Nov. 12 (Reuters) -- The Federal judge who oversaw the recent civil fraud trial against Bank of America Corp. criticized the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday for failing to prosecute high-level executives over the financial crisis.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff of Manhattan said while companies have been prosecuted for causing the 2007-2009 financial meltdown, Wall Street executives have escaped justice.
"The failure of the government to bring to justice those responsible for such a massive fraud speaks greatly to weaknesses in our prosecutional system that need to be addressed," Rakoff said.
Rakoff, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1996, blamed the lack of criminal cases on a shortage of investigatory resources coupled with an over-emphasis on bringing cases against companies rather than individuals.
Rakoff's critique drew a quick reaction from the Justice Department, where a spokeswoman said top prosecutors are "aggressively working" on several ongoing investigations.
"No individual or institution is above the law and we will continue to follow the evidence where it leads to hold the appropriate people and institutions accountable," Adora Jenkins, a department spokeswoman said in an e-mail.