A settlement in the Countrywide case?
A woman walks past an office of Countrywide banking and home loans in Sun City, Arizona.
TEXT OF INTERVIEW
BILL RADKE: A meeting is scheduled today in the fraud and insider trading case against three former Countrywide Financial executives. The former mortgage company became a symbol of the financial crisis, with a high number of subprime mortgage loans that went sour. Reporter Janet Babin joins us live from North Carolina Public Radio. Good morning, Janet.
JANET BABIN: Good morning, Bill.
RADKE: What's today's meeting about?
BABIN: So the presiding judge has scheduled what's called a status conference in the case. And the New York Times and Wall Street Journal report that this signal that the Securities and Exchange Commission may have reached a settlement with Countrywide's former Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo and two other executives charged in this case. This is a high profile case, Bill, because it's one of the only legal actions taken by the SEC after the mortgage crisis.
RADKE: Will you remind us what Mr. Mozilo and his co-defendants are accused of?
BABIN: Right. They're accused deceiving shareholders -- not telling them about all the risky mortgage loans the company made. Mozilo is also charged with insider trading. He managed to sell his Countrywide stock for millions of dollars before the company was purchased by Bank of America back in 2008.
RADKE: Has Mr. Mozilo said anything about the charges?
BABIN: All three defendants in the past have denied wrongdoing in the case. The Journal reports that the SEC has spent a lot of time preparing for a trial, but that a settlement might be beneficial to everyone involved here -- to the defendants because it could help them avoid criminal charges, and to the government because it could avoid risking a defeat at a public trial. If not settlement is reached, the case is supposed to start next week in Los Angeles, next Tuessday.
RADKE: Janet Babin reporting live. Thank you, Janet.
BABIN: Thank you, Bill.