The government on Tuesday said former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo personally approved mortgages for favored borrowers that violated the company's policies and lending standards.

Countrywide mortgages have been the focus of congressional ethics officials because two senators received them. The Securities and Exchange Commission has accused Mozilo of civil fraud and illegal insider trading. The new allegations specifically cite his role in the special mortgage program.

A federal judge on Monday granted final approval to a settlement between Countrywide Financial Corp. and millions of customers left at high risk for identity theft because of a security breach. Countrywide, now owned by Bank of America, will provide free credit monitoring for up to 17 million people whose financial information was exposed, according to the settlement.

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