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Angelo Mozilo Fraud Charges: SEC Charges Former Countrywide CEO

MARCY GORDON and GREG RISLING | June 4, 2009 05:43 PM EST | AP

WASHINGTON — Federal regulators on Thursday charged Angelo Mozilo, the former chief executive of mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp., and two other company executives with civil fraud.

The Securities and Exchange Commission‘s civil lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Los Angeles, also accuses Mozilo of illegal insider trading.

Countrywide was a major player in the subprime mortgage market, the collapse of which in 2007 touched off the financial crisis that has gripped the U.S. and global economies.

Mozilo, 70, is the most high-profile individual to face formal charges from the federal government in the aftermath of the crisis. He has denied any wrongdoing and Mozilo’s attorney on Thursday called the SEC’s allegations “baseless.”

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