Find Post Investigations On:
Facebook Scribd Twitter
Friendfeed RSS Google Reader
» About This Blog | Meet the Investigative Team | Subscribe
Ongoing Investigation

Top Secret America

The Post explores the top secret world the government created in response to the attacks of Sept. 11.

Ongoing Investigation

The Hidden Life of Guns

How guns move through American society, from store counter to crime scene.

Have a Tip?

Talk to Us

If you have solid tips, news or documents on potential ethical violations or abuses of power, we want to know. Send us your suggestions.
• E-mail Us


Post Investigations
In-depth investigative news
and multimedia from The Washington Post.
• Special Reports
• The Blog

Reporters' Notebook
An insider's guide to investigative news: reporters offer insights on their stories.

The Daily Read
A daily look at investigative news of note across the Web.

Top Picks
A weekly review of the best
in-depth and investigative reports from across the nation.

Hot Documents
Court filings, letters, audits and other documents of interest.

D.C. Region
Post coverage of investigative news in Maryland, Virginia and the District.

Washington Watchdogs
A periodic look into official government investigations.

Help! What Is RSS?
Find out how to follow Post Investigations in your favorite RSS reader.

Hot Comments

Unfortunately I believe that we are limited in what we can focus on. I think that if we proceed with the partisan sideshow of prosecuting Bush admin. officials, healthcare will get lost in the brouhaha.
— Posted by denamom, Obama's Quandary...

Recent Posts
Bob Woodward

The Washington Post's permanent investigative unit was set up in 1982 under Bob Woodward.

See what you missed, find what you're looking for.
Blog Archive »
Investigations Archive »

Have a Tip?
Send us information on ethics violations or abuses of power.
E-Mail Us »

Notable investigative projects from other news outlets.
On the Web »
Top Picks »

Feds Interview Countrywide Whistleblower

POSTED: 06:21 PM ET, 10/30/2008 by Derek Kravitz

Federal investigators have interviewed a former loan officer with Countrywide Financial, the fallen home lender that allegedly gave high-profile clients discounts on their personal home mortgage loans, NBC News reports today.

The whistleblower, Robert Feinberg, apparently spent six hours last week with a six-person team from the Justice Department, including prosecutors from the public integrity section, which handles public corruption investigations, the report says.

Feinberg's attorney, Anthony Salerno, said the Justice Department was starting a "very serious inquiry" into possible wrongdoing involving several public officials.

Salerno said investigators appeared interested in "whether the preferential treatment given to VIP customers was part of an effort by Countrywide to buy influence - as well as on the conduct of each public official who received a mortgage from Countrywide."

Former Countrywide chief executive Angelo Mozilo allegedly personally priced loans to certain powerful clients, according to Conde Nast Portfolio's Dan Golden, who broke the story about the special VIP program this summer.

Among those reportedly getting the discounts were Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.); Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), former Fannie Mae chief executive Franklin Raines, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala and former U.N. ambassador and assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke, as well as congressional staffers involved in housing issues.

"People are referred into that department as 'very important people.' You're told that your loan is priced from Angelo. As the 'Friends of Angelo department,' (the department) has to give them a sense of importance and explain the reduction of fees and the rate as a result of being a 'Friend of Angelo,'" Feinberg told The Wall Street Journal.

Among the public officials that allegedly benefited from the deal, Dodd has come under the most intense scrutiny. His approval ratings have fallen since a Senate ethics inquiry was announced in June. The Hartford Courant noted that the polling dip is a problem for Dodd considering he is "a key player in the federal response to the financial services crisis, who is gearing up to seek re-election in 2010 for a record sixth term."

By Derek Kravitz |  October 30, 2008; 6:21 PM ET Economy Watch
Previous: Voting Problem Types | Next: What to Expect—Maybe—on Tuesday


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining


© 2010 The Washington Post Company