Culture of corruption: Key findings from Countrywide loan investigation


This morning the House Oversight Committee released its report on just how many government officials received sweetheart loan deals via Countrywide’s “Friends of Angelo” program.

Shockah: Former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo had a whole lot of “friends.” And the company did a whole lot of backscratching to buy influence with members of Congress, congressional staffers, Fannie Mae execs, and government officials.

Our report found #Countrywide lobbyists used discounted mortgage loans to ingratiate mortgage company w/ policymakers:

— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) July 5, 2012

#Countrywide VIP mortgage treatment used w/ Members of Congress, staff & other govt officials to win DC friends:

— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) July 5, 2012

How to win D.C. friends and influence corrupt politicians. Lovely.

House Oversight Committee chair Darrell Issa breaks down the corruption by the numbers:

17,979: #Countrywide VIP loans processed btw Jan 1996 and June 2008 in program logs. May not be all of them. REPORT:

— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) July 5, 2012

13: number of full time #Countrywide employees working in VIP program trained in enhanced customer service REPORT:

— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) July 5, 2012

Jimmie Williams: former #Countrywide lobbyist who referred Members of Congress & staff to VIP mortgage program REPORT:

— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) July 5, 2012

29: number of loans we found the #Countrywide VIP unit made to Members of Congress & staff REPORT:

— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) July 5, 2012

12: number of Members of Congress & staff we found received #Countrywide VIP loans REPORT:

— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) July 5, 2012

The conclusion of the report on “How Countrywide Used its VIP Loan Program To Influence Washington Policymakers” seems to indicate Mozilo and his lobbyists won’t be prosecuted.

The Justice Department has not  prosecuted any Countrywide official for actions related to the VIP loan program. Documents and testimony show that Angelo Mozilo and Countrywide’s lobbyists may have skirted the federal bribery statute by keeping conversations about discounts and other forms of preferential treatment internal. Rather than making quid pro quo arrangements with lawmakers and staff, Countrywide used the VIP loan program to cast a wide net of influence.

After today’s report, will the ethics-challenged corruptocrats who accepted these sweetheart deals still claim they “didn’t know” they were getting special treatment?

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