A Wall Street Journal report out this afternoon relates:
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. sued three former executives of the failed Washington Mutual Bank, along with two of their wives, in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.
The FDIC is seeking $900 million in damages for alleged gross negligence and other failures by the former executives in the run up to WaMu's collapse in September 2008, the largest-ever U.S. banking failure.
Gross negligence my foot. The question is: why isn't this a criminal case? Perhaps it will be in time. On the other hand, the Holder Justice Department doesn't seem to be cooking with a lot of gas; if my most prominent recent case had ended with 284 not guilty verdicts out of 285 counts, I too might be mumbling instead of acting.
I did a number of white collar cases in my days in the USAO, and the defense was always that it was a poor, but not crooked, business decision, combined with bad luck and "sloppy bookkeeping." I was always skeptical then, and I confess I remain skeptical now, that people manage to enrich themselves by hundreds of millions of dollars by being "sloppy."