SEC Readying Charges Against Angelo Mozilo, Finally

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With this face? He must be innocent. Photo: Getty Images

The SEC is reportedly readying fraud charges against Angelo Mozilo, the founder and former CEO of Countrywide Financial, the largest purveyor of subprime mortgages during the boom. Mozilo, who unloaded Countrywide onto Bank of America at the beginning of the bust and then took a nine-figure compensation package, has been named in civil suits in four other states, but has managed to elude the long arm of the law thus far. His lawyers seem pretty confident that he will this time, as well, telling the Journal that there is no "fair basis" for any allegations against the orange-skinned chief. "When the true facts are heard, it will be clear that Mr. Mozilo has no personal liability for alleged improper lending practices," said one lawyer. They might be right: As a "person familiar with these investigations" told the Journal, "greed and stupidity are not criminal acts." Not yet, anyway. We're in a new era, after all, and we expect criminalizing greediness and stupidity, along with gossipyness, pettiness, and assorted other human foibles, is the very next thing on Obama's agenda.

SEC Poised to Charge Mozilo With Fraud [WSJ]