As the Securities and Exchange Commission‘s fraud case against former executives at Countrywide Financial Corp. moves toward its Oct. 19 trial date, the executives charged have previewed their defenses in their failed motions for summary judgment. Perhaps not surprisingly, one top exec has argued that he relied on the advice of in-house lawyers.

No, it wasn’t Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide’s founder and CEO, whom the SEC accuses of playing the central role in misleading investors about the company’s lending practices. The exec in question was Eric Sieracki, the former chief financial officer of the mortgage giant, which was acquired by Bank of America Corp. in 2008.

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