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February 11, 2013

Justice Department hits S&P with civil lawsuit, and SEC’s silence on ratings agencies is noted

More than a year ago, Standard & Poor’s revealed that it was under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for the high rating it granted to a 2007 mortgage bond deal known as Delphinus.

The nation’s large credit ratings agencies were being widely blasted for inflating the ratings of toxic investments at the heart of the financial crisis, and the SEC appeared poised to take the first major federal action against the largest of those firms.

But this week, the Justice Department leapfrogged ahead of the SEC when it slapped S&P with a civil lawsuit alleging that the firm defrauded investors by issuing stellar ratings on some shoddy securities between 2004 and 2007. Top law enforcement officials from more than a dozen states also filed suit.

The SEC has remained mum and may be running out of time to pursue monetary penalties.”

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Read full Washington Post article here

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