BNA INSIGHTS: Bank Enforcement 2015: Activity Remains Stable as CFPB and DOJ Continue to Play a Big Role


The number of formal enforcement actions brought by federal banking agencies stayed steady in 2015 as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau increased the number of actions it brought by 50 percent and the Justice Department continued to pursue its recent role as quasi bank enforcement authority.

Thomas P. Vartanian Robert H.  Ledig Erica Evans Melissa O'Neill

By Thomas P. Vartanian, Robert H. Ledig, Erica L. Evans, and Melissa A. O'Neill

Thomas Vartanian is the Chairman and Robert H. Ledig is a partner in the financial institutions practice at Dechert LLP in Washington, D.C. Former bank regulators, they regularly represent financial institutions in enforcement matters. Erica L. Evans and Melissa A. O'Neill are associates in Dechert's Washington office.

Overall Trends & Outlook

In 2015, the number of formal enforcement actions brought by federal banking agencies1 was about the same as the previous two years. Federal banking agencies issued 638 formal enforcement actions in 2015, but particularly notable was the increasing frequency of the CFPB's enforcement actions, with that agency bringing 50 percent more enforcement actions in 2015 than in 2014.2 In addition, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has continued to pursue its recent role as quasi bank enforcement authority.

Our experience and analysis of recent cases and agency policies suggest trends in enforcement over the next few years which focus on efforts to: (i) address purported unfair and deceptive practices in an ever-expanding field of vision of consumer financial services; (ii) regulate the safety and soundness of digital currencies; (iii) prosecute big ticket items involving multiple large institutions; (iv) bring cases that include multiple federal and state authorities; (v) hold individuals accountable and increase criminal prosecutions; (vi) come down hard on cybersecurity concerns focusing on institutional readiness; (vii) reinforce Dodd-Frank requirements related to capital, risk management and Volcker compliance; and (viii) continue to increase the size of civil money penalties (CMPs).


DOJ Continues Role as De Facto Banking Regulator

As we have noted in past years, the DOJ has become a de facto banking regulator in the wake of the financial crisis. The Justice Department derives some of its authority from the use of a provision contained in the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), 12 U.S.C. §1833a, to pursue civil actions against banking organizations.3 Continuing this trend in 2015, the DOJ and the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) entered into settlements with banking entities related to foreign exchange and benchmark manipulation practices.

Libor: On May 20, 2015, the DOJ announced that five major bank holding companies had agreed to plead guilty for activity that took place between 2007 and 2013. Four of the companies pleaded guilty to conspiring to manipulate the price of U.S. dollars and euros exchanged in foreign exchange spot markets in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.4 The fifth company pleaded guilty to wire fraud for manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) and other benchmark interest rates. In total, the DOJ and the FRB imposed $5.7 billion in fines, representing some of the largest fines imposed by the FRB to date. The FRB also fined a sixth major bank holding company $205 million for its foreign exchange manipulation practices.5 These settlements represented a relatively rare instance of parent-level bank holding company guilty pleas,6 which Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch noted was a part of the DOJ's “ongoing efforts to investigate and prosecute financial crimes, and they serve as a stark reminder that this Department of Justice intends to vigorously prosecute all those who tilt the economic system in their favor.”7

Third-Party Payment Processors: The DOJ continues to use its FIRREA authority to pursue smaller banks for what it alleges are illegal third-party payment processor schemes. In settlements announced on March 10 and March 12, 2015, the DOJ imposed a $4.9 million civil settlement and accepted a criminal settlement and a $1.225 billion civil settlement with two banking entities, respectively.8

Both the criminal and civil complaints alleged that the banks knowingly facilitated consumer fraud by permitting the payment processor to make unauthorized withdrawals from consumer bank accounts on behalf of fraudulent merchants, while the criminal complaint also charged the bank with a felony violation of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) in connection with the bank's relationship with the third-party payment processor. These cases purport to focus on fraudulent activity, rather than the nature of the operations of a bank customer, which has been a substantial issue in regard to Operation Choke Point.

