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S. 331 (111th): SAFE Markets Act


The text of the bill below is as of Jan 27, 2009 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


II

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 331

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 27, 2009

(for himself, Mr. Shelby, Mr. Durbin, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Bayh, Mr. Tester, Mr. Graham, Mr. Sessions, and Mr. Roberts) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To increase the number of Federal law enforcement officials investigating and prosecuting financial fraud.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Supplemental Anti-Fraud Enforcement for our Market Act or the SAFE Markets Act.

2.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

A critical part of solving our current financial crisis, and preventing future debacles, is to bring to justice those who caused it through fraudulent acts.

(2)

However, law enforcement resources directed to financial fraud have been severely diminished in the last several years. Recent reports indicate that the FBI’s staffing for white collar crimes such as mortgage fraud has decreased by 36 percent from 2001 levels, with a loss of 625 agents. The number of Assistant United States Attorneys has increased between .5 and 1 percent per year in recent years, but virtually all new prosecutors have been dedicated to fighting gang, internet, and immigration crimes, and some offices have been subjected to hiring freezes. In addition, the budget of the Securities and Exchange Commission has remained static for 3 years until Congress increased its appropriations by 4 percent for 2009.

(3)

In the wake of the Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s, a series of strike forces based in 27 cities was staffed with 1000 FBI agents and forensic experts and dozens of federal prosecutors. That effort yielded more than 600 convictions and $130,000,000 in ordered restitution.

(4)

This authorization will bring FBI and prosecutorial staffing up to the levels that are necessary to investigate and prosecute complex financial crimes. Only through effective law enforcement can we restore worldwide faith in American markets.

3.

Additional law enforcement

(a)

Additional employees for the Federal bureau of investigation

The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is authorized to hire an additional 500 agents who shall be dedicated to investigating violations of the law relating to the United States financial markets.

(b)

Additional employees for the department of justice

The Attorney General is authorized to hire an additional 50 Assistant United States Attorneys who shall be dedicated to prosecuting violations of the law relating to the United States financial markets.

(c)

Additional employees for the securities and exchange commission, division of enforcement

The Securities and Exchange Commission is authorized to hire 100 additional enforcement staff members who shall be dedicated to prosecuting violations of the law relating to the United States financial markets.

4.

Authorization

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act $110,000,000 for fiscal year 2009.