Thursday, May 14, 2009

SEC Poised to Charge Mozilo With Fraud

The Wall Street Journal - The Securities and Exchange Commission staff is readying civil fraud charges against Countrywide Financial Corp. co-founder Angelo Mozilo, in what would be the highest-profile government legal action against a chief executive connected to the financial crisis.

The SEC staff sent a so-called Wells notice to Mr. Mozilo several weeks ago alerting him to the potential charges, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Mozilo's lawyers could still persuade the SEC's commissioners that there isn't sufficient evidence to bring a case.

David Siegel, a lawyer for the 70-year-old Mr. Mozilo, declined to comment on the investigation and said there is no "fair basis" for any allegations against the former Countrywide chief executive.

The charges the SEC is considering include alleged violations of insider-trading laws and alleged failure to disclose material information to shareholders, according to people familiar with the matter.

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