In a significant recent development that could limit the government's authority to utilize section 1833a, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a district court ruling that imposed a $1.27 billion penalty on a large financial institution based on a claim under section 1833a. The Second Circuit found that a breach of contract without further demonstration that a party did not intend to perform at the time it entered into the contract did not support a claim for fraud under section 1833a.9

Mortgage Servicing: In a continuation of its focus on residential mortgage-servicing practices, the DOJ settled two cases with banking entities under the False Claims Act. On June 1, 2015, the DOJ announced a $212.5 million settlement for violations of the False Claims Act where the banking entity allegedly knowingly originated and underwrote mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that did not meet applicable requirements.10 On September 4, 2015, the DOJ announced another False Claims Act settlement, this time for $29.63 million for the alleged submission of false claims related to servicing reverse mortgage loans.11

Swiss Bank Program: Beginning in March 2015, the DOJ entered into a number of settlements with Swiss banks as part of its Swiss Bank Program. The Swiss Bank Program was announced on August 29, 2013 as a means for Swiss banks to come forward to resolve potential criminal liabilities in the U.S.12 Under the program, Swiss banks were required to notify the DOJ by December 31, 2013 that they had reason to believe they had committed tax-related criminal offenses for their involvement with undeclared U.S.-related accounts. As of January 27, 2016, the DOJ had entered into settlements with 80 Swiss Banks and imposed more than $1.36 billion in penalties.13

Regulators Continue to Focus on Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Violations

While penalties in 2015 did not approach the record-setting levels of 2014, the OCC, FDIC and FinCEN continued to focus on violations of the anti-money laundering provisions of the BSA and impose CMPs. The largest CMP in 2015 came against a California bank for alleged violations related to its anti-money laundering policies. The FDIC fined the bank $140 million, $40 million of which will go to the California Department of Business Oversight.14

The FDIC press release cites the typical BSA/AML assertions, which include the bank's failure to “implement an effective BSA/AML Compliance Program over an extended period of time,” as well as its failure to “retain a qualified and knowledgeable BSA officer and sufficient staff, maintain adequate internal controls reasonably designed to detect and report illicit financial transactions and other suspicious activity, provide sufficient BSA training, and conduct effective independent testing.”15

In assessing the large penalty, the FDIC considered the gravity of the failures and the bank's history of violations.16 The bank had previously been subpoenaed in connection with an investigation into whether illegal drug money had passed through its accounts, and regulators had also previously cited the bank for the inadequacy of its anti-money laundering policies and safeguards.17

An additional notable BSA/AML enforcement action deserves mention. The action actually involves potential money laundering rather than just policy and procedure failures. In an action brought jointly by the FDIC and FinCEN, a bank was alleged to have failed to implement an effective BSA/AML compliance program, which resulted in “unacceptable risk to the institution in terms of illicit financial transactions,” and to have failed to file multiple currency transaction reports and suspicious activity reports.18 From 2008 to 2012, the bank allegedly allowed more than $9.2 million in suspicious cash transactions to occur unreported despite significant red flags regarding a specific customer's unusual transactions.19 FinCEN assessed a $4.5 million penalty against the bank, which will be offset by a $3.5 million penalty assessed by the FDIC and a $2.2 million asset forfeiture imposed by the DOJ in connection with related criminal charges.20

Significantly, FinCEN brought its first BSA/AML enforcement action related to virtual currencies.21 This action is discussed below.

Large Banks Penalized for Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Deficiencies

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act22 (SCRA) provides protections for military members entering active duty including with regard to rental agreements, credit card interest rates, mortgage interest rates and foreclosures and civil judicial proceedings.23 It has become a focus of significant enforcement interest.

In 2013, the OCC issued an order against a large bank for, among other things,24 allegedly failing to have in place effective policies and procedures for compliance with the SCRA. The 2013 order stipulated that the bank would create adequate compliance policies to ensure compliance with the SCRA.25 The bank paid more than $50 million in restitution to affected consumers as a result of the 2013 order.26 But in July 2015, the OCC assessed a $30 million CMP against the bank in connection with the same compliance issues involved in the 2013 enforcement action.27 In a public statement following the assessment, Thomas J. Curry, the Comptroller of the Currency, stated, “Compliance with the [SCRA] is a matter of great concern to me and to the OCC.”28 Curry further explained that in 2013, the OCC “mandated that SCRA compliance be evaluated as part of every exam at every institution [it] supervise[s].”29

