Bonus Watch '14: Countrywide Whistleblowers

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The total payouts to whistle-blowers in the federal government’s $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America over its mortgage business may approach $170 million. Edward O’Donnell, a former executive at Countrywide Financial, and Robert Madsen, a former property appraiser for the bank already have been identified as two of the whistle-blowers that federal prosecutors gave credit to in the settlement agreement with Bank of America. The other two whistle-blowers entitled to a share of the settlement dollars being paid out by Bank of America are Shareef Abdou, an executive in the bank’s operations group, and the firm Mortgage Now, a New Jersey mortgage lender, according to court filings. The filings did not disclose the value of the settlement payouts, but the whistle-blowers, all of whom filed complaints under the Federal False Claims Act, are collecting payments equal to 16 percent to 17 percent of specific portions of the $16.65 billion, according to court filings and people briefed on the matter but not authorized to speak publicly. [Dealbook]

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Whistleblowing Bank Of America Quite A Bit More Lucrative Than Working For Bank Of America

Just something to keep in mind. A former Countrywide Financial Corp. manager whose fraud suit contributed to the mortgage industry’s $25 billion settlement with federal and state regulators received about $14.5 million for his efforts, his lawyers said. Kyle Lagow, an appraisal manager for Countrywide from 2004 to 2008, claimed that Countrywide inflated the value of homes to support bigger loans, according to a statement today from Seattle-based law firm Hagens Berman. Charlotte, North Carolina- based Bank of America bought Countrywide in 2008 to save it from collapse as defaults on home loans soared. Lagow’s information helped prompt a $1 billion settlement of Federal Housing Administration claims announced by Bank of America in February, according to the law firm. The sum was included in the nationwide settlement reached that month. [Bloomberg]