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Home | Daily Dose | U.S. Attorneys Preparing Civil Suit Against Former Countrywide CEO
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U.S. Attorneys Preparing Civil Suit Against Former Countrywide CEO

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The central figure at one of enduring images of the financial crisis is potentially facing the latest in a series of attempts to hold him responsible for some of the events leading to the economic downturn.

U.S. attorneys in Los Angeles are preparing a civil lawsuit against former Countrywide Financial CEO and co-founder Angelo Mozilo, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The CEO reportedly earned $535 million between 1999 and 2008, according to compensation-research firm Equilar Inc. Mozilo further enriched himself in the $4 billion sale of Countrywide in 2008 after the company had fallen on hard times following a large volume of defaults.

This is not the first time Mozilo has come under fire for actions taken by Countrywide while he was at the helm. In October 2010, he agreed to pay $22.5 million in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) amid allegations of misleading Countrywide investors by reassuring them that the quality of Countrywide’s loan portfolio was not in danger.  He also agreed to disgorge $45 million in stock gains due to alleged inflated prices.

As part of the 2010 settlement, the SEC permanently banned Mozilo from serving in the capacity of officer or director for a public traded company.

The relatively light penalty when compared to the amount of money that he earned both from the sale and his time running the financial institution has drawn criticism from both lawmakers and the general public.

Mozilo continues to be defiant, denying any culpability, saying in a recent deposition that that he had “no regrets” in the way that he managed Countrywide.

Ten unnamed former Countrywide executives may also be held accountable in the suit according to the report. Mozilo’s attorneys have contended that there is no basis for him to be targeted for his role in the financial crisis and that he is being unfairly singled out.

When contacted by DS News, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles, declined to comment on the possible pending civil suit against Mozilo.

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About Author: Brian Honea

Brian Honea
Brian Honea's writing and editing career spans 12 years across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, is scheduled to be published by the TCU Press in Fall 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master's degree from Amberton University in Garland.

2 comments

  1. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-45 alignnone photo of marvin koch

    Here lays another government scam. All these lawsuits and fines are becoming routine and meaningless. My lost home was connected to Countrywide,Bank of America and JP Morgan and they are all getting by with one of the biggest white collar crimes of the century with no consumer aid. Going back to our Service Members who also lost their homes to foreclosure the most any received was about $500.00. A BIG slap in the face from our government. I have not heard of any homeowner receiving equitable reimbursement for illegal lost homes. California is one state that did nothing to help homeowners even though they received millions of dollars on the National Settlement. There again, I have not heard of any consumer/homeowner receiving anything from the settlement.

  2. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-45 alignnone photo of Helen

    Ditto the above response. I am a Real Estate Agent and I still got duped!! I remember arguing with my Loan Officer even at the closing table that what she was doing did not make sense at the time. But for every question I had she had a rebuttal and when I threatened to walk away or get a new Lender, she said I would lose my $12,000 upgrade money plus the incentives the builder was offering to pay a portion of my closing.

    I still regret not walking away! by the time it was all said and down, I found myself stuck with 4 loan payments plus monthly HOA fees. I am still sick about the whole thing.

    I have not recieved a dime in retribution!!!!!!!!!!

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