The OCC assessed a $30 million CMP against a second large bank for deficiencies in its SCRA compliance policies and procedures.30 The order also required the bank to enhance its SCRA compliance policies and procedures for (i) determining whether individuals are eligible for SCRA benefits; (ii) correctly calculating SCRA benefits; and (iii) verifying military service status before seeking or obtaining default judgments on certain home loans.31 Additionally, the OCC required the bank to pay remediation to affected customers. With the penalties assessed in 2015 for SCRA deficiencies, it appears that the OCC is following through on its 2013 initiative to include inspection of and penalize violations of SCRA compliance in bank examinations.

CFPB Continues to Ramp up Enforcement Efforts

The continued surge in CFPB enforcement actions reflects the increased resources of the agency in 2015. Although there were reports in 2015 that the CFPB was reducing its new investigations due to a backlog of cases,32 more recent reports indicate that the significant increase in the number of actions was the result of “growth in the number of investigators, examiners and administrative staff, as well as maturing of the bureau's practices and policies.”33

However, while CFPB enforcement efforts continue to increase, a significant challenge to the agency's constitutionality has arisen. On April 12, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard oral arguments in an appeal of a CFPB enforcement action brought by a mortgage lender that was previously ordered to pay a $109 million fine.34 At oral arguments, Judge Brett Kavanaugh stated that the CFPB single-director structure is “very dangerous” and noted that “there are very few precedents” for such a structure.35 In another case, in August 2015, a D.C. Circuit panel kept alive another challenge to the constitutionality of the CFPB brought by another mortgage lender.36 The circuit court overturned a district court's decision that the bank did not have standing, finding that the bank had standing and that its claims of the CFPB's unconstitutionality were ripe.37 The case will now be heard by the district court.

As expected, the CFPB continues trends to ramp up consumer protection. Its activity rose dramatically, with the CFPB bringing 56 formal enforcement actions, representing a more than 50 percent increase from 2014. The subjects of these actions continue to include debt collection practices, mortgage origination activities, fair lending, sales of credit card “add-on products” and payday lending practices. The CFPB is also increasingly focusing on student loans.

On July 21, 2015, the CFPB announced its largest settlement with a major banking entity and its subsidiaries for $700 million in consumer relief for its alleged deceptive marketing and unfair billing of credit card add-on products, assessing a $35 million CMP.38

In a mortgage-lending redlining action, a large savings bank agreed to pay $25 million in direct loan subsidies to qualified borrowers in the affected majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods, $2.25 million in community programs, and a $5.5 million CMP.39 The DOJ alleged that the savings bank discouraged loan applicants in these neighborhoods in at least three major metropolitan areas in the Northeast by placing branches and loan officers outside of majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods, excluding these neighborhoods from its Community Reinvestment Act assessment area, and focusing its marketing outside these areas.

The CFPB also continued its focus on auto-lending40 in 2015, settling another discriminatory lending case with the DOJ against a bank for its alleged discriminatory practices.41 That bank agreed to pay $19 million to harmed African-American and Hispanic borrowers for alleged discriminatory auto loan pricing. Auto loans represent the third-largest source of outstanding household debt in the U.S., making this an area the CFPB will likely continue to focus on, in spite of pushback from Congress.42

The CFPB demonstrated a keen interest in reforming practices in the student loan servicing sector, releasing a joint report with the Department of Education and Treasury Department in September 2015 regarding improving practices in this area.43 CFPB Director Cordray has compared the circumstances that student loan borrowers are experiencing to that of struggling homeowners in the financial crisis.44 The CFPB brought several actions related to student loan servicing practices, including its biggest settlement in this area against a bank and its affiliates for $18.5 million, alleging that the bank overstated the minimum amounts due on billing statements and denied consumers information they needed to obtain federal income tax benefits.45 Student loan servicing is likely to continue to be an area of focus in 2016.

