SEC Readies Charges for Mozilo

Former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo has already faced a grilling from Congress over the subprime mortgage mess—and he’ll soon be facing civil fraud charges for allegedly engaging in insider trading. Mozilo sold off $130 million of Countrywide stock at the beginning of 2007 (compared to $60 million the year before) before fleeing the crumbling company. Now the Securities and Exchange Commission is preparing to charge him with failing to disclose material information to shareholders and insider trading. Countrywide, which is under criminal investigation, enforced low lending standards for clients who wanted to buy home mortgages—practices that are blamed for triggering the financial collapse. Mozilo’s also facing civil suits in four states for improper lending practices at Countrywide, which Bank of America bought for $2.5 billion last July.