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3 Financial Execs Obama's Special Unit Should Target

3. Angelo Mozilo, former CEO of Countrywide Financial Corp..

Why is Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) in worse shape than major rivals like JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo (WFC - Get Report)? Look no further than Countrywide Financial.

Countrywide appears to have ramped up its mortgage operation just as the housing market was at its frothiest. Countrywide was the top U.S. mortgage originator with $463 billion in 2006, followed by Wells Fargo at $398 billion, with JPMorgan Chase a distant third at $173 billion, according to data from trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance that Countrywide cited in its 2007 10-K.

In 2007, however, Wells Fargo cut its originations way back to $272 billion. That was still good for second place, but well behind Countrywide's $408 billion in originations.

Mozilo has already been fined a record $22.5 million after he "failed to disclose to investors the significant credit risk that Countrywide was taking on as a result of its efforts to build and maintain market share," according SEC charges brought in 2009. However, Mozilo didn't admit guilt in that case, and another $45 million in "disgorgement of ill-gotten gains," was paid by Bank of America.

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