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Bear Stearns Executives Ralph Cioffi, Matthew Tannin Indicted... FBI Announces "Operation Malicious Mortgage"

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Two former Bear Stearns managers have been arrested, federal authorities said Thursday, becoming the first executives to face criminal charges in the wake of the subprime market debacle.

Matthew Tannin was taken into custody outside his New Jersey home on Thursday morning and Ralph Cioffi was arrested at his New York City home, the FBI said.

Read more about the indictments here.

The FBI also announced "Operation Malicious Mortgage":

The Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced today a national takedown of mortgage fraud schemes, the culmination of substantial coordinated efforts during the last three and a half months to identify, arrest and prosecute mortgage fraud violators through the United States. Operation Malicious Mortgage highlights the strong enforcement response undertaken by the Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners to combat the threat mortgage fraud poses to the U.S. housing industry and worldwide credit markets.

From March 1 to June 18, 2008, Operation Malicious Mortgage resulted in 144 mortgage fraud cases in which 406 defendants were charged. Yesterday, 60 arrests were made in mortgage fraud-related cases in 15 districts. Charges in Operation Malicious Mortgage cases were brought in every region of the United States and in more than 50 judicial districts by U.S. Attorneys' Offices based upon the law enforcement and investigative efforts of participating law enforcement agencies. The FBI estimates that approximately $1 billion in losses were inflicted by the mortgage fraud schemes employed in these cases.