Fraud in the Savings and Loan Industry in California, Florida, Texas, and Washington, DC: White-Collar Crime and Government Response, 1986-1993 (ICPSR 6790)

Published: Mar 30, 2006 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Henry N. Pontell, University of California-Irvine. Department of Criminology, Law, and Society; Kitty Calavita, University of California-Irvine. Department of Criminology, Law, and Society; Robert Tillman, University of California-Irvine. Department of Criminology, Law, and Society

https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06790.v1

Version V1

The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the factors that contributed to the epidemic of fraud in the savings and loan ("thrift") industry, the role that white-collar crime played, and the government response to this crisis. The researchers sought to describe the magnitude, role, and nature of thrift crime, analyze factors related to the effectiveness of law enforcement control of savings and loan fraud, and develop the broader implications, from both a theoretical and a policy perspective. Data consist of statistics from various government agencies and focus on all types of thrift, i.e., solvent and insolvent, that fell under the jurisdiction of the Office of Thrift Supervision in Florida, Texas, and California and all insolvent thrifts under the control of the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) in Washington, DC. The study focused on Texas, California, and Florida because of the high numbers of savings and loan failures, instances of fraud, and executives being indicted. However, as the study progressed, it became clear that the frauds and failures were nationwide, and while many of the crimes were located in these three states, the individuals involved may have been located elsewhere. Thus, the scope of the study was expanded to provide a national perspective. Parts 1 and 2, Case and Defendant Data, provide information from the Executive Office of United States Attorneys on referrals, investigations, and prosecutions of thrifts, banks, and other financial institutions. Part 1 consists of data about the cases that were prosecuted, the number of institutions victimized, the state in which these occurred, and the seriousness of the offense as indicated by the dollar loss and the number of victims. Part 2 provides information on the defendant's position in the institution (director, officer, employee, borrower, customer, developer, lawyer, or shareholder) and disposition (fines, restitution, prison, probation, or acquittal). The relevant variables associated with the Resolution Trust Corporation (Part 3, Institution Data) describe indictments, convictions, and sentences for all cases in the respective regions, organizational structure and behavior for a single institution, and the estimated loss to the institution. Variables coded are ownership type, charter, home loans, brokered deposits, net worth, number of referrals, number of individuals referred, assets and asset growth, ratio of direct investments to total assets, and total dollar losses due to fraud. For Parts 4 and 5, Texas and California Referral Data, the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) provided data for what are called Category I referrals for California and Texas. Part 4 covers Category I referrals for Texas. Variables include the individual's position in the institution, the number of referrals, and the sum of dollar losses from all referrals. Part 5 measures the total dollar losses due to fraud in California, the total number of criminal referrals, and the number of individuals indicted.

Pontell, Henry N., Calavita, Kitty, and Tillman, Robert. Fraud in the Savings and Loan Industry in California, Florida, Texas, and Washington, DC:  White-Collar Crime and Government Response, 1986-1993. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-03-30. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06790.v1

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (90-IJ-CX-0059)

A downloadable version of data for this study is available however, certain identifying information in the downloadable version may have been masked or edited to protect respondent privacy. Additional data not included in the downloadable version are available in a restricted version of this data collection. For more information about the differences between the downloadable data and the restricted data for this study, please refer to the codebook notes section of the PDF codebook. Users interested in obtaining restricted data must complete and sign a Restricted Data Use Agreement, describe the research project and data protection plan, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
1986 -- 1993

Interview data collected during this project are not available as part of this data collection.

The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the factors that contributed to the epidemic of fraud in the savings and loan ("thrift") industry, the role that white-collar crime played, and the government response to this crisis. The researchers sought to describe the magnitude, role, and nature of thrift crime, analyze factors related to the effectiveness of law enforcement control of savings and loan fraud, and develop the broader implications, from both a theoretical and policy perspective. Data focus on all types of thrift, i.e., bank solvent and insolvent, that fell under the jurisdiction of the Office of Thrift Supervision in Florida, Texas, and California and all insolvent thrifts under the control of the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) in Washington, DC. Questions the project sought to answer were: (1) How many crimes were committed at thrift institutions? (2) What were the costs resulting from these crimes? (3) What types of financial institutions were most vulnerable to fraud? (4) How many types of individuals were most responsible for these crimes? (5) How many of these individuals were prosecuted for their crimes, and once prosecuted, what types of sentences were imposed?

Data from three federal agencies -- the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Executive Office of United States Attorneys -- were combined to present the most comprehensive view of fraud in the industry. The Executive Office of United States Attorneys provided data about the major prosecutions, the individual defendants in each case, and their dispositions. The Resolution Trust Corporation provided data on final referrals and the estimated loss to the financial institutions as a result of these referrals. In addition to criminal referrals, the Resolution Trust Corporation provided information on the financial condition of all the institutions under its control. This allowed for the examination of the relationship between selected features of insolvent thrifts and the crimes that were committed. The main objective of the data supplied by this agency was to obtain a better sense of what constituted the crimes reported at thrift institutions. The Office of Thrift Supervision provided Category I referrals for the states of Florida, Texas, and California.

Four major sites were chosen for the study: California, Florida, Texas, and Washington, DC. The first three sites were chosen either because of the high numbers of savings and loan failures and frauds in the 1980s or because of the high number of executives that were being indicted. Washington, DC, was chosen because it is home to numerous federal agencies whose staffs were available to be interviewed.

White-collar savings and loan crime cases in the United States.

Part 1: Case, Part 2: Individuals, Part 3: Single RTC Institution, Parts 4 and 5: Referrals

(1) statistical data from the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Resolution Trust Corporation, and the Executive Office of United States Attorneys, (2) government documents relating to financial institutions from June 1986 and government testimony from February 1989 as well as congressional hearings and reports, (3) newspapers, magazines, and academic journals relating to savings and loan fraud (secondary sources)

administrative records data

Part 1 consists of data about the cases that were prosecuted, the number of institutions victimized, the state in which these occurred, and the seriousness of the offense as indicated by the dollar loss and the number of victims. Part 2 provides information on the defendant's position in the institution (director, officer, employee, borrower, customer, developer, lawyer, or shareholder), and disposition (fines, restitution, prison, probation, or acquittal). Part 3, Institution Data, describes indictments, convictions, and sentences for all cases in the respective regions, organizational structure and behavior for a single institution, and the estimated loss to the institution. Variables coded are ownership type, charter, home loans, brokered deposits, net worth, number of referrals, number of individuals referred, assets and asset growth, ratio of direct investments to total assets, and total dollar losses due to fraud. Part 4 covers Category I referrals for Texas. Variables include the individual's position in the institution, the number of referrals, and the sum of dollar losses from all referrals. Part 5 measures the total dollar losses due to fraud in California, the total number of criminal referrals, and the number of individuals indicted.

Not applicable.

None.

1999-10-07

2006-03-30

2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Pontell, Henry N., Kitty Calavita, and Robert Tillman. Fraud in the Savings and Loan Industry in California, Florida, Texas, and Washington, DC: White-Collar Crime and Government Response, 1986-1993. ICPSR06790-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06790.v1

2006-03-30 File CB6790.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

1999-10-07 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.