Western District of Washington

August 5, 2011


The United States Department of Justice today closed the investigation stemming from the September 2008 failure of Washington Mutual Bank.  In October 2008, following the failure of Washington Mutual Bank, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington issued a statement indicating that a federal task force was examining events at the bank to determine whether federal criminal violations had been committed by the bank and its leaders.

            Since that time, investigators have conducted an extensive investigation that included hundreds of interviews and the review of millions of documents relating to the operations, and the subsequent failure, of Washington Mutual Bank.  Investigators also reviewed reports generated during investigations conducted by other government bodies, including by the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and by the Offices of the Inspector General at the Department of the Treasury and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.  Based upon its investigation, the Department of Justice has concluded that the evidence does not meet the exacting standards for criminal charges in connection with the bank’s failure.  The Department of Justice is cooperating with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which has a pending lawsuit against three former executives of the bank alleging gross negligence and breach of fiduciary duties.

            In addition to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, and the Criminal Division of United States Department of Justice, numerous agencies participated in the investigation, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Inspector General, and the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.

            Press contact:  Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of Washington, at (206) 553-4110.