Holder: Those responsible for financial meltdown not 'out of the woods'

Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday put Wall Street on notice with a vague threat, saying that the Justice Department may be gearing up for civil or criminal prosecutions against those responsible for the 2008 financial meltdown. 

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“My message is, anybody who's inflicted damage on our financial markets should not be of the belief that they are out of the woods because of the passage of time,” Holder said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Holder didn’t expound on the nature of the charges or whom the DOJ might have in its crosshairs.

August has been a busy month for DOJ action against some of the U.S.’s largest banks.

Earlier this month, Justice announced it was suing Bank of America for hiding risks about mortgage-backed securities from investors in 2008, and last Wednesday, revealed that JPMorgan Chase was the subject of a criminal investigation for knowingly dumping toxic mortgage securities on unwitting investors in the run-up to the crisis.

Still, the DOJ has been the subject of intense criticism for not targeting individuals who profited from alleged bank malfeasance in 2008 and for primarily pursing banks over civil charges, rather than criminal ones.