February 20, 2013 |
An appeals court has overturned a $3.8-million jury award to a former Countrywide Financial Corp. human resources executive who contended he was fired because he refused to lie for the giant home lender and exposed unsafe working conditions. Michael Winston, a former leadership coach for Countrywide executives, won a wrongful-termination verdict in February 2011 from a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury in Van Nuys. The suit named as defendants Countrywide and Bank of America Corp., which acquired the high-risk mortgage specialist in 2008 and decided against retaining Winston.
January 5, 2013 |
If you're concerned about corporate crime, 2012 looked like a pretty successful year for the good guys. The Thousand Oaks biotech giant Amgen paid $762 million in fines and penalties and pleaded guilty to a federal charge related to illegal marketing of its anemia drug Aranesp. Britain's GlaxoSmithKline and Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories paid $3 billion and $1.5 billion in government penalties, respectively, in connection with their off-label promotions of blockbuster drugs.
July 19, 2012 |
A veteran Securities and Exchange Commission attorney has been named director of the agency's Los Angeles regional office. Michele Wein Layne will oversee a staff of more than 120 employees who enforce securities laws in Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and Guam. Layne, 53, had been associate regional director of the SEC's Los Angeles office since 2005. She began her SEC career 17 years ago, working her way from staff attorney to the head of the busy Los Angeles office.
May 1, 2012 |
Former Countrywide Financial Corp. chairman and chief executive Angelo R. Mozilo and his wife, Phyllis, have sold their house in Thousand Oaks for $2.9 million. Countrywide helped fuel the boom in risky subprime loans that led to the foreclosure crisis. Federal prosecutors shelved a criminal probe of Mozilo last year after determining that his actions in the mortgage meltdown — which led to a $67.5-million settlement against him — did not amount to criminal wrongdoing.
September 14, 2011
Bad bank bets Re "BofA plans to cut at least 40,000 jobs," Sept. 10 First, Bank of America makes a bad business decision and buys Countrywide as it is rapidly going down the tubes. Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide's founder, retires on his millions. Bank of America pays the paltry fines levied on Countrywide. Next, the taxpayers bail out Bank of America. At the same time, Bank of America fails to assist people with loans they can't pay on houses that are losing value (instead of gaining in value, as implied by their loan provider)
July 14, 2011 |
California is considering joining New York and Delaware in a wide-ranging investigation into Wall Street's role in the mortgage meltdown that could lead to criminal charges against financial executives. California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris met with New York Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman on Thursday in San Francisco to discuss cooperating on the investigation, which is already one of the broadest to probe how banks encouraged the financial crisis through the creation of risky financial instruments backed by mortgages.