‘Friends of Angelo’ Let Countrywide’s Mozilo Off the Hook as U.S. Said to Abandon Suit
“The decision not to move forward with civil cases against Mozilo and other Countrywide executives was made by Justice Department officials”
Countrywide’s Mozilo Off the Hook as U.S. Said to Abandon Suit
U.S. prosecutors have abandoned their case against Angelo Mozilo, a pioneer of the risky subprime mortgages that fueled the financial crisis, after a two-year quest to bring a civil suit against him.
The Justice Department has decided not to sue Mozilo, the co-founder of Countrywide Financial Corp., according to people familiar with the matter. That effectively ends nearly a decade of U.S. scrutiny of a man who became a face of risky lending practices and later an emblem of the government’s mixed success in holding individuals accountable.
In recent years, the 77-year-old has been living in a 12,692-square-foot house in Santa Barbara, California, investing in real estate and writing a book about his life so his grandchildren will “know the truth.” Interviewed in late 2014, shortly after news of prosecutors’ civil pursuit became public, he denied any wrongdoing and said the national real-estate collapse, not Countrywide’s lending, was at the root of the crisis.
“Countrywide or Mozilo didn’t cause any of that,” he said at the time.