The FBI is investigating 14 companies linked to the subprime mortgage crisis, the Wall Street Journal reports. The bureau is pursuing allegations including accounting fraud and insider trading, said a bureau spokesman. An investigation into the complex secondary mortgage market could implicate major firms that have lost billions of investor dollars on mortgage securities, according to an agent. The companies were not named.
The FBI is currently handling 1,200 mortgage fraud cases. While “subprime loans are decreasing,” banks’ “suspicious activity reports have noted that suspected cases of mortgage fraud are increasing.” Such reports have ballooned from 35,000 in 2006 to a projected 60,000 in 2008.