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U.S. fines Bank of America for firing whistleblower

September 15, 2011
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Source: AFP

NEW YORK — US authorities on Wednesday ordered Bank of America to pay $930,0000 to an employee who was fired after exposing fraud at the bank's disgraced mortgage unit, Countrywide Financial.

The US Labor Department said in a statement that the employee was illegally fired after he led "internal investigations that revealed widespread and pervasive wire, mail and bank fraud" at Countrywide.

Bank of America acquired Countrywide in 2008, a spectacularly bad move that has saddled the US banking giant with numerous lawsuits and billions of dollars in legal costs stemming from Countrywide's mortgage-lending practices.

Prior to the global financial crisis, Countrywide was a prominent issuer of subprime mortgages, many of which were poorly documented and sold to borrowers who eventually defaulted on their loans.

The whistleblowing employee was fired after the Bank of America-Countrywide merger was completed in July 2008, the Labor Department said.

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