A number of massive settlements with top U.S. banks paved the way for a record year for the U.S. Justice Department.
The DOJ said on Wednesday that it collected a record $24.7 billion in civil and criminal penalties stemming from financial fraud cases and other matters during the 2014 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. That total, which includes about $11 billion collected by the DOJ on behalf of other federal agencies, more than triples the $8 billion the agency collected during the previous year.
The bulk of the collections made in the most recent year came from large financial institutions settling claims related to the 2008 financial crisis, the DOJ said, “including significant amounts paid by JPMorgan and Citigroup Inc.”
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) reached a $9 billion settlement with the U.S. government a year ago to resolve claims related to the bank’s sale of mortgage-backed securities in the lead-up to the financial crisis. (JPMorgan also agreed to pay about $4 billion in consumer relief.) Citigroup (C) later reached a similar deal with the DOJ over the summer that included a $7 billion penalty. A similar settlement with Bank of America (BAC) later trumped both of those penalties, though, with the bank agreeing to pay $16.7 billion, including $7 billion for consumer relief, in August.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement that the record 2014 fiscal year “shows the fruits of the Justice Department’s tireless work in enforcing federal laws; in protecting the American people from violent crime, national security threats, discrimination, exploitation, and abuse; and in holding financial institutions accountable for their roles in causing the 2008 financial crisis.”
The DOJ also pointed to the fact that it has already collected “hundreds of millions in fines” stemming from the ongoing international probe into banks’ alleged rigging of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR.