The Huston Chronicle's article "The Price of Courage" by Loren Staeffy tells a story of two different men.
"One is Angelo Mozilo, the former chief executive of Countrywide Financial, once the nation's biggest mortgage company. The other is Kyle Lagow, a former appraisal supervisor in Plano for LandSafe, a Countrywide subsidiary."
Lagow, a former LandSafe Appraisal Supervisor, began to spot a trend of 100's of homes being overvalued by a single appraiser. When he brought this to LandSafe's attention, "Lagow saw his territory reduced and, in 2008, he was fired."
Lagow sued plaintiffs including Countrywide and Bank of America, which acquired Countrywide in 2008, claiming they defrauded the government by inflating home values on mortgages guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration.
"He came to the government saying, 'This is a problem, and somebody should do something about it,' " Lagow's attorney, Shayne Stevenson, told me. "He was concerned that it would hurt homeowners and appraisers."
This is a story of two very different men who both got millions.
One of them deserved it.
Loren Steffy, email@example.com , is the Chronicle's business columnist. His commentary appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Follow him online at blog.chron.com/lorensteffy, www.facebook.com/LorenSteffypage and twitter.com/lsteffy.