First we have Angelo Mozilo, CEO of Countrywide Financial during the entirety of the bubble years. Countrywide was ultimately ‘merged’ into Bank of America, because they were deemed ‘too big to fail.’ Countrywide, at one time, originated more than half of all mortgages in the United States. There’s very few people in this country who at one time or another haven’t had their lives touched by Countrywide.
Former Countrywide Financial Corp. Chief Executive Officer Angelo Mozilo agreed to a record $67.5 million settlement to resolve U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission claims that he misled investors.
Mozilo, 71, will pay a $22.5 million penalty and disgorge $45 million in gains from the sale of shares at inflated prices under the terms of the settlement read yesterday at a hearing in federal court in Los Angeles. Former Chief Financial Officer Eric Sieracki and former Chief Operating Officer David Sambol also reached settlements. None of the men, who had been scheduled to go on trial Oct. 19, admitted wrongdoing.
The SEC sued the three in June 2009, saying they publicly reassured investors about the quality of Countrywide’s loans while knowing that the mortgage lender was fueling its growth at least since the beginning of 2005 by letting its underwriting guidelines deteriorate and originating an increasing number of risky subprime loans.
Next we have Peter Bakowski, CEO of some as yet un-named mortgage lender, who was found guilty of defrauding a grand-total of 30 people, affecting 150 properties.
TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge has sentenced a mortgage banker to more than 15 years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty on charges related to a mortgage fraud scheme.
Peter Bakowski was sentenced Friday. Officials say the Tampa resident was involved in a $20 million mortgage fraud Ponzi-type scheme.
More than 30 victims, including investors and institutions, were affected, as were more than 150 properties. Officials say Bakowski sold the same mortgage to multiple people, then pay returns on the preceding investor’s investments with money from later investors.
Bakowski was sentenced to 15 years and 8 months in prison and ordered to pay $16.1 million in restitution.
In case anyone had any doubt, it’s pretty clear at this point there are one set of rules for ‘the little people’ and an entirely different set of laws for the elite, ‘too big to fails.’ Congratulations America, you have now become a banana republic.