Angelo Mozilo is officially the first top financial-services executive to be charged in connection with the financial crisis! The SEC this afternoon filed civil fraud against the tangerine-colored former CEO of subprime lender Countrywide and two other executives. Mozilo was additionally charged with insider trading for selling his Countrywide stock based on non-public information, netting himself nearly $140 million in profits. "This is the tale of two companies," Robert Khuzami, the director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, said dramatically in a press release.
"Countrywide portrayed itself as underwriting mainly prime quality mortgages using high underwriting standards. But concealed from shareholders was the true Countrywide, an increasingly reckless lender assuming greater and greater risk. Angelo Mozilo privately described one Countrywide product as 'toxic,' and said another's performance was so uncertain that Countrywide was 'flying blind.'"
Exciting! It sounds like they're really going to expose his true colors.