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Bush names bailout overseer

November 15, 2008|associated press

WASHINGTON — President Bush on Friday picked a federal prosecutor in New York to be a Treasury-based special inspector general to oversee the $700-billion financial rescue plan.

If confirmed by the Senate, Neil Barofsky, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, will be responsible for conducting audits and investigations of how the government spends the bailout money.

Barofsky also will report on the value of any assets acquired by the government and why they were purchased.

The job now is being handled by the Treasury Department's inspector general, Eric Thorson, who has expressed concerns about the difficulty of properly overseeing the complex program in addition to his regular responsibilities.

Prior to his job as assistant U.S. attorney and chief of the Southern District's mortgage fraud group, Barofsky was a lead prosecutor in the district's securities fraud unit.

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