(Undated)  --  The Justice Department could take civil and criminal action against dozens of banks that do business with payday lenders.  

The "New York Times" reports federal prosecutors are investigating to see whether more than 50 large and small banks made it possible for payday lenders to illegally siphon billions of dollars from Americans' checking accounts.  

The "Times" reports the Justice Department has already filed a lawsuit against Four Oaks Bank of Raleigh, North Carolina.  The suit accused the bank of being "deliberately ignorant" about processing close to two and a half billion dollars in payments to payday lenders.  

Four Oaks Bank agreed to pay one point two million dollars to settle the suit.