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by CareyBot

Two former vice presidents of Countrywide Financial Corp. settled charges of illegal insider trading with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC told Reuters Wednesday. The SEC said Alan Cao and Jun Shi agreed to settle without admitting or denying the charges, media reports said. The U.S. investor protection agency said Cao will pay $100,000 and Shi will pay $40,000 as part of the settlement, reports said. The SEC said the two were accused of trading stock while knowing of confidential negative earnings information, Reuters reported. The case centers around an October 2004 press release in which Countrywide, a Calabasas, Calif.-based financial services company, said its third-quarter earnings per share would be about a dollar less than they were in the year-earlier period,...