Angelo Mozilo, the former head of Countrywide and perhaps the best-tanned CEO in our nation’s history, is now slated to stand trial on charges related to the now-defunct mortgage lender’s representation of its loan portfolio.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is charging Mozilo, along with ex-Countrywide CFO Eric Sieracki and former president David Sambol with failure to inform investors of the extent of losses related to the company’s mortgage portfolio. Bank of America agreed to buy Countrywide in January of 2008 amid rumors that the lender was headed for bankruptcy.
The SEC also accuses Mozilo of dumping his company’s stock as it entered a severe decline. The agency says Mozilo made around $140 million by selling Countrywide stock. For $600 million, Countrywide settled a lawsuit by shareholders that alleged the company misled investors. The same Countrywide trio — Mozilo, Sieracki and Sambol — were named as defendants in that suit.
Lawyers for the ex-Countrywide brass deny that their clients have done anything wrong.