S&P, DOJ Ink Landmark $1.38B Settlement Over Rosy Ratings

By Ed Beeson (February 3, 2015, 8:36 AM EST) -- Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC on Tuesday agreed to pay $1.375 billion to settle lawsuits brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and 20 attorneys general over the rosy ratings it assigned to large securities that turned toxic and exacerbated the financial crisis.

The fine, which will be split between the U.S. and state and local authorities, represents the heftiest ever levied against a credit rating agency, which are hired by banks to rate the investment quality of debt offerings and other securities. The Department of Justice received $687.5 million, while attorneys general from 19 states and Washington, D.C., will...

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