It's not too late to investigate Wall Street's role in the mortgage meltdown of 2008, federal officials said as they announced a website seeking help from corporate insiders who will serve as whistleblowers.
The new site, StopFraud.gov, is looking for workers in the industry known as residential mortgage-backed securities, seeking "evidence of false or misleading statements, deception, or other misconduct by market participants (such as loan originators, sponsors, underwriters, trustees, and others) in the creation, packaging, and sale of mortgage-backed securities. Whistleblowers may be eligible for financial rewards under federal laws.
The website highlights the difficulty authorities have faced in tackling the crisis. Few insiders have been willing to step forward, particularly after two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers, Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, were acquitted of fraud charges in 2009 in a case that revolved around mortgage-backed securities. In addition, law enforcement sources have told CNBC, so much of Wall Street’s conduct was vetted by attorneys as well as on-site regulators that criminal cases have been difficult to make.