The Justice Department and state prosecutors are planning to file civil charges against Standard & Poor’s for its rating of risky mortgage bonds before the financial crisis, sources tell The Wall Street Journal. If true, the move will be the first federal action against a credit-rating firm in connection with the 2008 meltdown, though the high grades the firms gave to subprime mortgage bonds precipitated the crisis. The charges come after settlement talks between S&P and the Justice Department broke down and reportedly focus on the models S&P used to rate mortgage bonds.
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