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A whole new get-rich-quick scheme is brewing beneath the fanfare of the nation's hyped housing recovery.

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In a quarterly regulatory filing Wednesday, the nation's biggest bank revealed that it faces a criminal and civil investigation into "whether it sold shoddy mortgage securities to investors in the run-up to the financial crisis" between 2005 and 2007.

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While profits tripled and layoffs commenced in the banking industry last year, Wall Street divided at least $20 billion in gifts made of cash and stock among its employees.

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People close to the case are claiming that AIG executive Joseph Cassano will not face federal charges related to allegations that he misled investors over the company's handling of mortgage-related securities prior to the economic crash and subsequent Wall Street bailout.

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Recently disclosed internal documents and an audio recording regarding a 2008 securities standoff between Goldman Sachs and insurance giant AIG appear to be the smoking guns necessary to pinpoint Goldman's culpability in the mortgage meltdown and the collapse of AIG.

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In the face of mounting public outrage, AIG has revealed how it spent $75 billion of taxpayer money, a sum that amounts to less than half of the government's $170 billion bailout of the firm. AIG says it gave a sizable chunk of the money to banks, including foreign institutions, and spent a pretty penny to cover junk investments.

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