The Justice Department late Monday hit Standard & Poor's with civil fraud charges, alleging the nation's largest credit rating firm gave overly rosy appraisals to securities that led to the national financial meltdown.
The government said in its complaint that S&P misled investors by stating that its ratings were objective and "uninfluenced by any conflicts of interest." It said S&P's desire to make money and gain market share caused S&P to ignore risks posed by the investments between September 2004 and October 2007.
Source: USA Today. Read full article. (link)