11/17/2010 08:11 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

FDIC Conducting 50 Criminal Investigations Into Failed Banks

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) is conducting about 50 criminal investigations at U.S. banks that have failed since the start of the financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal said.

The FDIC, which is responsible for dealing with bank failures, is probing former executives, directors and employees at failed U.S. banks and is taking efforts to punish alleged recklessness, fraud and other criminal behavior, the Journal said.

Fred Gibson, deputy inspector general at the FDIC, told the Journal in an interview that the probes involve failed banks of all sizes in cities across the U.S.

FDIC is also stepping up civil claims to recover money from former bankers at busted lenders, the newspaper said.

Gibson declined to identify the people or banks under investigation, the Journal said.

"We anticipate results from our investigations, although we cannot predict when a particular case will reach a stage at which disclosure of specifics would be appropriate," Gibson told the Journal.

FDIC could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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