Nearly two years after Standard & Poor's was accused of using deceptive practices leading up to and in the years following the Great Recession, S&P has agreed to settle charges totaling approximately $1.4 billion.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the coalition of 19 states and the District of Columbia that worked on the case will all be receiving portions of the settlement.
The State of Washington will receive $21.5 million.
“To protect its own profits, S&P inflated the credit ratings of toxic, mortgage-backed assets, jeopardizing the financial future of millions of people who were invested in these securities,” AG Ferguson said. “My office is charged with ensuring that companies play by the rules, and this agreement, the result of nearly two years of hard-fought litigation, holds S&P accountable for its role in the financial crisis.”
Washington state’s share of the settlement will be divided as follows: $18 million of the funds received will return to the state’s general fund, $3 million will be set aside to help victims of the mortgage and financial crisis, and the remainder will repay the state’s costs and fees associated with the case.
If you believe you’ve been the victim of a consumer scam, file a complaint with the AGO by calling 1.800.551.4636 or visit http://www.atg.wa.gov/FileAComplaint.aspx.