Neil Barofsky, Chief of TARP Oversight Team, Resigns

CAROUSEL - Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP), testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009, before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on "AIG Bonuses: Audit Report of the Special Inspector General". (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP), testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009, before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on "AIG Bonuses: Audit Report of the Special Inspector General".
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), sent President Obama a letter today informing him he will resign on March 30.

Barofsky is stepping down for personal reasons. The SIGTARP team will -- for now -- continue its more than 140 ongoing investigations under the leadership of Deputy Special Inspector General Christy Romero.

SIGTARP is the only TARP oversight body with law enforcement authority, and it works to minimize waste, fraud and abuse within the bailout program. It also promotes TARP transparency.

In his letter to the president, Barofsky pointed out that his team has convicted 14 individuals for fraud. He said the oversight group has saved the government more than $700 million in fraud losses that were recovered or avoided.

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, released a statement commending Barofsky for his commitment to public service -- but warning that the oversight team's work is far from over.

Issa pointed out that among other problems, more than 150 TARP recipient banks have missed their regulator dividend payments, according to SIGTARP.

"Moving forward, it is imperative that whoever is nominated by the president to serve as the next SIGTARP demonstrates the same type of vigilance, courage and commitment to transparency that Neil Barofsky brought to this job every day," Issa said.

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