05:42 GMT +322 February 2019
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    US Senate Introduces Bill to Pursue Wall Street Executives for Financial Crimes

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A new bill introduced by US Senator Elizabeth Warren aims to investigate and prosecute senior bank executives for financial crimes, the lawmaker’s office said in a press release.

    "Warren today introduced the Ending Too Big to Jail Act to hold big bank executives accountable when the banks they lead break the law," the release said on Wednesday.

    The bill, the release added, seeks to establish a law enforcement unit to investigate crimes at financial institutions. The legislation also requires senior executives of banks with more than $10 billion in assets to certify annually that they have conducted due diligence to ensure their organizations have not committed any crimes.

    "When Wall Street CEOs break the law, they should go to jail like anyone else. The fraud on Wall Street won't stop until executives know they will be hauled out in handcuffs for cheating their customers and clients," Warren said in the release.

    Warren's bill also authorizes courts to approve and oversee deferred prosecution agreements.

    The bill comes amid efforts in the senate to loosen rules for the country’s largest banks, the release added.

    Ten years ago, the release said, Congress adopted legislation to save global investment bank Bear Stearns from failing, which marked the beginning of the financial crisis. Wall Street scams and risk-taking were the main drivers of the crisis, but no senior bank executives went to jail, according to the release.

    A number of civil institutions, including the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform endorsed the bill.

    The global financial crisis of 2007-2008 is considered the worst since the Great Depression.

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