Bank Of America Pays Big To DoJ, But Could Avoid Jail Time

In largest payout ever from a company to the Justice Department, Bank of America will pay nearly $17 billion.
Posted at 5:55 PM, Aug 21, 2014

It's official. Bank of America is finally paying big for its role in the U.S. economic recession. 

MSNBC: "Bank of America has agreed to a deal to pay nearly $17 billion over its role in the sale of risky mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the infamous financial meltdown."

C-SPAN, UNITED STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: "This is appropriate given the size and the scope of the wrongdoing at issue."

It's the biggest settlement ever between any one company and the federal government. 

​The $16.65 billion deal surpasses JPMorgan Chase's $13 billion payout to the government last year, and Citgroup's $7 billion settlement agreed to last month. 

The Wall Street Journal reports the bank will be paying $9.65 billion in cash to the Justice Department and the U.S. Secutirites and Exchange Commission and $7 billion to consumers. That will consist of "modifying mortgages for borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth, or demolishing derelict properties."

It's clear the Justice Department is really making Bank of America pay a large chunk of cold, hard cash for their alleged role in the recession. But, will the higher-ups involved within the Bank of America scandal be doing hard-time for it? Maybe not, if the case of Countrywide Financial is any indication.  

Countrywide Financial is associated with some of the most egregious wrongdoings during the financial crisis. It was purchased by Bank of America in 2008, but its co-founder Angelo Mozilo could walk free. 

Forbes reports Mozil paid $67.5 million to the SEC back in 2010 to "resolve civil fraud charges." 

Then, in 2011, Bloomberg reports U.S. prosecutors decided to pursue criminal charges against Mozilo. 

However, things have changed as prosecutors are reportedly considering charges against him. But, that still doesn't mean he'll necessarily being doing any time in jail.

The New York Times writes, "A complication has emerged: Mr. Mozilo’s lawyers have cautioned the prosecutors in Los Angeles that their client has a serious illness. The prosecutors have sought Mr. Mozilo’s health records, the people said, though for now the case remains on track."

In Attorney General Eric Holder's press conference Thursday, he also urged Congress to extend a federal tax break for those families receiving the payout.