Just how bogus is impossible to tell, because Eric Holder’s DOJ won’t even release a list of the prosecutions:

Holder said the multiagency initiative, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, ran from Oct. 1, 2011, through Sept. 30 and resulted in 285 indictments and complaints against 530 criminal defendants “for allegedly victimizing more than 73,000 American homeowners.” He also credited the program with 110 civil complaints against more than 150 defendants.
It took two days to discredit the figures. On Oct. 11, Bloomberg News reported that the numbers for the criminal cases included fraud charges against a Chicago lawyer that were filed in October 2006, two years before Obama was elected. The lawyer, Norton Helton, was sentenced in January to 15 years in prison.

The Justice Department at the time declined to release a complete list of defendants’ names. Bloomberg identified the George W. Bush-era charges from a sample list of eight cases that the department did provide. In 10 more cases that individual U.S. attorneys’ offices publicized in news releases as being part of the initiative, Bloomberg found that six of them were filed in 2009 and 2010, before the initiative began.


Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.