U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today warned banks and other financial institutions to stop helping scam artists defraud consumers.

"We at the Justice Department are determined to stop these illegal and unacceptable practices," Holder said in his weekly video address posted on his department's website.

Holder said the department's civil division "is leading a range of investigations into banks that illegally enable businesses to siphon billions of dollars from consumers' bank accounts."

In April, he said, the department reached a settlement with Four Oaks Bank of North Carolina to resolve allegations it facilitated an illegal scheme to take money from consumers' accounts. The Justice Department accused the bank of allowing a third-party payment processor, which it knew was processing transactions reported as fraudulent, to lodge $2.4 billion in debit charges in exchange for $850,000 in fees.

As part of the settlement, the bank agreed to pay $1 million to the U.S. government and $200,000 to a consumer fraud fund. Holder did not specify any other enforcement actions as part of the initiative.

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