representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities and inspectors general, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Small Business Administration, and the FBI. Part of the mission will involve addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recovering the proceeds for victims.

The new task force replaces the Corporate Fraud Task Force established in 2002, and will build upon efforts to combat mortgage, securities and corporate fraud by increasing coordination and utilizing the resources of the government’s law enforcement and regulatory apparatus. Attorney General Eric Holder will convene the first meeting of the task force in the next 30 days.

“This task force’s mission is not just to hold accountable those who helped bring about the last financial meltdown, but to prevent another meltdown from happening,” he said in a statement. “We will be relentless in our investigation of corporate and financial wrongdoing, and will not hesitate to bring charges, where appropriate, for criminal misconduct on the part of businesses and business executives.”

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