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SEC charges former New Century execs

Subprime lender accused of misleading investors

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Three former executives of New Century Financial Corp. -- one of the most prominent subprime lenders during the housing boom -- have been charged with securities fraud for allegedly misleading investors.The executives allegedly failed to disclose important information about the company's performance in 2006, including dramatic increases in early loan defaults, loan repurchases and pending loan repurchase requests, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a complaint.The complaint names former New Century Chief Executive Officer Brad A. Morrice of Laguna Beach, Calif., former Chief Financial Officer Patti M. Dodge of Irvine, Calif., and former controller David N. Kenneally of Rossmoor, Calif.Attorneys for the three former executives named in the complaint denied the allegations.Kenneally is accused of making changes to the company's accounting for loan purchases in the second and third quarters of 2006, when investors were stepping up demands that New Century repurchase loans the ...