A former appraiser sang like a canary. Now, he’s a multi-millionaire.
Kyle Lagow, who blew the whistle on the sordid business practices of subprime lender Countrywide Financial, which was accused of inflating appraisals on government-insured loans, is getting $14.5 million as part of a lawsuit, his lawyers said.
Lagow’s suit prompted a probe into mortgage fraud charges at Countrywide and led to a $1 billion settlement between the U.S. Justice Department and Bank of America which bought Countrywide four years ago.
A Reuters story notes that Lagow’s was one of five whistleblower complaints that made up the $25 billion national mortgage settlement that state and federal officials reached with Bank of America and four other lenders this year. The amount of his settlement had not been disclosed.
“The complaints were brought under a whistleblower provision in the U.S. False Claims Act, which allows private individuals with knowledge of wrongdoing to bring suits on behalf of the government and share in the proceeds of any settlement,” the story points out.