Less than a week after The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)
CEO Franklin Raines defend his Corporation before a Congressional committee looking
into allegations of improprieties in the corporation’s accounting practices,
the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Tuesday, October 12, that it has opened
a criminal investigation into these practices.
The U.S. attorney general for the District of Columbia has requested that Fannie
Mae preserve documents related to these alleged accounting abuses.
The Justice Department has joined the Security and Exchange Commission in investigating
allegations by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (the federal
regulator for both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) that Fannie Mae had employed
questionable methods to “smooth” revenue and expenses in achieve
a more consistent bottom line and perhaps to meet profit targets that would
trigger bonuses for senior management.
Ohio’s attorney general has also announced a preliminary inquiry on behalf
of Ohio’s public pension funds.
The number of major lawsuits filed against Fannie and its officers by disgruntled
stockholders has risen from the three reported a few days ago to a total of
eight. These suits allege federal securities law violations.