Neil M. Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), in coordination with the Inspector General for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB-OIG), announced further details this week about the multi-agency task force designed to deter, detect and investigate instances of fraud in the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) program, scheduled to launch this month. Mr. Barofsky also discussed the formation of the TALF Task Force in his testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Domestic Policy at a special hearing held this week on Treasury’s efforts to prevent waste and abuse of funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

In addition to representatives from SIGTARP and FRB-OIG, the TALF Task Force will consist of representatives from the FBI, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), the SEC, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. These representatives will undertake regular briefings, identify areas of vulnerability for TALF fraud within their agencies and work to implement training programs for agency staff to prevent and respond to TALF fraud. Mr. Barofsky stated that

“[T]he TALF is an important program that, both because of its complexity and its eventual size – a trillion dollars – is an enormous challenge to law enforcement. This Task Force, consisting of both civil and criminal law enforcement agencies, with both investigative and analytical resources, demonstrates that the agencies involved are meeting that challenge head-on, in a proactive manner, and before any money has gone out the door. The members of the TALF Task Force will combine our shared expertise in securities fraud investigations and maximize our resources to deter potential criminals, to identify and stop fraud schemes before they can fully develop, and to bring to justice those who seek to commit fraud through the TALF. While TALF participants who play by the rules have nothing to fear from this Task Force, federal law enforcement is ready now to detect, investigate and bring to justice any who would try to steal from this important program.”