By Willy Staley  Mon Aug 13, 2012

CFPB to Hire Financial Sleuths

John Lester/flickr source

Ever wanted to be a cop, but you’re, let’s say, more of a numbers guy? Not comfortable with guns? More of an ideas person? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has got a job for you — a few of them actually. The newly-minted agency is hiring undercover agents to head up investigations into financial crimes. It’s the perfect blend of intrigue and safety.

The Washington Times reports that the CFPB is currently recruiting investigators “to go undercover to pursue cases against banks, credit card companies and other financial companies.” It would appear that the agency will be taking a proactive approach to policing the financial industry, rather than the largely exploratory and reactive stance it has exhibited so far.

While the jobs are not listed on CFPB’s own jobs page, they do appear on a Treasury jobs listing site. There are “many” openings for this gig, which pays handsomely: between $98,000 and $149,036.

The job listing asks for candidates who will “plan, organize, and conduct a wide range of investigations related to alleged or suspected offenses in violation of consumer protection laws and regulations.” CFPB investigators will work with whistleblowers, private investigators and others to gather evidence and witnesses to attest to financial misdeeds. If only the current administration were interested in prosecuting bankers like the criminals they very well may be.

There’s plenty of opportunity for intrigue, even if the criminals are in suits. Candidates should be prepared to “Utilize surveillance activities to identify subjects, their activities, and their associates, corroborate source information, and collect evidence.”

The Washington Times, no ally to the nanny state, reported that the CFPB’s efforts will likely be similar to other investigative efforts by other federal agencies — some of which have not worked out well. The Department of Health and Human Services had floated an idea for a research project involving “secret shoppers” to “investigate how difficult it is for Americans to obtain primary care,” but decided against it after a New York Times story on the matter.

We’d venture to guess that we like to protect doctors more than we do payday lenders and bankers, however. There might be little public outcry except for outlets like, well, the editorial page of The Washington Times.

 

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