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(Reuters) - The Obama administration will establish a financial crimes unit to crack down on large-scale fraud, President Barack Obama said during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Obama said that he would ask the attorney general to establish a special financial crimes unit to prosecute those parties charged with breaking the law, and whose fraud contributed to the financial crisis.
"A return to the American values of fair play and shared responsibility will help us protect our people and our economy. But it should also guide us as we look to pay down our debt and invest in our future," Obama said.
He also said the new unit would lead the state attorneys general probe to expand its investigations into abusive lending practices that led to illegal foreclosure practices by the nation's largest mortgage servicers. State and federal officials are approaching a deal with top banks to settle those claims.
Reporting By Emily Stephenson; Editing by Eric Walsh