FBI Probes Whether Fraud Caused Market Woes

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The FBI is said to be investigating whether criminal wrongdoing at four financial institutions caused their collapse and led to the bailout of Wall Street. The four firms are Lehman Bros., Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:

NPR's business news starts with the FBI's new probe on Wall Street.

(Soundbite of music)

WERTHEIMER: The Federal Bureau of Investigation has set its sights on AIG, the giant insurance company. It's also reportedly looking into possible fraud at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Lehman Brothers. These companies have become synonymous with the financial turmoil and government bailouts. Federal investigators are already probing more than 20 financial firms for mortgage-related fraud. But this latest investigation shows they are moving higher up the corporate ladder. The government's under pressure to hold top executives accountable for the financial crisis.

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