Focus on Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity has reemerged as an area of significant concern, with federal banking regulators placing an increased emphasis on the issues being raised. In the OCC's Fall 2015 Semiannual Risk Perspective, the agency noted cybersecurity as a major area of concern and stated that it would be “[r]eviewing banks' programs for assessing the evolving cyber threat environment and banks' resilience to cyber attacks.”46 In that regard, examiners are using the new Cybersecurity Assessment Tool, developed by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council to evaluate bank risks and cybersecurity preparedness.47 Additional attention is now focused on this area after approximately $80 million was electronically transferred out of the central bank of Bangladesh's account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in early 2016, allegedly by a group of hackers that transferred the money to accounts in the Philippines.48

In this regard, the CFPB recently brought its first enforcement action related to cybersecurity issues. In an action against an online payment platform, the CFPB alleged that the company deceived consumers about its data security practices and the safety of online payment systems.49 For these violations, the CFPB imposed a $100,000 CMP and required extensive remedial actions including developing a more extensive risk program and training its employees on its data security policies and procedures. This action is likely only the start of a growing area of enforcement actions for the federal banking regulators as the risk in this area continues to grow and potentially more companies experience actual data breaches.

FinCEN Issues First Virtual Currency Enforcement Action

In May 2015, FinCEN issued its first enforcement action related to a virtual currency, bringing an action against a payment processor for BSA/AML violations. In interpretive guidance published in March 2013, FinCEN clarified its position regarding virtual currency businesses, such as exchanges and payment processors, by describing the circumstances under which such businesses were considered by FinCEN to be money services businesses, and thereby required to comply with money services business registration, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements.50

FinCEN, working in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California, issued the enforcement action against the virtual currency operator and its subsidiary for allegedly willfully violating several BSA/AML requirements by acting as a money services business and selling its virtual currency without registering with FinCEN and for failing to implement and maintain an adequate anti-money laundering program.51

FinCEN reached a settlement with the operator and its subsidiary, which resolved the possible criminal charges against the companies and required the companies to engage in remedial measures. The settlement also required the payment of a $700,000 CMP that included a $450,000 forfeiture that will be credited to partially satisfy the CMP. This action may foreshadow a strong line from regulators against virtual currencies going forward as Richard Weber, the Chief of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation stated that “[u]nregulated, virtual currency opens the door for criminals to anonymously conduct illegal activities online, eroding our financial systems and creating a Wild West environment where following the law is a choice rather than a requirement.”52

Operation Choke Point Developments

Operation Choke Point began as a DOJ anti-fraud initiative in 2013 and was heavily criticized for what many felt was banking regulators pressuring banks into restricting access to legitimate businesses.53 In September 2015, the FDIC Office of Inspector General released a report concluding that “the FDIC's involvement in Operation Choke Point [was] inconsequential”54 to the initiative's direction and outcome, but also acknowledging that the FDIC created a “perception” that “the FDIC discouraged institutions from conducting business with [certain] merchants.”55 In July 2015, the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility released a letter reporting that DOJ attorneys “did not engage in professional misconduct” or “improperly target lawful participants involved in the Internet payday lending industry.”56

In June 2014, Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA), a payday lender trade association, filed a lawsuit against the FDIC, the FRB and the OCC seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to set aside certain informal guidance documents and other actions by the agencies.57 The CFSA claimed that these Operation Choke Point-related actions exceeded the agencies' statutory authority, were arbitrary and capricious, were promulgated in contravention of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), and violated the CFSA's due process rights.

The court held that the CFSA has Article III standing, finding that the termination of CFSA members' bank relationships, loss of ability to compete for banks' resources, and stigmatization of payday lending clearly demonstrate that the CFSA has suffered an injury in fact.58 The court also held that the CFSA sufficiently alleged that the defendants had violated its members' due process and denied the defendants' motion to dismiss with respect to the CFSA's due process claim.59 The court did find CFSA failed to state a claim with regard to its APA claims, however, and the court granted the defendants' motions to dismiss in that respect.60

FDIC Lawsuits Against Directors and Officers of Failed Institutions

The number of lawsuits brought by the FDIC against directors and officers of failed institutions dropped dramatically in 2015. The FDIC filed only three such lawsuits in 2015, down sharply from 2014. This decrease reflects the continued wind down of claims related to depository institution failures related to the 2008 financial crisis.


