Obama calls for tougher financial fraud penalties

OSAWATOMIE, Kan. (AP) ? President Barack Obama is backing tougher penalties for financial fraud after a top Wall Street regulator called for more tools to punish repeat offenders.

Obama said Tuesday he wants legislation providing penalties that companies can’t simply shrug off as the cost of doing business.

Obama was speaking in Kansas about economic fairness.

His call for tougher penalties comes days after the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Schapiro, asked the Senate Banking Committee for greater authority to fine companies and individuals. She is seeking to raise the limits on fines under current law, including tripling penalties for repeat offenders.

Schapiro issued her request as a judge struck down a $285 million settlement between Citigroup and the SEC.