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Treasury Bailout Watchdog Barofsky to Become NYU Law Fellow

Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Photographer: Brendan Hoffman/Bloomberg
Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Photographer: Brendan Hoffman/Bloomberg

Neil Barofsky, who said last month he would resign as special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, will become a senior fellow at New York University School of Law on April 1.

Barofsky, 40, who graduated from the law school in 1995, will teach a course on the financial crisis in the fall and will be affiliated with programs on criminal law and on law and business, according to a statement from the school.

“He’s an alum we’re extremely proud of and he’s participated in events at the law school before,” said Richard Revesz, the dean of the law school. “Before he takes his next long-term stint I thought he might spend some time here.”

Revesz e-mailed Barofsky after he announced his resignation as watchdog for the government’s bank bailout program on Feb. 14, and the two worked out the arrangement last weekend, Revesz said, adding that Barofsky was likely to stay at the New York City school through 2011 and perhaps into 2012.

Kris Belisle, a spokeswoman for the special inspector general’s office, confirmed Barofsky’s move to the university.

After joining TARP in December 2008, Barofsky published audits and reports that criticized some of the government’s policies, including the rescue of American International Group Inc. and the U.S. Treasury Department’s housing loan-modification program.

Citigroup’s Close Call

He also disclosed previously secret information about how close Citigroup Inc. came to failing in 2008.

Before taking on the job at Treasury, Barofsky worked for more than eight years as a prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he headed the office’s Mortgage Fraud Group.

TARP’s “most significant legacy” may be “the moral hazard and potentially disastrous consequences associated with the continued existence of financial institutions that are ‘too big to fail,’” Barofsky said in a report in January.

In his letter of resignation, Barofsky said his office’s investigations led to 14 criminal convictions for fraud, and that it recovered more than $150 million and avoided the loss of $550 million.

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