Illinois to receive nearly $53M share of S&P settlement

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CHICAGO — Illinois will receive nearly $53 million from a multi-state settlement over allegations that Standard & Poor's knowingly inflated ratings to risky mortgage investments in the years ahead of the 2008 economic crisis.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan, several attorneys general and the U.S. Department of Justice worked on the $1.375 billion settlement announced Tuesday. Illinois' share goes toward the state's underfunded pension system.

According to the settlement, S&P misrepresented its process used to assign credit ratings to mortgage-based securities. The maneuvers were aimed at retaining clients and increasing market share.

In its statement of facts, S&P doesn't admit or deny wrongdoing. But it does detail its conduct from 2004 to 2007.

Madigan claims the agency exploited its trusted reputation. She first filed a lawsuit against S&P in 2012.

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