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Laid-Off Countrywide Home Loan Workers File Class Action

CHICAGO (CN) - A class-action employment complaint accuses Countrywide Home Loans of cheating 12,000 soon-to-be-fired employees - 20 percent of its work force - by hiding its subprime mortgage disaster, then cheating its workers of wages, commissions and bonuses due.

Countrywide and its corporate parent, Countrywide Financial Corp. announced on Sept. 7 that they will fire 12,000 workers in the succeeding three months because Countrywide is in the soup for its subprime mortgage loans. Lead plaintiff Kimberly Musgrave claims Countrywide has "embarked on a scheme to cheat its former employees out of earned wages, commissions, and bonuses by failing to pay such compensation and then actively camouflaging the fact that it was solving its financial problems by fleecing its former employees. As a result, Plaintiffs are owed substantial compensation in accord with the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act and various common-law causes of action which also entitle them to punitive damages for Countrywide's duplicitous conduct." Plaintiffs are represented in Cook County Court by Stephen Rosenfeld with Mandell & Menkes. See complaint.

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