Staff at the Securities and Exchange Commission have decided to recommend filing civil fraud charges against Angelo Mozilo, the co-founder of Countrywide Financial Corp., people familiar with the investigation said Wednesday.

The SEC sent a Wells notice to Mozilo several weeks ago alerting him of the charges, the people said. The potential charges include alleged violations of insider-trading laws as well as failing to disclose material information to shareholders, a person familiar with the matter said.

Mozilo's lawyers could still persuade the SEC not to bring a case.

Countrywide, once the largest home mortgage lender, was acquired last year by Bank of America Corp. Mozilo has previously maintained he has not done anything wrong. David Siegel, a lawyer for Mozilo, could not immediately be reached for comment. SEC officials also did not respond to calls for comment.

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