The SEC has charged former Countrywide chief Angelo Mozilo and two other former execs with civil fraud, the Wall Street Journal reports. The agency accuses them of insider trading and withholding information from investors about the condition of what was once the nation's largest mortgage company. They are the first executives to face charges connected to the subprime mortgage collapse, the Washington Post notes.
Mozilo, along with Countrywide's former chief operating and financial officers, "deliberately misled" shareholders, an SEC official says. The ex-chief allegedly reaped $140 million from insider trading, and the others helped paint a robust picture of Countrywide as it "buckled under the weight" of bad loans. Now owned by Bank of America, Countrywide itself faces multiple lawsuits for predatory lending.