Report: Countrywide investigation ends

Feb. 18, 2011 at 10:46 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. prosecutors have decided they cannot prove a criminal case against the former chairman of Countrywide Financial Corp., the Los Angeles Times says.

Sources told the newspaper a grand jury investigation that began in 2008 has ended without indictments against Angelo Mozilo, 72, the Calabasas, Calif., company or anyone else associated with it. Mozilo refused to talk when the Times called him at his home.

"Sometimes the public thinks all you have to do is to indict someone and that's it," one source said. "But you have to be able to prove your case, and it can be worse losing a case than not bringing one at all."

Mozilo agreed a few months ago to settle a civil action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The settlement includes a $22.5 million fine, which he paid, and $45 million in restitution to shareholders, paid by Countrywide's insurers and Bank of America, which acquired the mortgage lender.

The SEC released e-mails that showed Mozilo knew subprime mortgages and other loans were extremely risky.

"In all my years in the business, I have never seen a more toxic product," Mozilo said on one occasion.

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