Year    Number of D&O Suits Brought by the FDIC
2011      16
2012      26
2013      40
2014      19
2015      3

In August 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit decided the appeal of an FDIC lawsuit against directors and officers that an Eastern District of North Carolina judge dismissed on summary judgment in September 2014.61 The district court held that the business judgment rule protected the directors and officers against the FDIC's negligence and breach of fiduciary duty claims and that the FDIC's gross negligence claims failed, as there was no evidence to show the directors and officers acted wantonly or in conscious disregard of the bank's well-being.62

On appeal, the Fourth Circuit unanimously affirmed the district court's decision with regard to the FDIC's negligence and breach of fiduciary duty claims against the failed bank's directors,63 but reversed with regard to the same claims against the bank's officers, citing evidence in the record as sufficient to rebut the presumptions of the business judgment rule under North Carolina law.64 Finally, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the FDIC's claims of gross negligence against all officers and directors.65


Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

1 “Federal banking agencies” refers to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB).

2 These formal enforcement actions include cease and desist orders, consent orders, CMPs, prompt corrective actions, removal and prohibition orders, and written agreements. These numbers do not take into account informal actions, which are not required to be disclosed to the public. Totals included in this chart represent the formal actions brought by the federal banking agencies, but do not include actions brought by other non-banking agencies such as the DOJ and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

3 Vartanian et al., Enforcement Actions Continue Three-Year Decline; DOJ Emerges as Major Player, BNA'S BANKING REPORT 2-3, May 20, 2014.

4 15 U.S.C. §1.

5 See FRB Press Release (May 20, 2015), available at

6 Typically, banks have not agreed to plead guilty or, if they have, it was one of the bank's subsidiaries or divisions pleading guilty as opposed to the parent-level entity. However, it is possible these guilty pleas are part of a growing trend. In May 2014, the DOJ accepted a guilty plea from a large banking entity, followed in June 2014 by another guilty plea by a large banking entity. See Danielle Douglas, France's BNP Paribas to pay $8.9 billion to U.S. for sanctions violations, WASH. POST, June 30, 2014, available at

7 See DOJ Press Release (May 20, 2015), available at

8 SeeDOJ Press Release (March 10, 2015), available at; DOJ Press Release (March 12, 2015), available at

9 U.S. Ex Rel. O'Donnell v. CountrywideHome Loans, Inc., Docket Nos. 15-496 (2d. Cir. May 23, 2016).

10 See DOJ Press Release (June 1, 2015), available at

11 See DOJ Press Release (Sept. 4, 2015), available at

12 SeeDOJ Press Release (Aug. 29, 2013), available at

13 See DOJ Press Release (Jan. 27, 2016), available at

14 FDIC Joint Order to Pay Civil Money Penalty FDIC-14-0259k (July 22, 2015), available at

15 Press Release, FDIC, FDIC and CDBO Assess Civil Money Penalties Against Banamex USA, Century City, CA (July 22, 2015), available at 2015/pr15061.html.

16 FDIC Joint Order to Pay Civil Money Penalty FDIC-24-0259k, supra note 13 at 2-3.

17 Michael Corkery, Banamex USA Fined for Lack of Safeguards Against Money Laundering, N. Y. TIMES, July 22, 2015, banamex-usa-fined-for-lack-of-safeguards-against-money-laundering.html?_r=0.

18 Press Release, FDIC, FDIC Assesses Civil Money Penalty Against Bank of Mingo, Williamson, WV (June 15, 2015), available at 2015/pr15049.html. SeeFDIC Order to Pay FDIC-14-0071k (June 15, 2015), available at

19 FinCEN Assessment of Civil Money Penalty No. 2015-08 (June 15, 2015), available at

20 Id. at 11-12.

21 See FinCEN Assessment of Civil Money Penalty No. 2015-05 (May 5, 2015), available at

22 50 U.S.C. app. §§501 et seq.

23 SCRA, U.S. Department of Justice (last updated December 11, 2015),

24 The 2013 enforcement action also identified unsafe or unsound practices regarding the bank's sworn documents and collections litigation practices.

25 OCC Consent Order AA-EC-2013-138 (Sept. 18, 2013), available at static/enforcement- actions/ea2013-138.pdf.

26 OCC Fines JPMorgan Chase $30 Million for Deficiencies in Debt Collection Practices and Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Compliance, NR 2015-98 (July 8, 2015), available at The press release does not indicate to what extent the restitution was for SCRA violations in comparison to sworn documents practices violations.

