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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Statement Of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara On The Countrywide, Bank Of America, And Rebecca Mairone Verdict

“Almost a year to the day after we brought suit, a unanimous jury has found Countrywide, Bank of America, and senior executive Rebecca Mairone liable for making disastrously bad loans and systematically removing quality checks in favor of its own balance. As demonstrated at trial, they adopted a program that they called “the Hustle,” which treated quality control and underwriting as a joke.

In a rush to feed at the trough of easy mortgage money on the eve of the financial crisis, Bank of America purchased Countrywide, thinking it had gobbled up a cash cow. That profit, however, was built on fraud, as the jury unanimously found.

In this case, Bank of America chose to defend Countrywide’s conduct with all its might and money, claiming there was no case here. The jury disagreed. This Office will never hesitate to go to trial to expose fraudulent corporate conduct and to hold companies accountable, particularly when it has caused such harm to the public.

I want to thank the members of the jury for their service in this important trial. And I commend the Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Office's Civil Division for their dedication, skill, and tireless efforts.”

13-319
Updated May 13, 2015