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What We Do

The OIG’s Office of Investigations conducts investigations, which are different from audits and evaluations. Our investigations are carried out under the authority of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, which established the OIG as an independent oversight entity to combat waste, fraud, and abuse relating to the programs and operations of the Board and the CFPB. Our investigations are carried out by federal criminal investigators (Special Agents), whose law enforcement powers have been granted by the U.S. Attorney General. The U.S. Attorney General vests our Special Agents with the authority to carry firearms, seek and execute search and arrest warrants, and make arrests without a warrant in certain circumstances.

Our Office of Investigations and Special Agents are independent, separate, and distinct from the direction, roles, and responsibilities of the uniformed law enforcement units established by the Board and the Federal Reserve Banks. The Office of Investigations is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has field offices in Chicago, Miami, New York City, and San Francisco.

As with other agencies in the OIG community, our Special Agents are experienced and dedicated law enforcement professionals. Special Agents must complete an extensive course of training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and continue to meet quarterly and periodic training requirements in the use of firearms; physical conditioning and defensive tactics; laws of arrest, search, and seizure; trial processes and legal updates; interviewing techniques; and other investigative operations.

Our Special Agents are specifically trained in conducting complex financial fraud investigations. Special Agents conduct investigations of criminal, civil, and administrative wrongdoing by Board and CFPB employees, as well as investigations of alleged misconduct or criminal activity that affects the Board’s or the CFPB’s ability to effectively supervise and regulate the financial community. Investigative findings may be referred to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Board, or the CFPB to determine what action may be appropriate. Such actions may include criminal or civil prosecution by the U.S. Department of Justice or administrative discipline or other actions by the Board or the CFPB. 

Our investigations are conducted in close coordination with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies on matters of mutual interest or concurrent jurisdiction. Our investigations are conducted in compliance with the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency’s Quality Standards for Investigations and the Attorney General Guidelines for Offices of Inspector General with Statutory Law Enforcement Authority and follow other U.S. Department of Justice law enforcement–related policies and guidelines. 

In accordance with guidance set forth by the U.S. Department of Justice, open investigations are not commented on or otherwise disclosed, to ensure that they are objectively conducted in a thorough and impartial manner, without undue influence by others, and to protect the use of investigative techniques and the privacy rights of those involved. Any public release of information, such as criminal indictments or court sentencings, is made in close coordination with the U.S. Department of Justice or in accordance with other applicable law. Unlike audit or evaluation reports, and consistent with the practices of other law enforcement agencies, closed investigative reports are not made public and are subject to disclosure in accordance with applicable law. However, significant investigative results and other investigative statistics are reported in our Semiannual Report to Congress, as required by statute. 



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