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Pictures | Tue Feb 5, 2013 | 7:19pm EST

U.S. government slams S&P with $5 billion fraud lawsuit

A view shows the Standard & Poor's building in New York's financial district February 5, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

A view shows the Standard & Poor's building in New York's financial district February 5, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

A view shows the Standard & Poor's building in New York's financial district February 5, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
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A view shows the Standard & Poor's building in New York's financial district February 5, 2013. The U.S. government is seeking more than $5 billion in a lawsuit against rating agency Standard & Poor's over mortgage bond ratings, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday. The civil suit against S&P and its parent McGraw-Hill Cos Inc is the first federal enforcement action against a credit rating agency over alleged illegal behavior related to the 2007-2009 U.S. financial crisis. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

A view shows the Standard & Poor's building in New York's financial district February 5, 2013. The U.S. government is seeking more than $5 billion in a lawsuit against rating agency Standard & Poor's over mortgage bond ratings, U.S. Attorney General...more

A view shows the Standard & Poor's building in New York's financial district February 5, 2013. The U.S. government is seeking more than $5 billion in a lawsuit against rating agency Standard & Poor's over mortgage bond ratings, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday. The civil suit against S&P and its parent McGraw-Hill Cos Inc is the first federal enforcement action against a credit rating agency over alleged illegal behavior related to the 2007-2009 U.S. financial crisis. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
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A U.S. flag is reflected in a window of the Standard and Poor's building in New York February 5, 2013. The U.S. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

A U.S. flag is reflected in a window of the Standard and Poor's building in New York February 5, 2013. The U.S. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

A U.S. flag is reflected in a window of the Standard and Poor's building in New York February 5, 2013. The U.S. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
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The Standard and Poor's building in New York is seen in this file photo taken August 3, 2012. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Files

The Standard and Poor's building in New York is seen in this file photo taken August 3, 2012. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Files

The Standard and Poor's building in New York is seen in this file photo taken August 3, 2012. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Files
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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at a joint news conference with federal and state officials to announce a major financial fraud enforcement action at the Justice Department in Washington February 5, 2013. The U.S. government is seeking more than $5 billion in a lawsuit against rating agency Standard & Poor's over mortgage bond ratings, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday. The civil suit against S&P and its parent McGraw-Hill Cos Inc is the first federal enforcement action against a credit rating agency over alleged illegal behavior related to the 2007-2009 U.S. financial crisis. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at a joint news conference with federal and state officials to announce a major financial fraud enforcement action at the Justice Department in Washington February 5, 2013. The U.S. government is seeking more...more

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at a joint news conference with federal and state officials to announce a major financial fraud enforcement action at the Justice Department in Washington February 5, 2013. The U.S. government is seeking more than $5 billion in a lawsuit against rating agency Standard & Poor's over mortgage bond ratings, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday. The civil suit against S&P and its parent McGraw-Hill Cos Inc is the first federal enforcement action against a credit rating agency over alleged illegal behavior related to the 2007-2009 U.S. financial crisis. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (front R) stands during a joint news conference with federal and state officials to announce a major financial fraud enforcement action at the Justice Department in Washington February 5, 2013. The U.S. government is seeking more than $5 billion in a lawsuit against rating agency Standard & Poor's over mortgage bond ratings, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday. The civil suit against S&P and its parent McGraw-Hill Cos Inc is the first federal enforcement action against a credit rating agency over alleged illegal behavior related to the 2007-2009 U.S. financial crisis. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (front R) stands during a joint news conference with federal and state officials to announce a major financial fraud enforcement action at the Justice Department in Washington February 5, 2013. The U.S. government is...more

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (front R) stands during a joint news conference with federal and state officials to announce a major financial fraud enforcement action at the Justice Department in Washington February 5, 2013. The U.S. government is seeking more than $5 billion in a lawsuit against rating agency Standard & Poor's over mortgage bond ratings, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday. The civil suit against S&P and its parent McGraw-Hill Cos Inc is the first federal enforcement action against a credit rating agency over alleged illegal behavior related to the 2007-2009 U.S. financial crisis. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (C) arrives at a joint news conference to announce a major financial fraud enforcement action at the Justice Department in Washington February 5, 2013. The U.S. government is seeking more than $5 billion in a lawsuit against rating agency Standard & Poor's over mortgage bond ratings, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday. The civil suit against S&P and its parent McGraw-Hill Cos Inc is the first federal enforcement action against a credit rating agency over alleged illegal behavior related to the 2007-2009 U.S. financial crisis. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (C) arrives at a joint news conference to announce a major financial fraud enforcement action at the Justice Department in Washington February 5, 2013. The U.S. government is seeking more than $5 billion in a lawsuit...more

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (C) arrives at a joint news conference to announce a major financial fraud enforcement action at the Justice Department in Washington February 5, 2013. The U.S. government is seeking more than $5 billion in a lawsuit against rating agency Standard & Poor's over mortgage bond ratings, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday. The civil suit against S&P and its parent McGraw-Hill Cos Inc is the first federal enforcement action against a credit rating agency over alleged illegal behavior related to the 2007-2009 U.S. financial crisis. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
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