Six former top executives of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) “knew and approved of misleading statements claiming the companies had minimal holdings of higher-risk mortgage loans, including subprime loans” and have now been accused of securities fraud in a civil suit, the Securities and Exchange Commission just announced.
As The Associated Press says, “those charged include the agencies’ two former CEOs, Fannie’s Daniel Mudd and Freddie’s Richard Syron. They led the companies when the housing bubble burst in late 2006 and 2007. The four other top executives also worked for the companies during that time. The case was filed in federal court in New York City. Lawyers for Mudd and Syron couldn’t be reached.”
According to the SEC, its complaint:
“Alleges that, when Fannie Mae began reporting its exposure to subprime loans in 2007, it broadly described the loans as those “made to borrowers with weaker credit histories,” and then reported … less than one-tenth of its loans that met that description. Fannie Mae reported that its 2006 year-end Single Family exposure to subprime loans was just 0.2 percent, or approximately $4.8 billion, of its Single Family loan portfolio. Investors were not told that in calculating the Company’s reported exposure to subprime loans, Fannie Mae did not include loan products specifically targeted by Fannie Mae towards borrowers with weaker credit histories, including more than $43 billion of Expanded Approval, or ‘EA’ loans.”