In an interview with the Des Moines Register yesterday, President Obama noted that his administration was in the process of "implementing Wall Street reform," which, to say the least, had been sorely lacking. But today federal prosecutors filed a civil complaint against Bank of America for cranking out toxic mortgages at a breakneck pace and selling them to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The collapse of those firms played a large role in the housing market implosion and the 2008 financial crisis. U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, is asking for $1 billion in damages, but according to the New York Times, the penalty could reach as much as $3 billion.

The lawsuit is part of sweeping, "somewhat redundant" pattern of litigation against banks and other financial firms, including a suit against Wells Fargo earlier this month for dubious mortgage practices, and a suit against JPMorgan Chase over deals it assumed when it bought Bear Stearns. The latter suit was brought by the federal mortgage task force headed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Schneiderman also sued Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase in February for their mortgage practices.

Before your eyes roll completely back into your head, here's exactly what the government is alleging Bank of America did. Countrywide, which was bought by Bank of America in 2008, created a mortgage scheme referred to as the "hustle" (literally HSSL, for "High-Speed Swim Lane"), which eliminated underwriters and many of the compliance experts and oversight tools used to make sure that the mortgages weren't totally bogus. The industry standard for "defect" mortgages is 4 to 5%. Countrywide's, and later Bank of America's, was as high as 37%.

Bundle those shitty mortgages together and sell them, divvy them up even more and sell them to the government-backed mortgage giants, cue widespread defaults, the Great Recession and you have a mortgage crisis (don't worry though, Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide's founder, did just fine).

"The fraudulent conduct alleged in today’s complaint was spectacularly brazen in scope," Bharara said in a statement. "This lawsuit should send another clear message that reckless lending practices will not be tolerated.”