27 OCC Consent Order for a Civil Money Penalty AA-EC-2015-76 (July 8, 2015), available at

28 Statement of Thomas J. Curry, Comptroller of the Currency, On Civil Money Penalties Assessed Against JPMorgan Chase Bank (July 8, 2015), available at

29 Id.

30 OCC Consent Order for a Civil Money Penalty AA-EC-2015-047 (May 29, 2015), available at

31 OCC Takes Action Against Bank of America to Protect Consumers and to Ensure Servicemembers Receive Credit Protections for Their Non-Home Loans (May 29, 2015), available at

32 See Rachel Witkowski, Backlog Forces CFPB to Slow Down New Investigations, American Banker, Apr. 22, 2015.

33 Yuka Hayashi, Consumer Financial Bureau Roughly Doubled Caseload in 2015, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 11, 2016 (

34 PHH Corp. et al. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, NO.15-177 (D.C. Cir. 2016).

35 Jimmy Hoover, DC Circ. Judge Slams Too Much Power at Top in CFPB Case, Law 360, April 12, 2016 (

36 State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas et al. v. Lew et al., 795 F.3d 48 (D.C. Cir. 2015).

37 Jonathan H. Adler, D.C. Circuit Revises Constitutional Challenge to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Washington Post (July 24, 2015) (

38 CFPB Consent Order 2015-0015 (July 21, 2015), available at

39 CFPB Press Release (Sept. 24, 2015), available at

40 In 2013, the CFPB and DOJ ordered a bank holding company and its subsidiary to pay $80 million in an indirect auto lending case. SeeVartanian et al., supra note 4; CFPB Consent Order 2013-0010 (Dec. 20, 2013), available at

41 CFPB Consent Order 2015-0024 (Sept. 28, 2015), available at

42 SeeSteven Davidoff Solomon, Protection Bureau's Stormy Path to Reform the Auto Finance Industry, N.Y. TIMES, Dec. 1, 2015, available at

43 Joint Statement of Principles on Student Loan Servicing, 80 Fed. Reg. 67389 (Nov. 2, 2015).

44 CFPB, Prepared Remarks of CFPB Director Richard Cordray at the Field Hearing on Student Loans (May 14, 2015), available at

45 CFPB Consent Order 2015-0016 (July 22, 2015), available at

46 OCC Semiannual Risk Perspective (Fall 2015), available at

47 OCC Bulletin 2015-31, Description: FFIEC Cybersecurity Assessment Tool (June 30, 2015), available at

48 See Neil Gough and Floyd Whaley, Brazen Heist of Millions Puts Focus on the Philippines, N.Y. TIMES, March 16, 2016, available at

49 CFPB Consent Order 2016-0007 (March 2, 2016), available at

50 FIN 2013-G001, Application of FinCEN's Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging or Using Virtual Currencies, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (March 18, 2013) (

51 See DOJ and FinCEN Settlement Agreement (May 5, 2015), available at

52 FinCEN Press Release (May 5, 2015), available at

53 For background on Operation Choke Point, see Vartanian et al., supra note 4 and Vartanian et al., BNA Insights: Enforcement Actions Decline But Fines Hit Historic Highs in 2014, BNA'S BANKING REPORT (June 9, 2015).


55 Id.

56 Letter from G. Bradley Weinsheimer, Deputy Counsel, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Professional Responsibility, to Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, U.S. House of Representatives (July 7, 2015).

57 Complaint, Cmty. Fin. Servs. Ass'n of Am. v. FDIC, No. 14-CV-953 (D.D.C. June 5, 2014).

58 Cmty. Fin. Servs. Ass'n of Am. v. FDIC, 132 F. Supp. 3d 98, 108-115 (D.D.C. 2015).

59 124.

60 121.

61 FDIC v. Willetts, 48 F. Supp. 3d 844 (E.D.N.C. 2014).

62 Id. at 850-52.

63 FDIC v. Rippy, 799 F.3d 301 (4th Cir. 2015).

64 312-14.

65 Id. at 314-15.