The Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Justice Department established a financial fraud task force on Tuesday.

The task force, led by Justice and supported by the other agencies on a steering committee, will investigate and prosecute financial crimes, address discrimination in lending and financial markets and seek to recover proceeds for victims. It will build off of existing efforts to combat mortgage, securities and corporate fraud.

The task force replaces the Corporate Task Force established in 2002. The attorney general will convene the task force's first meeting in the next 30 days.

"The task force's mission is not just to hold accountable those who helped bring about the last financial meltdown, but to prevent another meltdown from happening," Attorney General Eric Holder said at a news conference.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner reiterated that mission.

"We are making clear that the Obama administration is going to act aggressively and proactively in a coordinated effort to combat financial fraud," Geithner said. "It's not enough to prosecute fraud only after it's become widespread. We can't wait for problems to peak before we respond."

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