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NY jury: Bank of America liable in mortgage fraud

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NEW YORK — Bank of America Corp., accused of lying about the quality of mortgages it passed along to financial firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, was found liable for fraud on Wednesday in a civil case the government said captured the frenzied pursuit of profits at all costs just before the economy collapsed in 2008.

A Manhattan jury returned its verdict following a monthlong trial focusing on prime mortgages that Bank of America’s Countrywide Financial unit completed in late 2007 and 2008. US District Judge Jed S. Rakoff said he would determine on Thursday when a penalty phase will begin.

The verdict was returned against Bank of America, Countrywide, and a former executive, Rebecca Mairone.

Bank of America, which had denied there was fraud, said Wednesday it was evaluating its options for appeal.

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