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Department of Justice names new head of financial crisis investigations

Bill Baer taking over for departing Stuart Delery

Banks and financial institutions have a new name to fear when it comes to the conduct they may or may not engaged in during the financial crisis.

As expected, the Department of Justice named Bill Baer as the replacement for the departing Stuart Delery, who plans to step down later this month as Acting Associate Attorney General.

In this role, Baer takes over as the third in command at the Department of Justice and leader of the DOJ’s investigations into the conduct of banks during the financial crisis.

Baer takes over for Delery, who himself took over as Acting Associate Attorney General when Tony West stepped down in 2014.

In his time as the lead of the DOJ’s Civil Division, Delery oversaw massive settlements with several financial institutions for their business practices during the financial crisis, including the government’s $5 billion settlement with Goldman Sachs, which was finalized on Monday.

Delery also oversaw a $200 million settlement with U.S. Bancorp for False Claims Act Violations, a $601 million settlement with HSBC over charges that the bank engaged in mortgage origination, servicing and foreclosure abuses, a $50 million settlement with JPMorgan Chase over improperly signed bankruptcy documents, and others.

Now, Baer, who currently serves as Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division, will take over for Delery, effective April 17.

“Bill Baer is an extraordinary public servant, an outstanding attorney and a champion of all those who look to the law for empowerment and protection,” said Attorney General Lynch.

“From his work at the Federal Trade Commission to his leadership of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, he has demonstrated keen intelligence, strong judgment and consummate skill,” Lynch continued.

“In the last few years alone, he has led the Antitrust Division to new heights – unlocking $400 million in relief for consumers in a case against Apple’s price-fixing of e-books; achieving a record $2.5 billion in fines in a case that exposed a scheme by Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland and others to rig the foreign currency exchange spot market; and standing up against corporate behavior that would have damaged our markets and hurt consumers in industries from beer and wine to airlines and phone companies,” Lynch said.

“With his hard work and unwavering dedication, he has earned the trust and respect of Justice Department employees at every level,” Lynch concluded.  “I could not imagine a better individual to fill Stuart Delery’s shoes as Associate Attorney General of the United States.”

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