Bloomberg News caught the Department of Justice in a particularly noteworthy Friday-night news dump over the weekend. The Obama administration, stung by accusations from the Left that it hadn’t gone after fraudulent mortgages and the lenders that helped fuel the bubble, claimed that a year-long initiative run by the Mortgage Fraud Working Group in the DoJ had charged 530 people who had victimized 73,000 people. When Bloomberg’s reporters began digging into the claim, the DoJ stonewalled — and then finally admitted it cooked the books themselves:
The Justice Department made a long-overdue disclosure late Friday: Last year when U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder boasted about the successes that a high-profile task force racked up pursuing mortgage fraud, the numbers he trumpeted were grossly overstated.
We’re not talking small differences here. Originally the Justice Department said 530 people were charged criminally as part of a year-long initiative by the multi-agency Mortgage Fraud Working Group. It now says the actual figure was 107 — or 80 percent less. Holder originally said the defendants had victimized more than 73,000 American homeowners. That number was revised to 17,185, while estimates of homeowner losses associated with the frauds dropped to $95 million from $1 billion.