The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday charged six former top executives at mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with securities fraud.

The SEC said in a statement that the former executives allegedly knew and approved of misleading statements claiming that the companies had minimal holdings of higher-risk mortgage loans, including subprime loans.

Three former Fannie Mae executives - former Chief Executive Officer Daniel H. Mudd, former Chief Risk Officer Enrico Dallavecchia, and former Executive Vice President of Fannie Mae's Single Family Mortgage business, Thomas A. Lund - were named in the SEC's complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The SEC also charged three former Freddie Mac executives — former Chairman of the Board and CEO Richard F. Syron, former Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Patricia L. Cook, and former Executive Vice President for the Single Family Guarantee business Donald J. Bisenius — in a separate complaint filed in the same court.