Bank of America Inc.'s Countrywide Financial unit, acquired by the bank in 2008, was accused of "massive fraud" in a lawsuit by investors who claim they were misled about mortgage-backed securities.
TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Co., New York Life Insurance Co. and Dexia Holdings Inc. are among a dozen institutional investors who filed the complaint yesterday in New York state Supreme Court.
The investors claim they bought hundreds of millions of dollars of Countrywide mortgage-backed securities from 2005 to 2007 because they wanted conservative, low-risk investments. They said they relied on term sheets, prospectuses and other materials provided by the firm that were recklessly or knowingly false.
"Countrywide was an enterprise driven by only one purpose -- to originate and securitize as many mortgage loans as possible into MBS to generate profits for the Countrywide defendants without regard to the investors that relied on the critical, false information provided to them with respect to the related certificates," according to the complaint.