Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 (FERA)

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The "Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 (FERA)," is legislation enacted in response to the 2007-? financial crisis by an overwhelming vote of both houses of Congress. President Obama signed the Act into law on May 20, 2009. The Act raises penalties for financial fraud, expands the reach of government agencies such as the SEC to investigate fraud, and expands the instruments that would be covered by existing prohibitions on fraudulent activities.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy [D, VT] and 27 co-sponsors.[1]

Among other things, it "amends the federal criminal code to include within the definition of "financial institution" a mortgage lending business...Defines "mortgage lending business" as an organization that finances or refinances any debt secured by an interest in real estate...Extends the prohibition against making false statements in a mortgage application to employees and agents of a mortgage lending business. Applies the prohibition against defrauding the federal government to fraudulent activities involving the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) or a federal economic stimulus, recovery, or rescue plan. Expands securities fraud provisions to cover fraud involving options and futures in commodities...etc." [2]

FERA also created the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to determine the cause of the financial crisis that began at the end of 2007.[3]


  1. Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009.
  2. Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009.
  3. Commentary: Awaiting the Next Pecora Commission. Traders Magazine.