Illinois Attorney General Sues Standard & Poor's

By WEEK Reporter

Illinois Attorney General Sues Standard & Poor's

January 25, 2012 Updated Nov 1, 2013 at 11:33 PM CDT

CHICAGO -- The Illinois Attorney General is accusing one of the Nation's leading credit ratings agencies of putting profits before fairness.

In a lawsuit filed today against Standard & Poor's, Lisa Madigan's office alleges that the agency assigned its highest ratings to risky mortgage-backed investments during the years leading up to the crash of the housing market.

The lawsuit cites internal emails and conversations that demonstrate the company's knowledge of deceptive practices, including one in which an employee stated that an investment quote "could be structured by cows and we would rate it."

Moody's and Fitch are not targets of Wednesday's lawsuit, which was filed in a Cook County state court.

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