Mozilo Charged With Fraud

The SEC's charges against Countrywide Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo are in, and they're a doozy. The man some call the architect of the subprime mortgage collapse stands accused of deliberatedly misleading investors on Countrywide's massive credit risks and of insider trading on a deal that scored him some $140 million in profits when he unloaded personal shares of his company's stock shortly before its collapse. Two other former Countrywide execs—former COO and President David Sambol and former CFO Eric Sieracki—are also accused of misleading the public and the market. Said the director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement: "This is the tale of two companies. Countrywide portrayed itself as underwriting mainly prime quality mortgages using high underwriting standards. But concealed from shareholders was the true Countrywide, an increasingly reckless leader assuming greater and greater risk.