U.S. seeks $2.1 billion from Bank of America in fraud case

NEW YORK Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:54am EST

NEW YORK Jan 30 (Reuters) - The U.S. government has asked a judge to order Bank of America Corp to pay $2.1 billion, increasing its request for penalties stemming from a jury's finding that the bank was liable for fraud over defective mortgages sold by its Countrywide unit.

The request in a court filing late Wednesday followed a December hearing where a judge asked the bank and the U.S. Justice Department to brief him on how he might base the penalties on Countrywide's gains rather than losses resulting from the mortgage sales.

The Justice Department had previously asked for only $863.6 million based on gross losses it said government-sponsored mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac incurred on loans purchased from Countrywide in 2007 and 2008.

The new request for $2.1 billion is based instead on gross revenue generated by the fraud, the government said.

A federal jury in New York in October had found Bank of America and Rebecca Mairone, a former midlevel executive at Countrywide, each liable for fraud in the civil lawsuit.

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