Stonegate CEO never claimed to graduate from Indiana University

Jim Cutillo’s side of the story

The Indianapolis Business Journal published an article on Wednesday asserting that Stonegate Mortgage Corporation Founder and CEO Jim Cutillo did not earn a degree from Indiana University as the company has claimed.

While some details in the story are accurate, there is a significant error: Cutillo never said he graduated from IU or anywhere else.

The article states:

An executive biography of James J. Cutillo on the Stonegate website as of Wednesday morning said he “holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in finance from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.”

Several media outlets and industry publications that have featured Cutillo or his company described him as an IU grad.

But this omits a part of the story Cutillo explained in an exclusive interview with HousingWire.

The executive biography referenced in the IBJ article links to a web page that was not connected to the rest of Stonegate’s website.

“It was corrected by biography that’s been available on the investor website since our IPO and should have been removed when we updated the website at that time,” the company said.   

Stonegate didn’t know that the old bio was still out there, and if you went to the website yesterday, you wouldn’t have seen that information if you connected through executive bios on the investor webpage. That information on the current site has and continues to be accurate.

And while a few news publications referenced that Cutillo graduated from Indiana University, some reporters didn’t fact check.  

When it comes down to it, everything the lender has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is accurate.

And as for why Cutillo didn’t finish his degree, he said he was called into service and chose to serve his country.

After high school, Cutillo joined the Army in 1987 and spent two years on active duty at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Cutillo was in the Green to Gold program for soldiers to become officers. After a soldier completes half of their degree, they transfer to full-time student status. Cutillo moved those credits over to Indiana University and attended two more years. He stayed there until he was commissioned in the middle of 1991, which was earlier than expected, and when he was assigned to active duty he was forced to leave Indiana University.  

“In '91, I was commissioned as an officer and then called to active duty. I was not in a position to complete my last semester and had to go to military training,” Cutillo said.

Ultimately, Cutillo said, “I will take the responsibility but in no case did I represent that I ever graduated from Indiana University.” 

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