Sunday, March 9, 2008

FBI begins Countrywide criminal inquiry: paper

excerpt from:
FBI begins Countrywide criminal inquiry: paper on Yahoo! News

The FBI has begun a criminal inquiry into the largest U.S. mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial Corp (CFC.N), for suspected securities fraud as part of investigations into the mortgage crisis, The New York Times reported in Sunday editions.

Citing unnamed government officials with knowledge of the case, the Times said the investigation into whether Countrywide misrepresented its financial condition and the soundness of its loans in securities filings was at an early stage and it was not clear if any charges would result.

A Countrywide spokeswoman, Susan Martin, told the newspaper that "we are not aware of any such investigation." The probe was first reported on Saturday in The Wall Street Journal.

The Countrywide inquiry follows a broader investigation by the FBI into 14 companies as part of a review of the practices of the mortgage industry, the Times said.

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